+49 30 208.989.780
Content Marketing 101

The Customer Journey

An experienced content marketer knows how to create an authentic, trustworthy, and positive partnership with potential customers. For users, beginning their customer journey often means navigating through a chaotic and wild jungle - precisely why we've used this metaphor. There are highwaymen lurking about left and right, who sell mirror shards as if they're diamonds (salespeople) or want to involve unsuspecting travelers in a time-consuming and equally meaningless conversation (advertisers). It is so worthwhile to have a reliable and experienced partner like the content marketer, because they make the customer journey simple. They are the guide through the jungle.

What is a customer journey?

The path from anonymous user to paying customer and enthusiastic follower can be very complex and diverse. Our potential customers come into contact with our company in different ways and at different points of contact, e.g. through advertising banners, social media posts or emails.

As varied as the points of contact are, so too are the needs of our potential customers. This means we also need multiple offers to match the wide variety of needs. So, a customer journey is what integrates all of these needs together, because it involves the comprehensive experience that a user has with a company or brand. Instead of focusing on individual transactions, a customer journey summarizes the entire customer acquisition process from start to finish.

Which phases make up a customer journey?

Roughly speaking, the customer journey can be divided into the following phases:

  • Awareness: The user realizes that they have a problem. The information they seek in this phase should help them pinpoint this problem, and the fact that they need to find a solution for it.
  • Consideration: The user now gives their problem a specific name. They begin looking for information that will enable them to solve the problem. They evaluate the problem and what solutions might solve it.
  • Decision: In this phase, the user searches for a concrete solution, i.e. a product or service. They compare the different information on such solutions and make a purchase.

Due to the fact that the customer acquisition costs for new customers are seven times higher than those of existing customers, we should also focus on getting former customers to convert again. Nonetheless, for the purposes of this text, we will concentrate on new customer acquisitions going forward.

Customer Journey Crispy Content®

The Customer Journey vs. The Conversion Funnel

Although the customer journey often takes a rather passive approach, we have outlined it here in a more active sense:

  1. In the “Awareness” phase, a user becomes interested in solving a particular problem and starts doing research, for example, with Google.
  2. In the “Consideration” phase, a visitor comes to a website to search for a potential solution and evaluates the products and services. They become a lead by subscribing to the email newsletter.
  3. In the “Decision” phase, the user qualifies as a marketing or sales qualified lead by opening personalized emails and visiting the corresponding landing pages.
  4. As soon as the user makes a purchase, whether digitally in an online shop or offline via sales staff, the ROI is generated and the process is completed.

This active approach to the customer journey then leads us to a second concept, the conversion funnel.

How do I create a customer journey?

1. Know the basics

A customer journey is made up of a variety of elements, but at the end of the day, it is all about the target group, communication methods (marketing), and conversions. In order to simplify things and focus on the conversion process, we’ll assume here that you have already developed some basic knowledge of your target group and have created a persona that outlines how to best communicate with them.

The intention with the customer journey is that you earn more revenue by communicating with potential customers in a suitable manner. So, the end goal of this entire process is the conversion, which marks the end of the customer journey (for new customers).

In the following sections, we will discuss the conversion process, which is the core element of the customer journey.

2. Set goals

A memorable journey always involves an end destination. As described in the first section, our end goal is to get more conversions. However, since a customer journey can easily occur over a period of 24 months (like with the capital investment industry), we need to break things up with intermediate destinations.

These intermediate destinations are also conversion goals, but they are not yet complete. With intermediate destinations, we can monitor a user’s progress within the customer journey, because they are constantly qualifying themselves on their journey. For example, if a user has shown an openness to the appropriate type of marketing during this journey, they become a “marketing qualified lead.” If they have indicated that they have the necessary financial resources so that we can sell to them, they are a “sales accepted lead.” If they repeatedly visit our products, services, or other digital offers, a lead who is receptive to purchasing is a “sales qualified lead.”

There is no fixed definition for how users change during their customer journey. For example, if a product is complex and requires explanation, we could imagine an “educated lead” as an intermediate goal. This could perhaps be defined as a lead who has downloaded a particularly large number of our manuals. Overall, the key factor is that we have a tangible metric to base qualifications on.

Customer Journey Crispy Content®

3. Define the phases of the customer journey

The phases of the customer journey describe the time periods between the respective destinations of the user. Of course, we strive to keep these periods as short as possible, but we know from our own experience that “good things take time”. That’s simply how things work. While the customer goes through this essential decision making process, we act as a guide and provide them with the appropriate information in order to form a partnership. This step is necessary for both users and us in order to develop this relationship. So, give yourself and your customers time for this to process to take place.

The phases of the customer journey should also be set according to the conversion goals.

Typically the user starts in the “Awareness” phase once they have identified a problem. Their progress continues, for example, with an “Education” phase, where they learn about various possible solutions to their problem. The result of the “Education” phase could be a long list of possible solutions for their particular problem. In the next phase, “Consideration,” the user evaluates the different solutions and puts a virtual shortlist together. With this shortlist, they move into the last phase, the “Decision,” which describes the process of comparing these solutions and then making a final purchase.

Similar to conversion targets, it is important for the customer journey phases to have defined metrics for achieving them.

4. Define touchpoints

Touchpoints are the places where you communicate with your customers and engage them with your brand and products. This includes for example:

  • Websites
  • Chatbots
  • Emails
  • Social media
  • Spotify
  • Netflix
  • Third-party websites
  • WhatsApp

The customer and their communication behavior drives how you integrate and define touchpoints. This should be based on where they attract the most users for the lowest investment and also have the highest probability for conversion.

Each platform works differently, and comes with various opportunities and challenges. Since managing communication can be very complex, narrow touchpoints down as much as possible. Focus is the key.

5. Define actions

The user takes particular actions during the interaction with your brand, products, or services. This could be, for example, a Google search for your keywords or a click on one of your emails. However, the user can only take these actions if you give them the opportunity to do so. That’s why things like keyword optimization or highlighting your call to action with high color contrast are so essential.

You define which actions the user needs to do and give them every chance to do so – keyword conversion optimization.

6. Define motivations

Every action is a result of cause and effect. Likewise, each of your customer’s actions is motivated by an emotion. The emotions of your customer change depending on the phase of their customer journey.

The emotional driving force of every particular user’s action is usually caused by a problem. If you know this, you can provide the right solutions at the right time, so that you can positively develop the relationship between your brand and your potential customer.

7. Define objections

Objections are the reasons why the conversion or the final transaction didn’t work. There can be many types of objections: the website loads too slowly, the user interface is not set up correctly, or the message is unclear.

From a sales perspective, the objections are also the same:

  • “The solution doesn’t fit our problem.”
  • “The solution is too expensive.”
  • “The solution provider is not an expert.”
  • “The solution provider doesn’t fit with us.”

In order to appropriately handle objections, we answer objections by claiming the opposite, illustrate them with comprehensible examples, and provide proof.

Customer Journey Crispy Content®

A summary

A customer journey is the ideal model for turning users into paying customers. It is a hypothesis that needs to be tested – and this most certainly with analytics. For example, how many people click on your website and then leave before buying? The analysis of these results can show you where customer needs are not being met. By using the customer journey to define communications with potential customers, you can ensure that you provide valuable information and make it clear that people can use your company to find solutions to their problems.

Last updated on 04/08/2020 at 03:52 PM.

Got more questions?

Contact us

Let’s go
We’d love to hear from you

Get in touch with us here









Stay up to date



More topics you might like

10 Steps For Your Perfect Website Content Strategy – Pt. 1

A two-part guide for content marketers relaunching a website. The first part deals with goals, target groups, positioning, topics and formats.

Content Marketing: SEO Hacks by Neil Patel - Part 1

You want to improve the search engine ranking of your website? In our series we present the most important SEO tips from digital expert Neil Patel.

FREE Online Course: "Making Content” (7 Lessons)

An online course with 7 lessons to produce high-quality digital content – quickly, easily and affordably.

10 Steps For Your Perfect Website Content Strategy – Pt. 2

A guide for content marketers who want to develop a website content strategy. The second part deals with features, structures, keywords and governance.

15 Content Tools We Still Use In 2020 | Part 2

We present the tools we use at Crispy Content® to realize content production. Today: Content Production and Content Distribution.

15 Content Tools We Still Use In 2020 | Part 1

We present the tools we use at Crispy Content® to realize content production. Today: Content Discovery and Content Planning.

Post COVID-19: 10 Reasons Germany will be Your Next Market

There will be a future after COVID-19 - and it probably looks more promising in Germany than in most countries of the world. We show you why!

How to Do Content Production for Blogs with Airtable

In this detailed overview, we explain how complex content production projects can be completed with Airtable.

"Car dealerships need social media marketing"

The car industry has been severely affected by the corona crisis. Gerrit gives tips on how the crisis can be used as an opportunity with social media.

Content Marketing Agency – 10 Lessons Across 10 Years

With our ten lessons from ten years as a content marketing agency you can save time, money and stress by reading this now!

Gerrit Grunert: A HubSpot Interview with CIO Applications

What does an international company have to consider when choosing a German HubSpot partner? Gerrit Grunert reveals this in an interview. Read it now!

SEO in Real Life

Here we explain how Google works with a small, real-life theater game from our SEO workshop. Learn more here!

How To Create A Persona - Methodical Content Marketing

Why are personas important for content marketing? How many do you need? Read about this and more in Gerrit's new book "Methodical Content Marketing".

The Digital Transformation Of The PR Agency

How can PR agencies embrace the digital? This article by Crispy Content® reveals how PR agencies can master digital transformation in 4 easy steps.

An Interview With Territory’s Director Sandra Harzer-Kux

Crispy Content® interviews Territory's Managing Director about the hot topic of content marketing. Read about the first half here!

Campaign Management 101: Campaign Layering

Ever wondered how you can convey brand values in a more creative way across multiple platforms? This blog provides an intro campaign layering.

Methodical Content Marketing: Persona Pt. 1

What advantages does persona development have for both sales and marketing teams? What can they add to content marketing? Read more about this works.

Reputation Marketing and ROI

Reputation management has ROI? Yes! And it should be considered reputation marketing instead! How does this work? Read more in this blog to find out!

How Much Does A Content Marketing Strategy Cost?

How much does a content marketing strategy cost? Which aspects go into developing a strategy? The content experts at Crispy Content® break this down.

Mo' Money, No Problems – the Live Show from Searchmetrics Summit

How you can use an optimized customer journey to win over customers and many other topics in our Live Show from Searchmetrics Summit 2017!

Marketing Automation – From Persona to Personalization

Buyer personas are important, but how should you get your message across to individual users? Personalisation as an tool of marketing automation is the key.

Checklist: Competitiveness Analysis in Content Marketing

Only those with an eye on the competitiveness can position their content marketing strategy successfully. Here’s a handy checklist.

Return On Content Marketing Investment

You’ve invested in a content marketing strategy – but has it been worth it? We show you how to calculate the ROI for your content marketing.

Conversion Optimisation in Content Marketing

In this blog post, we show you how to optimise your conversion rate within your lead generation activities.

Content Marketing Strategy vs. Content Marketing Campaign

Campaigns are the beating heart of a content marketing strategy, not merely the icing on the cake. Here’s a recipe to try “at home”.

How to Find the Right Content Marketing Agency

Finding the right content marketing agency can be tricky. These are our insider tips:

Predictive Lead Scoring – A Glimpse Into the Future

Predictive lead scoring builds on traditional methods, but exploits the possibilities of modern technology much more effectively. We show, how it's done!

Big Data in Content Marketing

Here, you can learn why big data is so important to your marketing activities and how your company can best process user-generated data masses.

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Those wishing to invest in content marketing require a tailored strategy. In six easy stages, we show you how to get one.

Lead Scoring: The Highest Form of B2B Marketing

We show you how to use lead scoring to evaluate potential customers more effectively and bridge the gap between marketing and sales.

Next Level Lead Nurturing

Turning leads into customers requires a care, time and a suitable strategy. Lead nurturing accelerates this process significantly.

Outstrip Your E-Commerce Competition

How can online retailers steer the purchase decisions of potential customers – in all phases of the buyer's journey?

The 3 Biggest Content Marketing Pitfalls

Bad content marketing is often marked by the same recurring errors – three of which are particularly severe.

Storytelling: Why the Brain loves Stories

Storytelling and mirror neurons? We explain how to use neuroscientific research to tell stories that will delight your customers.

7 Email Marketing Trends You Should Know

Those who allow email marketing trends to pass them by will soon be watching the competition do the same. It's essential to keep these 7 points in mind.

Conventional Marketing Doesn’t Work On Millennials

Millennials have announced it loud and clear: content marketing is the best way for marketers to reach their goals.

6 arguments why insurance companies should practice content marketing

How do insurance companies integrate content marketing into their marketing strategy?

5 arguments why financial services providers should practice content marketing

How important is content marketing to companies that deal with insurance, investment and financing and which strategies do they pursue?

Off-page analysis: Quality & quantity keywords

We’ll show you which SEO data is important for your keyword strategy and how you can benefit from your competitors’ success.

5 reasons hotel chains should practice content marketing

The Crispy Content Sector Review shows that hotel groups are still neglecting content marketing.

Six building blocks for successful localisation

We have created a checklist of the six building blocks of a high quality full service localisation.

Successful blogging: 5 really effective examples

We have compiled five blogs that are really successful in very different segments.

4 reasons tour operators should practice content marketing

In our Crispy Content Sector Review we examine what companies within a specific sector can achieve with content marketing.

7 easy steps to the perfect long tail keyword

How can you improve your ranking efficiently and sustainably without spending money on it? We’ll show you how!

Storytelling competence check: How to spot content marketing talents

How can you even tell if an agency or freelancer can offer the required storytelling potential? We have compiled the key indicators for you!

Content Marketing on Instagram: 5 successful examples

We’ll show you how to realise your brand’s content marketing strategy using Instagram.

Content Marketing: 9 tips for a successful blog promotion

Networking, Social Media Marketing and Reposting: That's how you seed your Blog Content!

Your successful content marketing cycle in 6 steps

These 6 steps will help you develop your very own content marketing cycle.