What if your new product launch was doomed before it even began? The customer journey is a very important aspect of both marketing and sales. In order to make the most out of a new product launch, you must innovate the customer journey as much as possible.
Wondering how and why innovating this journey is so important? Keep reading to discover the answers!
Your Customer Journey: The Basics
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide for how and why innovating the customers’ journey is important before you launch new products. And before we go any further, it’s important that we outline the basic components of that journey.
Generally speaking, the “journey” involves fully mapping the customer’s experience at different stages. Specifically, you need to know what they were doing before, during, and after making a purchase from your brand.
It’s easy to conflate the journey with the customer experience. However, the customer experience focuses on how your customers feel after making a purchase. If those feelings are the destination, then the journey is how the customer gets there.
These ideas are related, though, because you want the customer’s experience with your newest product to be very positive. And the best way to do this is to refine and innovate the journey in a number of important ways.
The Journey Evolves
Another reason to innovate the consumer journey is simple: the world has changed in some very big ways. If your journey is out of date, you may be missing out on important opportunities and experiencing a stagnant business.
The biggest change has been the rise in digital marketing and online sales. Whereas the customer journey once happened primarily in stores or showrooms, it now takes place largely online.
And the COVID-19 global pandemic further cemented the need to innovate the customer journey. Online sales skyrocketed above holiday levels as consumers enjoyed “retail therapy” from the comfort of their own home.
To get in on the boom of online sales, it’s important to create an online-friendly customer journey. And here are some tips to help you get started.
It Starts With Awareness
The first step in any consumer journey is awareness. After all, you can’t win customers over if your brand isn’t even on their radar!
Fortunately, it’s easy to build brand awareness through digital marketing in several different ways; The best way is social media. You can create and share content for free that other users can share, and paid social media advertisements are a powerful way to target key demographics.
The real key to this is creating the kind of content consumers love. For example, video remains all the rage when it comes to shareable content. Whether you craft funny videos or informative “how-to” videos, try to make the content you know your customers will want.
While social media is important, don’t forget to focus on SEO. Paid SEO is a great way to quickly drive traffic up and is particularly useful before launching a new product. Organic SEO, however, is your key to long-term growth and brand-building.
Nurturing Your Audience
Once you have the customer’s attention, you need to really nurture them. They aren’t ready to make a purchase yet. Your goal is to nurture them in such a way that an eventual purchase is inevitable.
The way you nurture audiences depends on your brand awareness strategies. For example, a business with a serious social media presence should conduct numerous polls and live chats. Customers love the opportunity to be heard, and having a voice in the process makes them likelier to make a purchase.
Ideally, you can conduct polls, surveys, and live chats about your new product well before launch. This gives you valuable feedback that will help perfect the final product. And customers, flattered at how much you value their input, will be that much likelier to buy the product in question.
Once an audience has been properly nurtured, they are ready to make a purchase. When innovating the customer journey, your priority should be making this process as easy and streamlined as possible.
To do so, try to “work backward” and imagine what makes your customers hold off on a purchase. Is it because you have a harsh return policy and they worry about product quality? Or are they worried about hidden costs like shipping that will affect the overall price?
You can fix these perceived issues by modifying the return policy and offering free shipping when customers reach a certain price threshold. The latter move helps remove many woes about shipping costs while incentivizing customers to buy more things (which is always good for your bottom line).
Foster Customer Loyalty
Getting sales is the goal of any customer journey innovation. However, a purchase is not the end of the journey. Instead, you need to work on ways to foster customer loyalty and create repeat business.
One way to do this is to feature suggested products to customers. This tactic (one used to great success by Amazon) involves making recommendations for new purchases based on what a customer has already bought.
You can also use re-targeted ads to focus on customers who have visited your site in the past. This is one of the most effective ways to create repeat business.
And loyalty programs are highly effective at encouraging return customers and repeat business. When customers can get “reward points” to unlock free gifts or coupons, they have a powerful incentive to keep coming back.
The Power Of a Professional
As you can tell, the customer journey is very complex. It has many moving parts, and innovating the journey requires an in-depth understanding of demographics, psychographics, marketing, and more.
For best results, we recommend consulting with a customer journey innovation specialist. Such specialists understand the journey inside and out and can innovate your own customer journey in a way that reflects and rewards your key demographic.
With a little help, you can innovate and revolutionize your customer journey. And that helps ensure your new product launch is a hit!
Now you know why you must innovate the customer journey before launching a new product. But do you know who can provide the innovative design your customers deserve?