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The Customer Value Journey (a Digital Marketing Strategy)

Understanding how your business gets new customers and aligning that to a proven sales process that will grow your company's revenue requires a solid digital marketing strategy.

If you want to develop an online digital marketing strategy that will generate awareness for your business, capture leads, convert those leads into buyers, and create raving fans and lifelong customers, then mapping your customer's journey is the place to start. This is called the Customer Value Journey and we map this out using a tool called the Value Journey Worksheet.

Strategy first, execution second

Companies tend to ask these questions all the time: “Can you help us with SEO?” “Can you manage our Facebook page?” “Can you build a website for us?” Those things are good and we could do all those things for you, but before you go and waste your money on standalone digital marketing strategies, you need to first map out how it will all work. How will you send traffic to your website? How will you convert viewers into leads? How will you acquire new customers, and maximize profits? This requires a systematic approach to digital marketing that utilizes multiple online strategies at every stage of your customer’s journey. The key factor to consider is how can you add value for your customer at each stage of the journey? To create a successful, integrated online digital marketing campaign, we need to first map your own Customer Value Journey using a tool such as the Value Journey Worksheet.

The Customer Value Journey is the blueprint, the roadmap, for every online digital marketing strategy that we implement here at Smart Web Ninja. We won’t start your campaign or any project for that matter, until we have mapped out your sales stages and understand how you get and retain customers. We need to understand your sales process, and think about how we can provide your customers with tons of value at every interaction they have with your company. Your customers need to receive value from you at every stage of the customer journey — from when they first learn about you and research you, all the way until they buy from you, and even further when they become your lifelong customer and advocate.

You already have a working journey if you're in business

Every business that currently has a customer has an existing Customer Value Journey in place. Whether or not you're intentional about what that journey looks like though is something else. But the good news is, we don’t need to invent a new roadmap for your business, we just need to map your unique customer journey by understanding your sales process and how you attract, engage, convert and retain customers. By understanding the various stages of your customer’s journey, we can align your marketing to your sales process, thus growing your company.

Mapping your Customer Value Journey requires you to strategize how you will add value to your customer at 8 specific stages of your customer’s journey, as shown in the image below using the Value Journey Worksheet:

The Customer Value Journey Worksheet by Digital Marketer

Keep reading for further details on the purpose of each stage, and the strategies you could deploy at each stage.

The 8 stages within the Customer Value Journey

Let's pretend for a moment that the relationship you have with your customer is similar to an intimate, romantic relationship between two humans. The reason we will use this metaphor is because the Customer Value Journey is an established marketing strategy inspired by the 12 stages of Human Intimacy, which is outlined in Desmond Morris’s influential book, “Intimate Behaviour: A Zoologist’s Classic Study of Human Intimacy.” The book outlines how humans go through 12 stages when developing intimate relationships. Similarly, to develop better relationships with your customer, your marketing and sales strategy need to focus on how to intentionally provide value at each stage of the customer relationship in order to build likability and trust, and ultimately advance buyers through each subsequent stage of the customer journey.

For each stage listed on this page, we will provide the context for 1) how it fits with the human relationship analogy, 2) how it fits with your online campaign and customer, and 3) which online digital marketing strategies to deploy.

STAGE 1: Aware

Analogy.

Imagine that your relationship with your customer is similar to a human intimate relationship that starts with two strangers. Let’s pretend for example, that you are a man and your customer is a woman, and you meet for the first time at a coffee shop. At this stage, the Aware stage, this is the first glance you share with one another, when you see each other for the first time. Is there chemistry? Can you picture yourself with each other? If there is perceived value in your first glance, only then would you consider further engaging in a conversation with one another.

Stage.

The Aware stage of the Customer Value Journey is where your potential customers discover that you exist and that you may have a solution that speaks to their pain, need, wants, or passion points. They may have heard about you through a referral, they may have seen you at a trade show, or, in the case of online digital marketing, they may have seen an ad of yours from Google or Facebook. If what they learn about you speaks deeply to their pain, need, wants, or passion points, only then will they engage further with you. For any marketing campaigns that we run, it is essential that the content we advertise or promote at the Aware stage is speaking directly to a specific customer segment’s specific needs and provides a solution.

Strategies.

  • Social media marketing and everything it encompasses, such as social media advertising, contests and other social strategies.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Google AdWords
  • Affiliate website, newsletter and social page features
STAGE 2: Engage
STAGE 3: Subscribe
STAGE 4: Convert
STAGE 5: Excite
STAGE 6: Ascend
STAGE 7: Advocate
STAGE 8: Promote

Something to keep in mind

In some cases, prospects and customers may be able to skip one to three stages of the journey if they are ready to buy. But in most cases, leads/prospects won’t skip steps, so don’t try to either.

For example, don't expect to sell your highest priced core offer through a Facebook post. People seeing that for the first time may not know you or trust you yet. Doing that is like proposing marriage when you’re only at the Engage stage of the relationship. You will likely creep people out and then they won’t buy from you. You need to first show them that you understand their pain, needs, wants, or passion points, and build trust, before you ever even pitch a sale. Be intentional with every stage of the journey, adding value at every interaction.

Schedule Your Free Strategy Call

The Customer Value Journey is the blueprint, the roadmap, for every online digital marketing strategy that we implement here at Smart Web Ninja. We won’t start your campaign or any project for that matter, until we have mapped out your sales stages and understand how you get and retain customers. We need to understand your sales process, and think about how we can provide your customers with tons of value at every interaction they have with your company. Your customers need to receive value from you at every stage of the customer journey — from when they first learn about you and research you, all the way until they buy from you, and even further when they become your lifelong customer and advocate.

Mapping your customer acquisition strategy is a productive first step if you want to achieve long term digital marketing success. Our Smart Ninja Intensive is focused on mapping out the entire Customer Value Journey for your business, along with making sure you have a great product/market fit, and more!

But let's not skip any steps here! Before we move to the Smart Ninja Intensive, let's just hop on a Strategy Call and see if it makes sense to continue having a conversation together.

The "Customer Value Journey" is the work of DigitalMarketer and is the copyright of Digital Marketer Labs, LLC, and may not be reprinted or redistributed in any way, except by trained and licensed Certified Partners, of which Smart Web Ninja is a Digital Marketer Certified Partner.