How To Make Sure Your Marketing Plan Speaks To Every Part of the Customer Journey
At several different points during this process, Jason and I have discussed ideas for attracting new potential customers, nurturing them through valuable email content, and hopefully gaining enough trust with them to welcome them into our community when we open the doors once a month.
We’ve also talked about how to keep our paying members happy, how to keep them using our WAIM courses and products to meet their goals, and how to celebrate their progress so they can tangibly see the value the community brings.
What we haven’t done, however, is sit down and compile these various ideas into ONE cohesive marketing plan document.
Creating a framework for a customer journey marketing plan
With these various ideas flying around in my head, it became clear that while each one is important on its own, they become even more impactful as a part of a cohesive journey.
- How does our robust content marketing strategy fit into this plan?
- Or creating new courses and adding new features to our customer dashboard?
- What about the welcome gifts we hope to send to new members?
Each marketing tactic that we implement needs to be purposeful and needs to make sense as part of the bigger picture of how a person gets from virtual stranger to WAIM superfan.
That’s a pretty big leap and it doesn’t happen overnight, so I set out to visualize how we can get someone from that very first touchpoint to our overall goal: a paying member and brand advocate who would shout from the rooftops how much they love Wandering Aimfully. What are all the necessary steps in between, and how can we facilitate that journey?
Meet our Customer Journey Marketing Plan framework.
(Upon googling “Customer Journey Marketing Plan” I did discover various versions of this type of document—this framework was clearly not quite the epiphany I thought it was 😂—but this is our unique WAIM spin on that typically confusing framework.)
Okay, let me back up and explain this sheet a bit, and how you might be able to use it for your own business to spot holes in your own marketing strategy.
First, let’s agree: every marketing tactic should contribute in some way to the overall business objective. (In our case, that is to acquire new paying members and keep our existing members happy, effectively reducing churn.)
So we begin by listing out the stages of a customer's journey with our product. For us, that journey has seven stages that make sense to us and our business:
- Awareness (someone discovers that Wandering Aimfully exists)
- Interest (someone gets to know what we are, what we're about, and decides they like the content we’re putting out)
- Consideration (someone identifies themselves as in need of our help and considers whether they'd like to join our paid community)
- Purchase (someone buys a membership! Woohoo!)
- Retention (someone is actually using our resources and dashboard, and sticks around beyond one month)
- Loyalty (someone goes beyond just using the dashboard or resources and becomes a fan of the community, forging an emotional connection with our brand and mission)
- Advocacy (someone actually loves our membership so much they take action to tell others about it)...And the cycle begins again because hopefully word-of-mouth becomes a new source of awareness, adding new people to our customer journey.
On our Customer Journey Marketing Plan, we write out each of these stages (new additions are in blue):
With this journey mapped out, it becomes much easier to see what we need to do as a business and brand to move a customer through each stage, all the way to purchasing our membership and beyond.
Now, this is where the worksheet can become super helpful.
With each stage written in, ask yourself:
What can we do through our marketing efforts to get someone from Stage 1 to Stage 2? Then from Stage 2 to Stage 3? And so on.
The big text areas between each stage are for writing down these marketing ideas.
Let’s use Wandering Aimfully as an example.
People are most likely going to find us through organic search (hence our content marketing and SEO plan.) That's where they'll enter the top of our sifter (yep, we call it a sifter, not a funnel because funnels can be yucky.) If they land on one of our blog posts, they now know we exist...aka they have an awareness of us and they move to Stage 1 where we begin.
But what gets them from Stage 1: Awareness to Stage 2: Interest? What needs to happen for them to start getting to know us and forging an interest in our content?
They probably need to know a bit about what subjects we talk about (authentic business, intentional living, etc.) They need to think we're knowledgeable, interesting, trustworthy, that we have helpful content that speaks to their needs, and that they resonate with our values on a personal level.
That's where we can start to write down some ideas about how to accomplish those things and get someone to the interest stage. For example:
- Incredibly helpful, high-quality blog content that speaks to their direct needs
- Memorable, inviting branding
- Personality-filled copy throughout our website that communicates our mission
We write those things down in the box between Stage 1 and Stage 2:
Then it's important to also set a key action step in between each stage—a milestone that lets you know a person has completed that stage and leveled up to the next stage of the customer journey.
For Awareness to Interest, we defined our action step as signing up for our email newsletter. That shows us they are not only aware of us as a brand, but they're interested in getting more information from us and opting in to hear from us. In our eyes, once someone has opted-in for our newsletter, they're no longer simply aware of us, they've leveled up to Stage 2: Interest.
You can repeat this process throughout every step. If you have a monthly membership like us or even a service business where you might have repeat business, having a retention stage makes sense. If you don't and you only have a product business, maybe your stages go straight from conversion to loyalty. You can decide.
Here's our final plan, all filled out:
Looking for gaps in your marketing plan
But the reason I think this framework is especially helpful is that you can start to see gaps in your marketing plan.
For us, it's a helpful reminder that we want to pay as much time and attention to our paying customers (stages 4-7, Purchase through Advocacy) as we do our potential customers (Awareness, Interest, and Consideration stages.) Some businesses focus so much on getting more people to the top of that sifter that they forget to put planning in place to make the stages later on down the road a positive experience.
It’s especially crucial for us as a monthly recurring business model that we invest in retaining our customers and deepening that loyalty and emotional connection. It also makes sense for us to pay attention to how we can turn paying customers into advocates because that will actually fuel word-of-mouth marketing, effectively feeding our sifter again. The more people we move from Stage 1 to Stage 7, the more our marketing efforts will pay off in getting us to our goal of 300 paying members.
Now it’s your turn! Feel free to download the blank worksheet and fill it out for your own product or business. (You don’t even have to give us your email address! No strings attached here. Just download and use it! ) Look for any holes or stages where you might want to brainstorm new efforts to move your customers through each stage. Then, let us know over on Twitter if you found it helpful!