Customer journey mapping or funnel optimization? They are different perspectives of the same thing. One is the view from the customer’s perspective. One is our gated internal process. We need both in our business.
The high-level mission of marketing is to engage with our ideal customer while they undertake a buying journey that will ultimately lead to a revenue purchase.
If you follow me, you will hear me say this more than once. For me everything else we do hangs on this.
It’s all about the customer
Yes, it is all about the customer. We are here to delight the customer, ensuring they are successful with our product and have a great experience engaging with us. As well, we stay in business by being fairly compensated for doing it.
You also might ask, if it is all about engaging with the customer on their journey, why do we get bogged down with viewing the world from the perspective of our revenue funnels? Why not instead consider customer journey mapping? Why do we hang onto the idea of moving people along a funnel in every CRM tool?
Let’s compare and contrast
Let’s step back a minute and look at these two things: customer journey mapping and revenue funnels. And do a bit of compare and contrast.
The revenue funnel is our internal process to manage where the customer is on their journey with us. And while the simplest funnel focus on the road to acquisition, more robust uses span the entire lifetime the customer is a customer. Also considering adoption, retention, expansion, and advocacy.
Yet the customer’s journey is not a straight line. The funnel is our assessment of where we think they are on that journey. It is our point-in-time qualification of the customer continuing with us based on their behaviours. We classify the stages. Tracking and predicting through the funnel. We compensate and incentivize our staff according to the customer’s progress through the funnel. We decide our actions based on where we think the customer is in the funnel.
Customer Journey mapping on the other hand, observes the customer as they engage with us. It looks at specific touchpoints with the customer. Considers what it can tell us about a customer. We look at what we can from each engagement and optimize these touchpoints. We consider how and what touchpoints are needed for a customer to make a purchase. Striving towards finding the sweet spot where the customer satisfaction is high, and our costs are low.
One is looking at the engagement from our perspective as sellers. The other is looking at the engagement from the perspective of the buyer.
One is considering movement along gating milestones. One is considering point in time experiences. Both consider the end-to-end life of the customer.
The best companies do both – customer journey mapping and revenue funnel optimization
I propose we need to do both. And that there is no conflict on which to use. I am a believer that we can hold two truths. Especially when they are different perspectives of the same thing. Or two halves of the same coin. I think we need both in our business.
Sometimes in our industry people put themselves into one of two camps. They either focus on optimizing the revenue funnel – or they focus on customer touchpoints in the buyer’s journey.
The best companies do both. And use tools that help them to do both and analyze the outcomes for actionable insights.
Because they know the real magic
The real magic occurs when we underpin both these tools with strategy. When we strive to define and refine an understanding of our ideal customer. We set objectives for this ideal customer. And use the tools to learn more about what that customer does and how our engagement with them makes a difference.
With a customer journey map, we can analyze what customers do when they engage with us. Drawning insights from their activity. With the funnel, we can look at revenue measurements to understand how customers segments, channels and length of time in the funnel.
The number and quality of engagement with customers can help us in our decision making about qualifying a customer to be moved along the funnel. At the same time, knowing where the customer is in the funnel, can help us to rate the performance of a touchpoint engagement we do with the customer. Deciding on which blog posts, webinars, calls, to use at a specific point in time.
the main point is…
The point is we need both, revenue funnels and customer journey mapping. They inform each other. Giving us a top and tail view of the customer. Looking at one provides insight into the other.
Helping us to achieve that ultimate goal… to engage with our ideal customer while they undertake a buying journey that will ultimately lead to a revenue purchase.
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