| 5 MIN READ

Learn How to Turn Strangers Into Fans Using a Customer Value Journey

Did you know 73% of consumers agree that customer experience helps to drive their buying decisions? This is why it is so important to understand how your company is messaging prospective buyers along their customer journey, to ensure they don’t get stuck on the path to purchase. 
The best way to optimize the buying experience for your product or service is to build a customer value journey strategy. Continue reading to discover the importance of customer value journey marketing and how you can get started. 


What Is the Customer Value Journey?


There are eight stages in the customer value journey. Each stage is built to help break down and track your customers throughout their experience with your business. 
Understanding where your customers are in their buying journey ensures that you’re messaging is targeted and shown to the right people at the right time. This method is customer-centric instead of company-centric, which can result in more sales and higher customer acquisition.
Here is what each phase of the customer value journey looks like.

Awareness 


The awareness stage is the first time someone will see your brand. This stage is an opportunity to get people who don’t know you, to notice your product or service. 
Out of all of the customer journey stages, gaining awareness can be one of the most difficult. This is a brand’s chance to make a positive first impression. The awareness stage is also a chance to showcase how your product or service can help solve a consumer’s problem. 
There are a few digital tactics a company can use in this first stage of customer journey marketing. These include paid and organic social media, SEO, and more. You want to impress the consumer enough to view or click your content.
Once you’ve gained a prospect’s attention, they then move on to the engagement stage. 


Engagement


The engagement stage is all about content marketing. In this stage, it’s important to cater your content towards what makes the most sense for your brand. This can be a difficult task, but showing the right content for your brand is crucial in moving your prospects further down the customer journey map. 
If your product or service is more educational, it might make sense to build an infographic or a how-to article. If you’re selling a consumer product, you may want to invest in an engaging video or an FAQ on how the product works. 
Content marketing is a great way to gain a consumer’s trust. In fact, 62% of customers state they are loyal to the brands they feel they can trust. Trust is instrumental in keeping a customer and gaining new ones. 
Once a customer has engaged with your content it’s time for the subscribe stage.


Subscribe


The subscribe stage is one of the most important stages in the customer value journey. This is where a company can generate actual leads by gathering contact information.
The awareness and engagement stages helped to build enough trust from your prospects that they find your content relative and want to know more. 
A great way to generate these leads is to offer these consumers something in return. This could include access to a live webinar, an exclusive e-book, or a free download. Be sure to make the contact form short enough so the customer isn’t overwhelmed, but long enough so you’re able to get the information you need.
Once you have their contact information, you can start converting!


Convert


The convert stage of the customer journey is a real chance for your prospects to become buyers! In this stage, you want to capitalize on the contact information you received in the subscribe phase.
Email marketing, for example, is a great way to continue speaking to your subscribers and push them further down the customer value journey. You can decide to build an email automation flow through a service, send personalized emails, or both depending on your company.
These emails should include an additional offer such as a free consultation or a free trial of your product or service. The goal of the convert stage is to start getting your subscribers excited about the offer you’ve given them.


Excite


The excitement stage is an opportunity for your brand to really shine and showcase how it can help solve the problems your consumers are facing. A free trial offered in the convert stage, for example, can be a great way to excite your prospects by letting them actually use the product. Once they’ve started using it, they will hopefully love it enough that they just have to buy it.
There are many great tactics you can use in this stage to get your subscribers excited about buying your product or service. This is where you can show off your amazing customer service skills by providing free resources and a human touch. In fact, having a great customer service team can provide even more benefits to your company than increased sales and customer acquisition. 
It’s important to guide your subscribers through this stage and not only get them excited but keep them excited. Use email to check in on them during their trial and offer your time and resources. This will also increase the trust they have in you and your brand.
Using the right tactics in this stage can be the make-it-or-break-it reason why your prospects choose to stop engaging with your company or ascend to buyer status. 


Ascend


The ascend stage is the final stage to showcase all of the value your brand offers. This is also an opportunity to upsell any additional products or services your company has. For example, if you run a lakehouse bed and breakfast, you may have rental kayaks or boats that you can add to the sale to offer more value to your customer. 
The goal of the ascend stage is to increase your customer value and in turn increase your customer satisfaction. The more satisfied your customer is at the end of the sale, the more likely they will be to advocate for your brand.


Advocate


If your customers have reached the advocate stage, they are, more than likely, very satisfied with your company. This is an opportunity to turn those happy customers into new happy customers! 
As a company, your job is to be sure people are speaking positively about your products and/or services. One big way to do this is to promote customer advocacy. Make it easy for your current customers to share their positive experiences with others.
Encourage them to share on social media or write reviews if they’ve used your product. Ask your top customers to write testimonials to share on your website and social platforms. If you’ve discovered a loyal group of customers willing to share their experiences and advocate for your brand, you can move them to the next and final stage. 

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Promote


In this stage, your advocates become brand promoters. This differs from the advocate stage because companies usually offer rewards programs in return. 
One way you can do this is through affiliate marketing. People can promote your brand through an affiliate link. You would then compensate that person each time their affiliate site is visited. This can open your audience and bring more traffic to your site.
You can also choose to work with influencers and start an influencer marketing campaign. Influencers can receive free products or discounted products for marketing your brand to their audiences. Be sure to choose influencers who align well with your product and/or service and your company’s values.
Whichever way you decide to promote your brand, be sure to choose authentic and genuine promoters whose audiences are trustworthy and loyal. 
Turning Strangers Into Fans With the Customer Journey
Using the customer value journey is a great way to manage and follow your prospects from strangers all the way to promoters. Instead of guessing when a consumer might buy into your brand, you can know exactly where your targeted customers are and the exact tactics you should use at each point in their buying journey. 
Now that you know what a customer value journey is, the importance it holds for your business, and the strategies and tactics you can use, it’s time to start!
Building a customer journey from scratch can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. It’s important to work with people who know exactly how to build and create these strategies from the ground up or can help problem-solve your current strategy to increase your results. 
Book a discovery call with Innovative Marketing today to start seeing the results you want through customer value journey marketing!