Marketers understand the key to successful business is cross-channel marketing as it makes it easy for customers to complete any desired activity on whatever medium they are most comfortable with.
However, the actual implementation of cross-channel marketing is a different story. In fact, for many, communications are still siloed and these brands are missing out on a 43x uplift in marketing performance and lead generation from cross-marketing efforts.
The latest Eloqua Customer User Forum tackled this very subject, hearing from Oracle Marketing Cloud experts on how to successfully expand cross-channel marketing to drive real results.
Kim Barlow, director of strategic & analytical services EMEA, opened the day by discussing why cross-channel marketing is just as important for B2B brands as B2C ones. She stressed that “the success of a cross-channel strategy relies on a strong customer journey map.”
So, what is customer journey mapping and why is it so important? Put simply, it is a powerful tool that teaches brands about their customers. It visually illustrates customers’ processes, needs and perceptions throughout their interactions and relationship with a brand. It tells a story about the potential frustrations and experiences of customers.
You may find the idea of starting a customer journey map intimidating. It is certainly an eye-opening process, and there is some time investment required. However, if you follow this process you can be truly effective:
- Create an initial map that includes personas, behaviors, touchpoints, attitudes, emotions, and enablers.
- Evaluate these attitudes, prioritize the focus and biggest pain point. Then determine the impact.
- Explore and clarify needs and drivers and examine your capabilities (roles and processes).
- Brainstorm the desired transformation and innovation.
- Design a new experience. Before going full steam ahead, do a reality check before designing the experience.
Ultimately, customer journey mapping puts the customer in the bull’s eye of a marketer’s thinking and demonstrates the need for the entire brand to adapt. However, to truly impact the customer experience, learnings from customer journey mapping must be taken and implemented. This will ensure cross-channel marketing efforts reach consumers effectively with the message in the right place at the right time.
With that in mind, there are three key takeaways to ensure true success:
- Cross-channel strategies are only effective when the customer journey for different personas are mapped out (data analytics is key).
- Customer journey mapping should be optimized continuously so marketers are giving the best experience to prospects and prospective customers.
- Each touchpoint needs to have a KPI that matches to the overall objective and is measurable where possible.