A majority of marketers want to improve customer experience and believe that it is a way to grow the business. But when it comes to marketing strategies and actual marketing activities done, they don’t lead to improving the customer experience.

Source: Econsultancy – Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing

Marketing is a huge part of customer experience. The main reason why customer experience is not improving is because of the lack of understanding how marketing fits into the customer journey.

This is always one of the first topic of discussion during consultation sessions with startups that I work with. We would go through the journey of how customers find out about their business until they become an advocate to their business.

Because when you have an ‘advanced’ understanding of customer journey, it’s much easier to come up with digital marketing strategies that work. Even if you don’t understand how Facebook Ads or search engine marketing works.

Some of them would say that they already understand customer journey and have already implemented strategies. But they are usually in the form of marketing and sales funnels. That is a good start to improving customer experience but it can be much better.

Funnels and customer journey may seem like two exact same thing. But they have their differences.

A funnel is a model of your sales and marketing activity that captures different key stages of activity across a customer’s lifecycle with your business. A common funnel looks like this:

Image source: SME Pals

This allows you to plan:
1. How you will bring in new traffic to your business
2. How you will manage and nurture leads
3. How you will convert leads into paying customers

Now let’s translate that into Facebook Ads execution. You would have three different campaigns running.

The first campaign is a campaign that brings in cold traffic to your website. Meaning those that never heard of your business before. You would run a click to website campaign and targeting a broad audience (using interests). To make sure you are getting cold traffic, you would also want to exclude custom audiences of people who have already visited your website or engaged with your business.

For the second campaign, you would target those who have visited your website to sign up for something. It can be a download, a free trial or newsletter sign up. You’re looking to get contact information here.

The third campaign is where you show your ads to those who have signed up and get them to purchase something.

So that is a Facebook Ads strategy as a result of marketing funnel. But when you really think about the path that your customers take to make a purchase, is it really straight down the funnel path?

There might be a small percentage that does take that straight path, but a majority won’t.

Imagine one of your customer persona. Let’s call her housewife Sarah.

Sarah is an online seller that sells on Facebook. She is a potential client for your order management system. She sees your ad on Facebook and it caught her attention so she decide to click on it.

As she is browsing through your site, she realized that she had forgotten to take out the laundry. When she came back, she totally forgot what she was doing earlier and went on to her usual activities.

The following day, she remembered reading about improving efficiency in her business operations and did a few searches on Google. Unfortunately, she visited your competitors and did not come across your business since seeing the first ad and visiting your website for a quick moment.

This situation is more common than you think and it can get a lot more complicated than Sarah’s situation. Potential customers have different behaviors. They might look for reviews first, look up other different alternatives (competitors), connect with you on social channels, or get completely distracted, forget about you, and go on with their life.

When you incorporate both funnel and customer journey, how you set up your ads will be different. Instead of straight down the funnel, you will think about the different what ifs and how to counter it.

The analogy now becomes a bucket that you are trying to fill up and you are plugging as much holes as possible to stop leaks.

Image source: PPE.life

Let’s translate that into Facebook Ads execution. (Warning: It does get a bit more complex).

1. Ads to attract new traffic to your business
2. Ads that act as reminders if they don’t take the necessary action for each stage of funnel

  • Click to website but did not sign up
  • Signed up but did not purchase
  • Viewed products but did not add to cart

3. Ads to bring them down the funnel when they do take actions
4. Ads to retain existing customers

  • Engagement & more value

5. Ads to increase customer lifetime value

  • Upsells, cross sells, loyalty program

By understanding the customer journey, it also helps in crafting marketing activities for channels other than Facebook Ads. And that is what great marketers do. Implementing an omni-channel strategy and being present anywhere that is most convenient for potential and existing customers.

Now that is great customer experience.