Profiling to Packing: the OCJ
In an earlier post, I wrote about how customer profiling can be one way to remove the bad smell from your marketing initiatives. By focusing on customer mascots instead of what one stakeholder thinks, all participants in the process can think past "Do I like this?" and actually arrive at "What will <insert customer profile mascot name> think of this?
Also remember that just because you profile existing customer, it doesn't mean you can't profile and go after new customers. The act of profiling of current customers allows you to establish the practice. It's like the 21st-century version of Daniel-san waxing Mr. Miyagi's car.
Once you've got a grasp on the customer profiles you want to focus on (their wants & needs), it's time to chart each online journey, starting from the time when <Mindy> knew nothing about you until the point where she was so committed that she named her kitten after your latest product. You can see an example of these stages charted here (example provided is from Leef, a consumer electronics brand selling external storage solutions for Apple products):
When mapping Leef's customer journey, we identified five stages:
- I've Got No Idea... (Pre-Awareness)
- I've Heard Of... (Entering the consideration set)
- I'm Interested... (Converting)
- I've Joined In... (Servicing)
- I'm in Love... (Delighting to the point of kitten naming)
Once we've established our five stages, we then start plotting the current tools we're using to interact with those customers. For example, online display advertising (non retargeted) and social advertising fall into our "I've Got No Idea" bucket, while email newsletters can fall into both "I've Heard Of" and "I've Joined In" depending on how far the customer has moved along.
We next start to identify the current problems these customers could be having along their journey, based on where we are right now as a business. Again, this helps bring focus to the business objectives as we swap lenses on our problems - moving away from "our online ads aren't converting" to "<Mindy> see an ad for our product she knows nothing about, but it catches her attention as it fills one of her current needs. She clicks through to a product landing page that looks cool, but doesn't offer enough substance to make her want to care. Still intrigued, she clicks once more to the website for one last chance, but finds the exact same content on the product page. Frustrated, she closes out her session."
These customer problems that are developed are merely hypotheses to begin with, but it gives a lot more to work with than "our online ads aren't converting." The reality is that as human beings we're natural storytellers. Stories are attractive, they are tangible whereas facts are cold and impersonal. As soon as you start telling hypothetical stories about your potential and current customers, you're guaranteed to find better focus and more energy. The difference will be reflected in both the quantity and quality of your offering as a business.