Zoe-lee Skelton
Zoe-lee Skelton 25 September 2014

7 Rookie Mistakes Marketers Make About the Customer Journey

Do you really understand the consumer journey?

As a marketer, your role is ultimately to acquire new customers and maintain a healthy relationship with existing ones. To achieve both goals, you’ll need a keen understanding of your audience and their online journeys.


Many brands use a mix of marketing channels and data tools to gain an insight into customer habits. But the most successful marketers manage to keep ahead of the game by filling in the “unknown” elements of the consumer journey. Illuminating the blanks in your consumers’ journey is what helps businesses to discover obstacles in the conversion path and spot opportunities to drive engagement and ultimately grow your business.


However important stages of analysing the customer journey seem to go overlooked, and instead of shining a light on these black holes, many marketers seem to fall right in them, making a mess of their sales figures. All of which has a terrible knock on effect for business decisions.


Here’s a list of seven rookie mistakes all marketers make when trying to evaluate and improve the customer experience.


1. Not being clear on what you want to accomplish


Begin with the end in mind of your customer’s journey to help you define a path for getting them there. Mapping it out is a good idea to help you see the difference between customer expectations and the actual experience along the way.


2. Not considering offline customer interactions


The internet and your website are not the only way your customer will want to contact you. Phone calls and in-store purchases are still just as crucial as online.


Considering that 77% of online shoppers still expect to be able to talk to a brand representative, with 52% of those saying s if they couldn’t call someone it affected their decision to complete a transaction, it would be wise to appeal to the greater consensus.


The a simple fact is that if you’re not allowing prospects to call you, you might lose them at the purchasing stage. Make it easy for them to connect with you in the real world.


Display a telephone number visibly on your website so that customers have the option to connect with you offline.


3. Not understanding the customer’s journey from their perspective


Be sure to view the customer journey as the customer experiences it. This counts for both offline and online as well as your social media channels. It’s also worth looking at the customer’s journey as a whole, including the hours they spend researching and find out why it is they would choose your service over one of your competitors.


Make sure there are no uncertainties, difficult jargon, or other issues preventing the customer from moving to the next, and ultimately, the final stage of the process. A Smart analysis of your full lead and sales reports will show you where you can tighten up the sales funnel.


4. Using the last click attribution model


Last click attribution is a flawed process because it oversimplifies complex multichannel conversion paths based upon a “last come first served basis”. This method causes marketers to ignore the vast amounts of journey data before the last click and it’s leading them to make bad decisions about their marketing.


For example, before a customer calls your business, they might have found your website via a paid search ad, they then re-visit your site by typing your brand name into Google and then later convert via the telephone – which source should be attributed to the sale? The first or the last click?


If you were to track the organic visit as what drove the phone call, you would be severely mis-attributing your leads and missing valuable data essential for improving ROI. If you work at an agency, this could be damaging your client’s marketing campaigns and negatively impacting their bottom line. Implementing website and call tracking software is the only way that business and agencies can track exactly what prospects are doing on their website before they pick up the phone.


Mediahawk, who are website and call tracking software providers say that marketing agencies are their biggest clients, and it’s because the software’s analytics is helping them to prove to their clients which marketing is providing the most sales and the best return on investment. So, if you’re in charge of another business’ campaigns, a full lead generation picture is all the more important to help you prove your worth as a marketer! 


5. Not attributing telephone call data


For 65% of businesses, the telephone remains a vital part of the consumer journey. In order for you, the marketer, whether you’re working on your business’ own campaigns or your clients, you need to know what is driving prospects to call. Are they finding the checkout process to complicated? Do they need reassurance from a sales agent before they commit to purchase? And more importantly, which marketing drove the call.


Without some form of website and call tracking software, businesses would not be able to answer these questions, leaving them with data that is unrepresentative of their true sales and lead generation.


6. Not driving action


To influence customers we need to understand the barriers at each step of the journey and how to amend them, the specific role of each step, and most importantly, the desired action we want the customer to take.


For example, you might be creating killer content on your blog, but when a visitor is through reading your articles, where are you directing them? A link back to a relevant service or a product page helps to gently ease consumers through the sales cycle, so make sure you have actions to drive your customer or potential customer to close the deal.


7. Not doing anything with the collected data


There’s a whole host of ways you can collect data from your customers. Your website, forms, purchases etc. Data is useless if you’re not using it. Ensuring you have the right technology to wisely use the data you are collecting is essential from the start. If the customer is filling you with information, take advantage of this opportunity.


Further data can be collected from interviews or surveys. Knowing your customers wants, needs and objectives is key to helping you define a solution.


If you can think of anymore rookie mistakes marketer’s make about the customer journey, let me know in the comments below.


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