The Customer Value Journey: How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy

Written by Shaun de Burgh
on 14 Oct 2019

For those of you who are visual learners, watch our video on how to create a digital marketing strategy with the Customer Value Journey.

For entrepreneurs and small-to-medium business owners, knowing how to create a digital marketing strategy is complicated — with the ever-changing landscape of online advertising, working out how to attract potential customers better than your competitors can be overwhelming. This is why we want to introduce you to the Customer Value Journey.

Understanding how potential customers go from being completely unaware of who you are, to actively promoting your product everywhere they go, is a problem that’s plagued marketers since long before the internet. While there are many strategies you can implement which may generate some results, none do this more predictably and systematically than the Customer Value Journey

Some marketers prefer Facebook, others, Google. However, it’s essential to realise that the platform you are advertising on is not what generates results. Instead, it’s the way in which you conduct this advertising. It’s this which really drives results, conversions and ultimately, ROI.

This is why we use a digital marketing strategy which spans multiple touchpoints in a potential customers’ interaction with a brand, product or service. This is a journey from the first time a potential customer interacts with you, right through to when they become an advocate and promoter for your business.

The Customer Value Journey (CVJ) is the strategic cornerstone for everything we do at Caffeinate Digital. From what we provide to our clients, do for ourselves and teach at our workshops. So in this article, we’re going to touch on what the Customer Value Journey is and how to create a digital marketing strategy that works by using it.

What is marketing?

For us here at Caffeinate Digital, the role of marketing (and digital marketing) is simple. It’s to move prospects and customers seamlessly and subtly through each phase of the Customer Value Journey. As we progress further through this article, we’ll look inside each stage of the Customer Value Journey and better explain them.

Before we begin, it’s important to remember that no two Customer Value Journeys are the same because, for each segment, you need to create an entirely new version of the Customer Value Journey that relates to that segment. This ensures each potential customer is being provided with a Journey that’s personalised to their needs and interests.

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The problem with marketing today…

The problem with marketing and the average business marketing strategy is that businesses love talking about themselves and they always have.

They tend to focus too much on how their product or service outperforms their competitors, instead of addressing the pain points of their target demographic.

To succeed in marketing, you need to understand that prospective customers are looking for a solution to a problem, an answer to a question, they don’t care if a business can crush its competition.

Imagine if someone stops you on the street and asks you on a date, then on the date, they only talk about how many children both of you are going to have and what their names will be… I feel uncomfortable just thinking about it!

While we are on the subject of dates, and children, let’s talk about human intimacy…

How does human intimacy happen?

I want to introduce you to Desmond Morris. Morris is a zoologist who researched intimacy among animals before transferring his research to the most interesting animal of them all: humans.

In his studies, Morris wanted to understand human intimacy, but more specifically, how human beings go from being complete strangers to becoming intimate, having children and sleeping together.

During the course of this study, Morris’ research allowed him to map out 12 steps of intimacy among humans.

They are as follows:
  1. Eye to Body 
  2. Eye to Eye
  3. Voice to Voice
  4. Hand to Hand
  5. Arm to Shoulder
  6. Arm to Waist / Back (Hug)
  7. Mouth to Mouth
  8. Hand to Head
  9. Hand to Body
  10. Mouth to Body
  11. Hand to ______
  12. Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow

What’s interesting about Morris’ research, he found that the order of steps is paramount to its success, and skipping just one of them; you have an 87% chance of failure. What’s more, is if you skip two or more steps, you’ve assaulted someone.

What’s this got to do with marketing?

The Customer Value Journey 

Now, we’re not trying to sleep with our customers. Instead, we only want to implement an effective marketing strategy. So we’ve broken down Desmond Morris’ twelve stages, into eight. It’s these eight stages (listed below) where you’ll learn how to create a digital marketing strategy through the Customer Value Journey.

Better yet, you can implement it today:

Customer Value Journey Roadmap: How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy

Step 1: Aware

The first step is to put yourself on your potential customers’ radar. You can do this through several means including advertising, blog posts, word of mouth, social media, events or any other channel that’s appropriate for your service/product that results in getting yourself in front of your ideal audience. At this stage, you want your audience to be interacting & consuming content that informs or entertains them and encourages “liking” your brand.

Step 2: Engage

Here is where online advertisers most commonly make a fatal mistake. They do this by skipping this stage, and jumping straight to asking a customer to “buy my stuff” without indoctrinating them.

Instead, you will want to build more of a relationship with your potential customer by directing them to content in which they can engage. This is often a blog post, article or video which answers the burning question they’re asking, and without trying to sell or pressure them into anything more, purely, by having them engage with us organically and pleasantly… with no strings attached!

Doing this, you establish yourself as an authority in your field, indoctrinate the customer and build a level of rapport which other advertisers are missing. We can then retarget these customers using interruption advertising (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc) using a lead magnet.

NOTE: You do not want to be selling the prospect anything until the lead magnet. Just answer their questions.

(READ: What is a Lead Magnet and How to Use it in Your Sales Funnel)

Step 3: Subscribe

This stage is where we’re going to offer customers something in which they simply can’t refuse, and in exchange, we get their contact details.

This could be anything, such as a coupon, a discount, or even just information about the product or service you offer, at Caffeinate Digital we call this a trip-wire.

We’re going to use social media, banner advertising, and basically all forms of interruption advertising here to retarget the customer that you engaged in the engagement stage.

Step 4: Convert

The customer clicks on your ad and exchanges their name, their phone number, and their email address for the coupon. This is where we move to the conversion stage; conversion does not mean the core offer, conversion is where the customer gives us a little bit of time or a little bit of money.

Step 5: Excite

Once you have their time or a little bit of their money, even if it is only a dollar, you need to excite the customer and provide them with real value.

If you can provide real value, purchasing your core offer will become automatic. You do this by giving your customer a memorable experience, such as bonus content or features that surprise and delight, quick wins, or anything that makes your new customers happy.

Buying generates excitement, and by over-delivering wherever possible, the customer will leave feeling like they have just made an excellent purchasing decision.

Step 6: Ascend (Core Offer)

This is the first real purchase, where your potential customer becomes a customer and purchases your core offer. Now, remember, if you got the previous step right, this will be automatic, from here you climb the ladder, upselling your core offer with profit maximisers.

Step 7: Advocate

There is no better way to grow your business, than with advocacy, because happy customers are, funnily enough, happy to share their positive experience with your brand, they just need a little nudge to do so.

So ask for a Google Review, a Facebook Review and to be recommended to their friends and family. You’ll be shocked by the number of people who’re happy to help.

The great thing about this is that once someone advocates your brand, they become even more loyal, which takes us to our last stop on the Customer Value Journey

Step 8: Promote

After a customer has circled the Excite, Ascend and Advocate stages, and repeats’ purchasing your product or service, they will eventually progress into a Promoter.

Promoters are people who actively go out of their way to recommend you to friends, family, and strangers they meet on the street. The most effective way of creating active promoters is to build a community around your brand. 

Active promotion may also be an affiliate, commission-based relationship or just a free offer for sending some new customers your way but it’s a win-win for all!

Young man on phone and laptop, happy with his business after learning how to create a digital marketing strategy

Helping people on their Customer Value Journey

At its core, digital marketing is about assisting potential customers in moving along each step of the Customer Value Journey faster. You need a strategy, not just one gimmick or disjointed campaigns.

You need to address every stage of the roadmap and think about how you can optimise the customer experience through each step, finding the gaps in your strategy & pulling it together, so that it gets people excited about interacting with your business.

Reminder*: There is no one-size-fits-all solution to marketing. So, before you start creating content, make sure you understand who it is that you are trying to reach, by defining your target audience.

If you’re interested in how we can apply this system to your business, we’re offering a chunk of value in exchange for your contact information…

Join us for one of our workshops, In them we discuss the Customer Value Journey in more detail and are available to answer your questions.

We want to hear from you! Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to keep up with us, get our notifications and start a conversation! 

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