This post, written by Heart of the Customer Project Manager Cathy McLane, is the second in a week-long series about some of the ways journey mapping differs from traditional market research. Guest authors Corey Pawlak, Cathy McLane and Nicole Newton will share their expertise in recruiting and interviewing B2B customers, why 10-page reports are better than 50-page reports, and using video to bring the customer experience to life.
As a strategic communications advisor and program manager, I’ve seen my share of customer insights reports. They’ve ranged from 50 pages with data tables on every page to succinct PowerPoint presentations that have cool animations but very few actionable insights.
When I want to help move a business forward, I find data and insights that are meaningful and actionable for my clients. I look for clarity and moments of truth where – if we plan and execute well – we can make a real difference in customer attitudes or behaviors. The ‘holy grail’ that makes the research dollars worthwhile is connecting with a customer at “the” moment that moves them closer to the brand and meets business goals.
That’s why I look for research that gets at the heart of what my target audience is looking for. It’s important to understand what their relationship with the brand truly looks like. I ask, “what’s their journey in awareness and adoption?” An organization doesn’t need more data, they need the right data at the right time with a focus on the right moment in a customer journey.
The power of such an insight is incalculable. It can make it possible to know exactly what words to use in our communications to tell our customers, “we know you.” We know where to invest – in POP or advertising or with retention strategies – and we know how to better create empathy that drives both action and loyalty.
Journey mapping does not preclude market research. Sometimes complementary work is needed to better understand audience segments, and/or prioritize groups to know which stakeholders drive revenue, etc. Data from market research can be your friend – especially when working with leadership teams or data mavens. Having a better sense of everything from demographics to psychographics helps set the stage.
That said, to really move the business dial, customer journey data is what helps shape a program that makes a difference. It connects the dots across all the marketing and sales silos. It helps holistically showcase a customer’s relationship with the brand.
You don’t need 50 pages of customer insights across your audience spectrum. You need focused insights and the right kind of data to help pinpoint exactly where to place the levers and ensure brand success.