Customer journey mapping is a visual technique designed to outline how:
- The brand reaches a consumer’s consideration (evoked) set
- How the consumer progresses through the buying decision process and selects a suitable brand, and
- The consumer progresses through consumption and/or use of the product or service.
When to use customer journey maps?
Because of the nature and the role of a customer journey map, the customer journey mapping technique is more appropriate for products with a higher purchase involvement as well as for service industries.
Usually the mapping of a consumer’s journey of their purchase of a simple low involvement product, such as a packet of rice, would be less appropriate or insightful. This is because a low involvement product is unlikely to have many brand touchpoints and therefore would be a relatively short customer journey.
Customer Journey Maps in Service Industries
Service industries should find customer journey maps particularly useful. This is because the service is usually assessed and delivered through multiple touchpoints. And these brand touchpoints will usually vary by target market (or brand persona) as well – which should help make the development of a customer journey map quite insightful for the firm.
Customer Journey Maps for High Involvement Purchases
Firms and brands that are looking to map the journey of customers who make more complex decisions, have more brands to consider and evaluate, and where the customer may need to interact with the firm over time or through multiple stages or people (that is, the process and people aspects of the 7P’s marketing mix).
These customers have more complex journeys that are not always obvious to the firm until marketing research is undertaken. How does a customer arrive at a decision for a brand, both as a product trial and then as an ongoing loyal customer?