The importance of marketing in the customer journey

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Previously, marketing and customer experience have been very much viewed as individual components. However, in today’s world where everything is increasingly becoming more digital, developing, marketing and customer experience have become intertwined.

Over time, marketing has developed into a conversation between customer and business – one where a business can offer a solution to a customer’s problem and in doing so, build a strong professional relationship. For this to happen, it is important to recognise that the marketing landscape is changing.

The digitalisation of the world has meant that the way in which consumers decide on what products or services to buy is changing too. Consumers are becoming more active in their own research and far less reliant on the advertising and information that is given to them by salespeople, or via advertising. It is estimated that 73% of consumers say that customer experience is a deciding factor when making purchase decisions.

Rather than sitting back and allowing a company to sell how great they are, consumers are going out and finding their own sources – blogs, reviews, social media, and information circulating online. This is why exceptional customer experience has never been more important, as now, almost 90% of companies are competing primarily on the basis of customer experience.

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is how a customer feels about or responds to each interaction they experience with a company, across all bases. It does not only rely on a company knowing and understanding its customers in great depth, but also developing a positive brand culture that affiliates with its customer’s values and beliefs.

Companies with a much stronger and cohesive brand identity, reflected in both their employees and aims, will continue to have success without relying on traditional means of marketing. If done well, a company won’t need a massive social media presence, as its brand identity and reputation of providing a great customer experience should be advantageous marketing channels in their own right.

All business models can benefit from improving the customer experience: subscription businesses can increase retention, e-commerce marketplaces can increase repeat custom and reduce returns, and service industries can gain recommendations and reduce complaints.

Further benefits of delivering a great customer experience include:

  • increased customer loyalty
  • increased customer satisfaction
  • better word-of-mouth marketing, positive reviews, and recommendations

When building an excellent customer experience, the influence of data can never be understated. Businesses now have access to more intelligence data to help build marketing strategies and improve customer satisfaction than ever before, but the way in which this data is used is where the power lies.

Once the data is available, processes can then be optimised in order to satisfy and accommodate your customers, and doing so will help both the customer and the business. An example of this would be analysing the customer path through a website, and if there are particular pages that are more popular, you may want to improve the accessibility of these pages, so it is easier for customers to find.

This will stop the waste of time and resources on marketing campaigns that may not work, allowing for a smooth-sailing and positive experience for the customer, as you already know what they want. Through delivering proactive and planned approaches, marketing can help discover which promotion practices are successful and which are not, providing very useful data.

Good customer experience can be achieved if you:

  • Make listening to customers a top priority across the business.
  • Use customer feedback to develop an in-depth understanding of your customers.
  • Implement a system to help you collect feedback, analyse it, and act on it regularly.
  • Reduce friction and solve your customers' specific problems and unique challenges.

Why marketing is vital in the customer journey

Marketing is important in the customer journey because it plays a crucial role in attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. The customer journey typically consists of several stages, including awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. At each stage, marketing plays a critical role in guiding the customer towards the next stage and, ultimately, towards a successful conversion.

There are several reasons why marketing is vital in the customer journey, such as:

  1. Attracting customers: Marketing helps create awareness of a product or service and attracts potential customers to the brand.
  2. Engaging customers: Once customers are aware of a product or service, marketing helps engage them by providing more information and building interest.
  3. Nurturing leads: Marketing can help guide customers through the consideration stage, providing information and building trust with the brand.
  4. Converting customers: Marketing helps to convince customers to make a purchase by highlighting the benefits of the product or service and providing a seamless buying experience.
  5. Retaining customers: Marketing helps to keep customers engaged and satisfied after a purchase, increasing the likelihood of repeat business and building brand loyalty.
  6. Advocacy: Finally, marketing can turn satisfied customers into brand advocates who will promote the brand to others, generating new leads and customers.

Overall, marketing is essential in the customer journey because it helps to create and maintain relationships with customers, from the initial awareness stage to long-term loyalty and advocacy.

To find out more about how we can help your business and provide a positive customer experience, contact us here.