How customers move from becoming aware that they have a need to making a purchase is their journey. Understanding the customer journey is critical for your advertisers. It illustrates how people make buying decisions. The journey isn’t linear, especially in an omnichannel world. The customers of your advertisers may go through many cycles before making a decision. Typically, the more expensive the purchase, the longer the journey.
Talking to your clients about their customer journey is key for several reasons. First, it helps align tactics with all the touchpoints. Second, it provides insight into what motivates customers. In this post, we’ll introduce the process and how to talk about it with your advertisers.
What Is the Customer Journey?
The customer journey describes all the interactions and experiences a customer has with a business to achieve a goal (i.e., resolve their challenge). There are three key areas:
- Awareness: A customer realizes they have a need and starts researching possible solutions, including your advertiser.
- Consideration: A customer defines their problem and considers options to solve it. One of the solutions to consider is the advertiser.
- Decision: The customer is evaluating the options and is ready to purchase.
Regardless of the advertiser’s industry or customer base, all three stages need specific tactics to ensure visibility and delivery of the right messaging to keep buyers moving toward that company as the answer.
Aligning Digital Ad Tactics with the Customer Journey
So, how can you ensure your clients will be a contender for customers? Let’s look at the digital marketing tactics that align with each stage.
Awareness: Attracting Attention
In the awareness stage, customers define their problems and pain points and research how to solve them. For digital tactics to be successful, businesses need to understand the challenges and goals of their audience. They also need to know where these people look for information.
Ad types to use for awareness:
- Brand awareness digital display ads (static or video) that include the company’s value prop and key messaging
- SEM (search engine marketing) campaigns that use learning and exploring keywords
- Informational digital ads that offer guidance and aren’t salesy
- Video ads that tell stories and depict experiences
Consideration: Making a Case for the Advertiser
At the consideration stage, audiences have a greater understanding of how to approach their problem and would consider an advertiser as a solution. Consumers are often comparing similar products and services.
Ad types that work in the consideration stage:
- SEM campaigns using competitor-branded keywords
- Social media ads targeted toward ideal customer demographics that include social proof (e.g., reviews, star ratings, awards, testimonials)
- OTT/CTV ads that include comparison content
- Digital display ads that define the problem and introduce the solution
- Product or service demo video ads
Decision: The Conversion
The decision stage is the culmination of research. Depending on the urgency of the need or the cost of the solution, customers can arrive here quickly or slowly. To win the business, your advertisers should know what influences their buying decisions (e.g., cost, reviews, speed) and remove any barriers to conversion.
Launch these tactics in the decision stage:
- SEM ads that use buying language (e.g., purchase, hire, schedule, book)
- Promotional digital ads with offers (e.g., discounts, special pricing)
- Display ads with geofencing to drive nearby foot traffic to physical locations
- Social media ads with limited-time promotions to push urgency
The Customer Journey Is Full Funnel
The customer journey includes every stage of the sales funnel. It’s important for your clients to understand that they need to meet prospective customers at every touchpoint. Staying only in the awareness or decision stage could mean missed opportunities.
Ultimately, it will come down to their advertising goals and their audience. By discussing the funnel and opportunities along the way, you’ll demonstrate your value as a trusted advisor who wants to aid them in building a strategy, not just win a sale.
You can learn more about the customer journey and full-funnel advertising by watching our latest on-demand webinar, Do Digital Smarter: Full-Funnel Digital Advertising.