Customer Value Journey: Explained
December 8, 20228 minute read
- Customer Acquisition
- Digital Marketing
Do you know how your customers become your superfans? How they move from completely unaware of your brand to becoming loyal repeat-buyers? If you’re at a loss on your marketing strategy and need more engagement or sales, maybe you need to find the answer to these two questions. But how?
Lucky for us, DigitalMarketer has developed the Customer Value Journey (CVJ). DigitalMarketer defines CVJ as an “8-step path that people travel as they discover your brand, build a relationship with you, and become buyers and raving fans.” It is simply a blueprint of the predictable flow of customers. We’ll go through each step of the journey and share some tips to make the most of each step.
The CVJ helps businesses understand and get to know their customers better. Aside from these, there are several other reasons you should map out your customers’ journey.
Why should you map out your customer’s journey?
- You can anticipate customer needs based on the step they are in.
- Follow the natural sequence of interactions.
- More specific and intentional strategy for each step of the journey
- Sets the foundation for a long-term relationship with the customer
- Tracking and measuring results are more focused.
We’re going to break down the 8 steps of the CVJ and outline what they are, what falls under each category, and how to continuously move your prospect along the journey.
THE 8-STEP CUSTOMER VALUE JOURNEY
Step One: AWARENESS
If you want people to become your customers, they need to know your brand first. No one ever wakes up one day and just magically knows your products. Before they become customers or even leads, they are prospects first.
People become prospects the moment they learn of your name or even just that one product they heard about from a friend. People become aware of your existence through different channels and where the two types of traffic come into play. Organic and paid traffic will be very helpful in boosting awareness.
So, how do you increase awareness?
Tip #1: Expand your reach on social media.
A common stat we reference is that there are 4.62 billion social media users! These platforms give marketers and business owners the perfect opportunity to reach many people and introduce their brands. You can create engaging or high-value social media profiles to reach prospects organically.
For example, challenges are very common on TikTok. Challenges create user-generated content that would help brand awareness by using relevant hashtags. Sproutsocial posted an article featuring brand challenges that hit it big on TikTok, like Guess’ #InMyDenim challenge that garnered 5500+ pieces of UGC in its initial run. You can also leverage influencer advertising to reach their audience; recommendations work!
Tip #2: Host a giveaway or a contest.
Who doesn’t love free things? We sure do! You can even combine a giveaway with a referral program. Something like Autonomous’ Give $25, Get $25 program.
A chance to win something for free will probably increase people’s curiosity to try out some of your products. If you find it difficult to host a contest the first time around, there are some tools to help you.
Step Two: ENGAGE
Being engaged involves more than just being aware of your existence. At this step, they can already recognize your brand. However, they’re in the early steps, maybe on par with a second date? They know your name but are still trying to get to know you more.
This step occurs when prospects start engaging with your content. Maybe they read one of your blog posts or follow one of your social media profiles.
How do you increase engagement?
Tip #1: Create a blog.
One of the best ways to keep your customers engaged is to provide valuable content; and a blog is just the right medium for that. While social media is great for awareness, a lot is going on and it can be distracting. While on a blog, your prospects are not bombarded with other content. They can focus on your brand and the value that you offer. Have a consistent posting schedule, and it can’t possibly be emphasized too much: provide VALUABLE content.
Tip #2: Provide as many avenues for communication as possible.
Like the second date metaphor above, you also want prospects to be able to communicate with you. Nothing screams, “I care for you,” more than giving them the ability to ask you questions and you answering as best you can. Because the prospects are still getting to know your brand, unanswered questions may become hurdles for them to take the next step. Live chats are very helpful, and also make sure that any content you provide features contact information or a space for them to connect with you.
Step Three: SUBSCRIBE
In this step, your prospects are much more invested. This involves opting in for gated content. Gated content usually comes in the form of newsletters, subscriber-only events, and others. In exchange for this content, they will be giving away some of their personal information, like their email address, which you can use to convert them or nudge them along the next steps of the customer journey.
This step occurs when prospects give their personal information, signaling that they want to receive more exclusive content from you.
How do you increase subscribers?
Tip #1: Increase the value of your content.
If they opt in, they want more of you! Which also means you need to provide more value. If they’re receiving similar value with the engage phase, why bother opting in? Strikepoint Media, for example, posts valuable and informative content through our blog which is accessible without any barriers. Our newsletter, however, is gated content. We provide marketing trends, strategies, reports, and analytics to your inbox monthly through the Clicks to Conversions report.
Tip #2: Make opting in easy.
Imagine wanting to opt into something but being met with so much red tape, you just turn around and leave. It’s the same with your subscription process. Make sure the call to action is very specific and they don’t get stuck on some unnecessary page. Most of the time, their email is all you need. Get their email and start sending them that valuable content!
Step Four: CONVERT
This step is characterized by turning your subscribers into customers. And by customers, I don’t just mean people who get your products in exchange for money. Time commitment counts as currency as well! If they agreed to come at an event you’re hosting, they’re your customer. Although, time as currency is more likely an entry point offer, a segue to them buying your products.
The convert step happens when you’ve successfully persuaded your prospects to make a commitment of time or money.
How do you increase the likelihood of conversions?
Tip: Make sure it’s a low entry point (cheaper).
The entry point offer is a product or an event that is relatively cheaper or requires much less commitment of time or money than your core offer. If you succeed in persuading them to buy your entry point offer, your chances to sell the core offer just rose as much as 10 times.
Step Five: EXCITE
By excite, it means giving your customers every opportunity to get satisfaction from being your customer. You want to get them excited! Remember that low-priced entry offer in convert? Purchasing something gives people dopamine! So completing that first purchase is already dopamine-inducing. For entry point offers that involve time and not money, you want to make sure that what you offer is extremely valuable to these customers.
Your customers are in the excite step when they feel actual value from what you offer.
How do you excite them?
Tip: Make it personal.
People love customizations. After all, who doesn’t want to feel special? Making the experience personal will help build the relationship between you and the customer. It doesn’t have to be over the top. Little things here and there will go a long way. For example, you can personally address them, with their names, on the invitation of sending a “Dear Customer/Subscriber” invite. If they purchased a low-ticket item, you can include a short personalized thank you letter!
Step Six: ASCEND
You’ve already offered your entry point offer, and your customers are satisfied. Now, it’s time to upsell. You can sell them your core offer, or a high-ticket offer. You can also sell them premium versions, complementary products, or any of your other products or services.
The customer ascends when they buy the core offer or buy other supplemental products.
How to increase the likelihood of “Ascension”
Tip #1: Offer a discount on a complementary product.
If your customers have already bought one product, you’re in a much better position to offer a complementary product. One classic example would be buying a shampoo from a certain brand. The sales person would have the opportunity to sell the conditioner too. They complement each other after all, and one works better in conjunction with the other. To make the purchasing decision easier, you can offer a discount on the complementary product like a 10% discount on the conditioner when you buy the shampoo.
Tip #2: Offer customizations
Offering customizations will not only increase the sales but would also personalized the products more. You’ve already spent quite a bit of money on that wallet, what’s a few more dollars to have your name stamped on it. Coca-cola, a huge company, did the “Share a coke campaign” in 2011, by simply putting common first names on their bottles. Now, you can buy a customized bottle online through their online store. An 8 fl oz. bottle a coke would usually cost $5.88 for a 6-pack, but the customized ones costs $7 per bottle.
Step Seven: ADVOCATE
In the advocate step, your satisfied customers would offer a testimonial or a review in favor of your products. They express their satisfaction from your product or service. At this point, they are considered passive promoters of your brand.
When do they become advocates?
They leave a review or give a testimonial when prompted.
How to increase your number of advocates:
Tip #1: When doing surveys, keep it short and sweet.
Let’s say you send out emails to ask your customers for feedback on your products. Make sure that the form they need to fill out is short so you don’t take up too much of their time. They would also more likely answer the survey if you emphasize, at the very beginning, that its going to be a short one.
Tip #2: Give a discount or a freebie in exchange for a testimonial.
Testimonials are generally more time-consuming than simply rating your products through stars or giving a short message. To show appreciation to customers who do go to that trouble to support your brand, and also to convince them to do it in the first place, give them a freebie or a discount. Again, people love discounts and free stuff!
Step Eight: PROMOTE
In the final step of the CVJ, your customers are not only passive promoters, but rather actively recommending your products to family, friends, or on their social media profiles. This means that they truly trust and value your product or service. These customers are a big help to gaining new prospects on the “awareness” step. People tend to trust recommendations and hearing a recommendation from a family member or even someone you follow on social media would go a long way in earning new prospects.
When do they become promoters?
The “promote” step occurs when your customers actively promote your products or services to other people.
How to increase your promoters:
Tip #1: Have a good referral program.
A referral program, as mentioned in awareness, is a great way to get new prospects. At the same time, they are excellent incentives to convince your customers to actively refer your products to family and friends. Dropbox, for example, offers free storage for each referral customers successfully make.
Tip #2: Encourage using relevant hashtags.
User-generated content, especially at the age of TikTok videos, YT shorts, and IG reels, is a very important part of marketing. However, using hashtags can be used so videos related to your UGCs about your product are easier to find.
As DigitalMarketer stated, the Customer Value Journey is a strategic foundation of marketing strategies. It helps you understand what your customer goes through, or needs to go through in order to become promoters of your brand and thus, generate new prospects for you. Knowing each step will help you identify the kinks in each step and straighten them out for a smoother journey for your customers.
Copywriting, Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media