The way that customers experience brands is not absolute, and there is a journey that each individual takes as they become more familiar with what companies have to offer. This relationship between brand and target audience is a delicate balance of curated digital touchpoints...

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The way that customers experience brands is not absolute, and there is a journey that each individual takes as they become more familiar with what companies have to offer. This relationship between brand and target audience is a delicate balance of curated digital touchpoints, clever messaging, and creative remarketing strategies.

Too many of any of these elements can push your company into spam status and degrade brand sentiment. Still, on the flip side, when done effectively, brands can foster long term relationships with various market segments while systematically luring in new, prospective customers.

This series of touchpoints is understood as the customer journey. Bring marketing automation into the mix, and companies have the opportunity to create an omnichannel customer journey for each unique market segment, with complete control of how the brand story is revealed to the audience, creating an immersive and consistent experience for each individual customer.



The customer journey begins at the first point of exposure, such as seeing an advert for the first time on social media, coming across an interesting article published by a company, or even finding a new product thanks to a famous influencer.

After the initial touchpoint, there are a series of milestones that you want your target segment to experience. Remember, the more refined the customer journey map is, the more likely your strategy will result in sales.

When mapping out your customer journey, thinking outside the box can give your brand the edge that will help you stand out from the crowd. It is helpful to identify tools along the way that will enrich your target market's experience with the brand, and often, convenience is essential!

If you run an online store or manage bookings requiring transactions, why not streamline the process by integrating a secure online payment portal to purchase the goods or make a booking on the spot.

As you can see, it is evident that automation streamlines the process. Not only for your customers but your company as well. Getting a customer's attention is more straightforward than maintaining their attention.

Automation expresses the relationships with your customers to allow you to have an in-depth understanding of the relations and association with customers. It will assist you when structuring your digital marketing strategy making it more effective.

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Customer Journey Mapping and Sales Funnels

When creating a successful customer journey, it is recommended that you also implement marketing funnels. Why?

Well, marketing funnels are used to determine qualified leads. If you have established micro and macro conversion goals that you want to reach, getting people to like your Facebook page will be a micro-conversion, whereas a macro conversion is sales-centric. No matter what type of goal, with marketing funnels, your business will be able to track performance easier and amend a strategy according to analytical outcomes driven by automation.


Customer Journey Mapping and Marketing Automation

A pivotal point to online marketing is to create tailored experiences based on unique buyer personas for each customer with automation. The more personalised the experience, the more invested the customer will be.

Not everyone understands automation, even though it has been around for many years.

i. What Is Marketing Automation?

As you might have heard, marketing automation is an innovative method of simplifying and automating marketing and sales processes to increase sales conversions using the power of marketing technology dramatically.

It involves limited human intervention and more artificial intelligence and machine learning - primarily by using marketing technology platforms that have refined this process. Most often, automation creates a gateway to improving your marketing activities by easing the process of delivering customer experiences through automating the communication, shopping, and buying process.

ii. Example of Marketing Automation

If you were to start a consulting business or already have, you could perhaps use Calendly, a website plugin that automates the booking process. It saves you and your customer time. You no longer have to update your weekly schedule manually, and your customer no longer has to wait on anyone to make a booking. They can make it themselves in minutes or even seconds.

This automation also integrates with your daily schedule to avoid overlap in activities or tasks; Keeping you productive and providing convenience for your customers at the same time. Here is the thing, Any software that allows you to automate any time-consuming manual marketing operations is referred to as marketing automation software.  So in the context of digital marketing, automation and marketing funnelling go hand in hand. All touchpoints need to be identified at this stage.

iii. Touchpoints and Marketing Automation

Touchpoints include all the encounters a prospect, client or loyal customer has with a brand. These include but are not limited to social media, automated Facebook responses, WhatsApp Business messages, Email personalised campaigns, referral links to landing pages and website fill in forms.

How to Set up Customer Journey Mapping and Marketing Automation Process

It is also essential to take note of the sequence your customers follow to navigate the web and interact with your brand along the way. Here's what you should do. Create a customer journey map. Just follow our easy steps below.

Below are a few steps to take to map out a customer journey.

Step 1: Create Customer Personas

To get a clear picture of your customers, personas and consumer profiles must be drafted and established. This includes getting to know everything you can about your target audience, from psychographics to demographics. The most important element to identify Is the keywords and phrases customers use. But also do not forget their interest, age, gender and location.

Start by filling in our handy Target Market Table to get this process started.

Step 2: Be Goal Driven and Customer-Oriented

Objectives drive the process of mapping your customer journey. If you don't set goals, you and your team have no direction. Nowadays, it is recommended to be customer orientated. Being customer-centric will enable your business to truly understand its customer's desires and provide them with the best experience. It's all about customer relationship marketing (CRM), and I am sure you have heard about it before. People want to be helped instantly, and it's your job to ensure that your customers get that.

Map out what each persona needs, the type of content they need, how they interact with the content. Also, how they came to discover the business. To achieve this, a company has to listen to their customers online actively. The goals of the business should be centred around what customers want and need from the business. What do you want customers to do? Click? Sign up? Watch? Listen? Trial? Demo? Be clear on your goals for each piece of content you will create to drive people down the sales funnel.

Step 3: Include all Touchpoints

Customer touchpoints can be very diverse or dynamic sometimes hence; Touchpoints should be clearly defined and listed. It's as simple as drafting up an excel spreadsheet and then detailing all the touchpoints.  It's important to note that touchpoints include not only online activity and interaction but also offline activity. It all comes down to collaborating marketing and business objectives.

Let's say you run a brick-and-mortar store that also operates as an online store. Then you will need to consider both as touchpoints. Some customers will prefer to shop online, and some at a physical store where they can tangibly assess your products. Sometimes it is wise to incorporate in-store promotions with online promotions. This way, you can encourage people to use your application but also shop in stores. These touchpoints need to feature how they all fit together to drive customers to conversions on your funnel.

Step 4: Create the Brand Vital on your funnel

Also, the offline activity includes not only vital to structure resources but brand assets (landing pages, videos, webinars, e-books, white papers, etc.) as well. So that customers will be satisfied with the experience.

The goal is to draw attention to all resources used to create your customer's experience. A client journey map will touch on almost every aspect of a company. As a result, it's critical to evaluate your current resources as well as the ones you'll need to improve the client experience.

At the touchpoints that prospects are converted at the lowest rate is often the area of concern for a business that requires attention. For instance, in the case of human resources, the response rate on social media is low; This might be a result of poor or delayed responses from the customer service staff.

To fix this, your staff should be trained, or someone should be appointed to supervise. To optimise your workforces' potential and performance, you need to assign people to the different departments according to their strengths.

Step 5: Set up your Auto Emailers

Another way to humanise communication is through triggered emails that remind people of what they are missing out on, real-time live events, milestones and account updates and changes.

All your customers are distinctive and have their own unique journey they have taken with your business. Their experience should also be unique. Personalising emails to fit the relevant point they are in the customer journey will be very beneficial.

For instance, new customers should get welcoming emails, whereas life-long or loyal customers should get updates, reminders, or coupons.

To utilise email marketing, electronic mails should be crafted so that it connects with customers on a more personal level. It should be accurate and relevant to the level of interest a customer expresses in the business. Email sequences tailored to a customer's goals will increase the click-through rate.

Automation helps keep track of what a customer is up to. It also makes it easier for you to remind them of what they have forgotten or in case they miss something. Empty carts are frustrating; however, carts full of abandoned items are worse.

Sometimes people need a nudge to go through with a purchase. Timely "reminders" via push notifications can be sent to encourage purchase further. No matter the channel, the nonfiction should preferably be sent to the customer's preferred channel for the ideal positive response.

With the backend data, you will also be notified and "reminded" of what prospect's need to do to become customers.

Step 6: Integrate your CRM

Most CRM's these days integrate with marketing automation software, the next step below. But in case you aren't going the whole hog and implementing, say, Hubspot Marketing Automation, then we suggest starting with a decent CRM.

We can recommend Hubspot or Zoho One as a starting point; This means that all customer and prospect data and conversions will be tracked seamlessly, giving you one view of the customers (Account-Based Marketing) and giving customers a unique experience suited to their needs.

Step 7: Set up Marketing Automation and Marketing Technology

Hubspot or other marketing automation software will allow you to:

  • Effectively streamline workflow
  • Integrate campaigns
  • Web analytics
  • Gain consumer insights
  • Improve SEO
  • Customise campaign templates
  • Content creation
  • Organise your CSM panel
  • Social media monitoring
  • Accurately  track ROI

Step 8: Switch on Online Ads and Remarketing

Once you've created the personas, the customer journey map and plan, implemented the CRM and marketing automation, created the brand assets, then you will be ready to start driving customers to your website and offers.

For this, you'll need to switch on Google Search Ads, Google Display Ads, Facebook and Instagram ads, LinkedIn ads and activate your opt-in email marketing. It will ensure that prospects are introduced to the top of your marketing and sales funnel, and the process of optimization commences. With a little bit of encouragement through remarketing, a returning visitor can eventually be convinced and persuaded to purchase. There are usually two main reasons a visitor does not convert: firstly, they do not desire to buy the product anymore or secondly, they have not made their mind up yet.

For example, maybe this prospect is waiting for a sale. Ads should be targeted to those who interacted and more specifically tailored to showcase exactly what they interacted with on your website. It can be content, a product, services, or even an event or webinar. JavaScript tagging, Facebook pixels and web cookies are used to track visitors' behaviours on the various touchpoints.

Step 9: Enable Customer Support

Someone in the business should be appointed to assist when a live chat or automated response is insufficient. Customers should also be addressed by their first and surname, especially in email campaigns.

It's critical that you have staff standing by to assist with sales conversions, especially initially. Once you know what customers tend to ask a lot about, FAQs, you can set up bots and automation to take care of this and reduce your call centre size.

Step 10: Review and Optimize

By this stage, your life revolves around evaluating and analysing data derived from analytics reports and results.

The goal is to identify any pitfalls or shortcomings of your customer journey map, sales funnels, marketing automation and assets. Testing the system is highly recommended, so you might want to start with a small ads budget until all the gremlins are ironed out.

This will involve you actually following the customer journey step-by-step in real-time yourself, from the social referral links to reading the emails. This allows you to determine if the journey map is practical. Any inadequacies should be dealt with, and the consumer journey map should be revised asap!

Customers' needs and the world wide web are ever-changing. The whole map that you have created should be reviewed regularly. The customer journey mapping method should always be a work-in-progress. You may discover gaps and possibilities for further simplifying your client experience by reviewing it on a regular or quarterly basis. Check for any bottlenecks using your data analytics and consumer feedback. Also, be sure to adapt to current circumstances and changing consumer behaviour.

But how to make your customer journey automated? There are numerous marketing tactics that you can implement today at no or low cost.

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