DETROIT/LONDON: Brands often have a sense of what they want to stand for but fail at executing on that – which is where an ability to turn customer experience journey maps into action can pay dividends, according to two industry figures.

Writing in Admap, Kari Shimmel and Marcia Lorente, chief marketing officer and head of strategic planning respectively at Campbell Ewald, note that consumer experience journey maps (CXJMs) have been around for years, adding that while they are often informative and sometimes insightful they are rarely actionable.

“We find that ideas orchestrated around a higher-order idea or value – what we call a brand idea – are more effective in delivering sales and profit,” they report in their article, entitled How to make journey maps actionable.

“This is in comparison to advertising-led integration, which often leads to a ‘matching luggage’ approach where a consistent visual identity is used, and yet misses the point to talk with a customer rather than at them.”

When the authors worked with online travel agent Travelocity, where the brand team was the author of the journey mapping process, they found the customer message wasn’t clear across the hundreds of micro-moments it takes to plan a trip.

“The CXJM allowed us to plot those hundreds of touchpoints, back them up with data and tailor the messaging,” they said, addressing the different emotional need states that arise along the journey, from dreaming to planning to pre- and post-trip.

But the picture became more complicated when they discovered that many customers were planning multiple trips simultaneously and were in several phases at once.

“The brand team found an opportunity to partner with the CRM team to develop a scoring method that, for each trip, assigns a customer to a phase in the journey and drives a more effective and personalised communications strategy.”

And the particular moment of anxiety when actually booking and parting with money could be tackled with a higher level of customer service.

“Plotting the entire CXJM, looking at touchpoints rather than channels, and effectively tailoring messaging throughout the journey offered Travelocity a number of benefits,” they explain.

These included breaking down internal silos and enabling teams to better complement each other's efforts, and prioritising the touchpoints that matter and measuring ROI against those.

“And last but not least, it helped the brand unearth its brand idea and promise to help customers Wander Wisely at every turn.”

Sourced from Admap