The “Customer Journey” or the “Path to Purchase” consists of mapping the different stages that lead a consumer from an expressed need to the desire to share the experience, going through the critical stages of market exploration and the purchase decision.
It is about mapping and understanding the interactions between brand and consumers at these different stages: the touch points, the pain points, the moments of truth, etc.
A consumer-centric approach
The innovation behind this way of thinking is to put the consumer at the heart of marketing deliberations, since it is a matter of following the path step by step. It is also necessary to establish the implications for the brand of this customer journey, but improving marketing starts with a detailed observation and analysis of the consumer’s journey.
This is both an explorational tool, because it covers all the interactions between the consumer and the brand, and a tool for improving marketing and commercial efficiency: we do not want to simply describe what is in the past, we want to be able to act upon the brand’s performance along the route, strengthen its points of fragility, to make the brand visible and have the brand speak at the critical moments of the journey.
Beyond identifying the standard journeys
One of the deliverables is to identify typical pathways that capture most of the behavioral scenarios. Visualizing these journeys with clear and explicit supports and mediums greatly helps clients to appropriate the results.
Finally, a post-study phase of developing action plans with marketing teams makes it possible to give a definitive operational orientation to these projects.
Methodologically, the approach consists of combining several means: qualitative interviews with consumers, accompanied shopping when it is relevant, digital notebooks that can “capture” in real time the different interactions with the brand or category etc.
At a later step, we proceed to a quantification of the typical journeys; we measure the visibility of the brand at the various stages of the journey, the influence of the touch points, the performance of the different channels, etc.
The phases of the study allow us to identify a number of challenges for the brand. Workshops with internal teams help to formalize the responses that the brand can make by integrating the constraints of the company.
These studies, which aim to scan the performance of the brand at the different stages of the Customer Journey, systematically lead to projects expanding on themes that can range from the brand’s digital presence to the efficiency of the allocation of marketing expenses.