Aligning Your Campaign Strategy with Your Buyer’s Journey
- Posted: 23rd January 2018
- Written by:
Ann Marie Britton, Senior Campaign Services Consultant
Mapping a Buyer’s Journey and Building your Campaign Strategy
In today’s marketing environment, identifying customers that have a need for your product or service and have the potential to move through the sales process to become an actual customer can be easier said than done. Marketing automation leveraging data-driven insights certainly helps, but in our experience, the biggest component of a successful campaign strategy hinges on sales and marketing alignment, a clear understanding of where the data lies (and in what systems), and a firm understanding of how a customer flows through the sales cycle.
What characteristics do customers have during each phase of the process? What are their questions? And what messaging is relevant to them at that time? These are all questions that need to be asked in the planning phase. There is no denying that tight marketing and sales alignment as well as understanding your organization’s unique buyer’s funnel (and documentation) will help your organization create a campaign strategy that will effectively reach your customers with the best message and offer at the right time.
Organizing your Buyer’s Funnel
Once you have alignment among your key players, the next step is to map out the key components of the customer buyer journey and the type of messaging you will be using for each phase. Regardless if you’re integrating with CRM or not, it’s useful to understand how a customer flows through the funnel and where the information lives to make more informed decisions. Celerity leverages the below diagram during workshops with our clients to discuss the process, integration and automation opportunities.
<Want to learn more about integrating with CRM? Read the Top 10 FAQs on the topic>
Once you’ve determined your buyer’s cycle, it’s time to think about the right marketing campaigns to support each stage of that cycle. To help get you started, Celerity has developed a 6 Stage Funnel Mapping that can help marketers align their campaigns to the buyer journey.
Marketing Campaigns for your Funnel Stages
At the beginning of a buyer journey, you have a large volume of leads and little information about how valuable each lead will really turn out to be. Keeping this in mind, the Marketing team’s main focus during this phase should be to determine the customer’s level of interest. Welcome campaigns can be created to introduce the customer to your brand, what it stands for, and what is offered.
Campaigns should provide opportunities for the customer to sign up for, or request, additional information or services. Is there a weekly newsletter that’s sent out to customers with the latest deals or a blog that offers thought leadership in areas they are interested in? By allowing customers to request or engage with additional content, you are quickly able to see what the lead is interested in and how to better serve them moving forward.
Sample messaging could include:
- Brand Promise or Mission Statement
- Explanations of what is offered to a customer as part of engaging with the brand
- Demonstrate what to expect when using your product or service through examples or clear steps
- Link to subscribe to or opt in for additional information
During the Learn phase, you are able to take what you learned about a customer from the interest phase and build upon this information. Campaign messaging should demonstrate that your company is a Subject Matter Expert in the areas they are interested in and educate the customer on how your brand can help or enhance their interests.
- Did you know?
- How to tutorials such as videos, checklists, etc.
- Use cases
- Provide links to more information and deeper topics
Based on key criteria identified in your planning phase, we should now be able to make a determination if the lead is a Marketing Qualified Lead.
In the Evaluate phase, marketers should take this a step further and show how the benefits your company and how you can solve a customer’s problems better than a competitor.
Using the key criteria identified in your planning phase, the Evaluate Campaign messaging should highlight the features and benefits of your product or service as compared to others. Highlight testimonials, case studies and previous results that include:
- Comparison of brand benefits
- Relevant Case Studies
- Testimonials from past customers in similar industries or age groups
Based on what you have learned about the customer, sales should then receive the lead and determine if it’s a good fit based on a predetermined criteria discussed in the workshop.
During the Justify stage, the customer is now considered a Sales Accepted Lead. Touchpoints at this phase can now begin moving the customer to make a purchase, versus the previous stages which focused on generating awareness. Identify roadblocks that previous customers have had (such as the product or service is too costly) and provide a valid justification or use case that removes that roadblock (such as a whitepaper that details a previous use case of how much a previous customer saved over the first 5 years).
Other Sample messages:
- Include 5 tips to convince your boss, mom, husband, friend on why this choice is the right choice for you or your business.
- Provide decision tools (i.e. a simple calculator someone could use to identify cost savings)
Once you have identified that a customer has made a purchase, you should immediately follow up with them and thank them for their purchase in a personalized manner. Include mention of what they purchased, what they should be looking forward to when using this product or service and also outline any next steps, if applicable.
- Thank you & next steps – how to track delivery, should they expect a follow up call in a few weeks, etc.
- Experience or satisfaction surveys
- Highlight value of purchase. Include “Feel Good” messaging that reinforces the product or service benefit and what you will immediately gain
Keep in mind that when asking for feedback it is important to have a strategy to respond to both positive and negative feedback. This should be a key part of your customer journey mapping.
You’ve done it – you have a customer purchase, you’ve thanked your customer and you’ve outlined next steps. Now what? You know this customer has a need for your product and has the potential to be a repeat customer. Focus on retaining this customer and identifying future value.
Are there cross or up-sell opportunities? Is there exclusive content they can receive now that they are a customer? Is there ongoing support they can register for or opt into? Can your account team plan monthly touch-bases with key decision makers from their company?
Other Sample messages:
- Tips and tricks to get the most out of your product
- Introduce complementary products or services that the customer may be interested in using
- Local events, information sessions or volunteer activities
- Loyalty points or reward schemes
- Exclusive content or early access
- Provide opportunities for customers to provide feedback
Regardless of what stage you are in planning, Celerity can help align your teams, connect your systems (to CRM or other) and help operationalize a campaign strategy. The customer’s journey is always evolving, and constant coordination between Marketing and Sales is needed to deliver the most relevant messaging that will lead to more closed sales and repeat business.
Is your organization looking to get your sales team hotter leads faster? Read our whitepaper on how connecting Adobe Campaign the CRM and applying a robust lead generation strategy (and automating it) can help you achieve this.