How many touchpoints are between you and your consumers? Not so long ago, customers only interacted with brands from the comfort of their sofa and in stores. TV commercials were the main point of advertising. Newspapers, radios and magazine ads were secondary. Billboards and other outdoor ads enticed some consumers, but stores were the hottest attraction. They made their way to the closest store and bought what they needed. Nowadays, it is not so simple. There are many ways that consumers can shop for items, and oftentimes, that\u2019s online. They reach out to brands on social media, ads bombard emails, and in apps on their cell phones. Customers interact with brands in varied ways. Interactions extend across many channels. That’s why you need to understand the customer journey. If you don\u2019t, you risk profitable sales. Eighteen Knowledge Group dedicates time to helping you build your consumer base. We\u2019ll turn prospects into customers and brand lovers. Read on! Learn how you can improve your marketing initiatives and get the biggest ROI.\n\nHow to Define your Target Audience\nGain Insight into their Habits\nWhat are the Touchpoints?\nThe Map\n\n\n How to Define your Target Audience\nBefore you create a customer journey map, you need to understand your target audience. If you do not define who that is, then you will not be able to optimize the journey map. Furthermore, you\u2019ll lose out on sales because you\u2019re not marketing your product. Every single marketing initiative requires that your business targets the correct demographic. Marketing campaigns without a target creates noise that no one will care about. Your business is competing with thousands of others all on the same platforms. If you don\u2019t have a well-defined idea of who you are marketing to, someone else will. They will take those potential consumers and you\u2019ll lose out.\nA target market focuses on the demographic more likely to buy your product. It does not exclude anyone. If someone outside of your parameters buys your product, great! Not everyone fits into one category. It is beneficial to create more than one profile if your brand spans many demographics. Understand that your brand cannot appeal to everyone. You want to corner your particular niche.\nIf you already have customers, you can analyze their data to get an idea. Ask them questions through polls and surveys. Ge the information they need straight from the source. If you\u2019re just starting out and this is your launch phase, take a moment to research your market. You likely already worked on this before you decided to sell your product. See how your product fares against similar ones in the same category. Find out what makes your product better or different from the rest. That will be your selling point and the attraction for your brand. Understanding that will better enable your marketing efforts. You will know what product benefits your target audience finds most important.\n Gain Insight into their Habits\nDo you know which social media sites your target audience frequently visits? To create a customer journey map, you must know where your audience is. You need to know where they heard of your business or product and you need to be part of the conversation. This will help you build customer touchpoints. You need to know where your consumers are at every part of their journey. Only then will you know what to do to alleviate any pain points.\nUnderstanding consumer habits goes back to profiling your target audience. Know the demographic you’re selling to. You can anticipate buying decisions. Take this example. The majority of your target audience are young mothers. You can suspect that they spend much of their time and money on their children. Your product should help them with related problems. Take steps to understand the lifestyle of your audience. That correlates with their buying patterns. Shoppers use multiple channels, prioritizing convenience over everything else. Using the example above, young mothers have busy lives.\nIt can also help you focus on which social media sites they would be most likely to frequent. Facebook is more geared toward the older crowd. Instagram attracts Millennials and Gen Z. This will help focus on a specific social media site. It also helps your branding messages. You may want different copy written for Instagram versus Facebook. That\u2019s not to say your brand message will be completely different. The way in which you communicate it to your followers needs to resonate with them. You also need to know what times are best to post and when engagement is at its highest. If your target audience is working class, then the best time to post would be in the evening. You need to know as much as possible about them so that you can have an accurate picture of each touchpoint.\n\n What are the Key Touchpoints?\nYour customer journey map should not be incredibly complex. You want something simple but effective. The journey map should only include the touchpoints that you can do something about. Your main concern is to increase sales. Identify the times when your marketing initiative can do something for the customer. This is one of the most important things about a customer journey map. It places the focus on the customer. That customer-focused strategy will help you make better decisions.\nOnce you understand the customer, knowing their touchpoints is simple. Social media, ads, e-mail marketing and review sites are all possible touchpoints. Each channel provides different data sets. Analyze them to track the success of your marketing campaigns. Then you can evaluate what action consumers are taking when they interact. Did someone click an ad or search for your product on Google? These are actions and you need to know them if you\u2019re going to optimize your customer journey map.\n The Map\nYour business should make a physical customer journey map. This means designing a graphic to share with your team. You need to know what you plan to display on the map. There are four different customer journey maps, according to Kerry Bodine. Each one caters to a different goal. For instance, know how the customer currently interacts with your brand. You would focus on creating a \u201cCurrent State\u201d map. The \u201cDay in the Life\u201d map focuses on improving pain points. It\u2019s a good idea to create each one, especially if you have a well-established business. If not, your customer journey map will be a prospective guide.\nOnce you\u2019ve figured out the type of map you plan to create, then you need to know what\u2019s going on it. You should have a list of all the habits and touchpoints you created before. It\u2019s time to focus on what your marketing initiatives can help with. Depending on what you found in your data, that is how you will figure out your map. As your business grows, create more audience personas and other customer journey maps. The more times you create your maps, the easier they become.\n Eighteen Knowledge Group Can Help\nIf you are still feeling a little overwhelmed with all the possible data, then you have come to the right place. Eighteen Knowledge Group can start your customer journey map. We can profile your target audience (or audiences) and plan your marketing initiatives. We will collaborate with you to meet your goals and get your brand message to consumers. We track metrics and use analytics to provide an in-depth, real-time campaign report. If we need to change our strategy, we can do so immediately. The customer journey map helps analyze data and increase sales through customer focus. At the end of the day, your business needs to attract customers. A successful business will make customers feel important. Create a community of brand ambassadors who spread your good reputation far and wide. That is the true success of any marketing campaign. Enlist our help and we can start your marketing initiatives off the right way.