Content
 

SEA in Transition: How to Optimise Your Marketing by Mapping the Customer Journey

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Sven Balnojan    26/03/15

Search Engine Advertising (SEA), Social Media

 

   

 

Previously It was enough just to activate Google SEA in order to reach almost all your potential customers. Nowadays, however, your customers are using LinkedIn and other such channels, which can also be utilised for advertising. So how does a digital marketer decide where to allocate the budget in order to reach customers most effectively?

It is becoming more and more important to know and understand the target group and their search habits. Analysing and mapping the customer journey has become more relevant since the diversification of search channels. Thumbnail_SEAimWandel_280x140.jpg

 

 

Step 1: How to influence and improve the customer journey

 

A customer journey is an interactive process whereby a “typical” customer might travel over various media before converting to a specific company or brand. It is not always clear what is meant by this. Offline events can be part of this journey, just as can the type of device used or what clicks are made on LinkedIn or a company newsletter.

 

 

Step 2: How to identify customer touchpoints

 

It is relatively easy to identify possible touchpoints, but it is more difficult to evaluate them. In general there are three methods to determine the importance of a touchpoint:

  1. Experience and your own marketing channels
  2. Questionnaires
  3. Statistical procedures

 

 

Step 3: How to assess the route taken

 

The final step is for the marketer to fully understand the complete “journey“; i.e., how does a prospect move from one touchpoint to another and to ascertain whether some customers get lost on the way or travel over touchpoints that the marketer has not yet taken into consideration.

The actual measurement and analysis of traffic presents an important challenge: how can the website’s tracking tool know that person X, who arrives via an SEA advertisement, is the same as the prospect from a LinkedIn advertisement? And how do we know that a prospect who came via Twitter, also rang up offline?

There are many theoretical approaches and methods to obtain this information, but we would like to present 3 of the simplest below: 

  1. Marketing Automation Tools are mainly based on the premise that the marketer provides the “searcher” with as many opportunities as possible to disclose their identity; i.e. the prospect or the existing customer are offered contact and call-back forms, registration for a newsletter subscription or sign-ins so that, no matter from which device, the prospect’s or customer’s profile can be recognised. Cross channel tracking via social media logins is also based on the fact that, for example, a Facebook login is identified.
  2. With the aid of a tool that classifies a visitor’s company data (important in the B2B sector, e.g. effective.tracking) it is possible to see immediately that the company XY were first attracted by a LinkedIn campaign, then subscribed to a newsletter and later clicked on the “display telephone number” box.
  3. With the aid of a Google forwarding phone number or a link between the CRM data and Analytics data, callers can be identified with the data from the web tracking system. Furthermore, it is possible to determine whether the caller had previously visited the website and which Google advertisements he/she had viewed and clicked.

Once the customer journey has been mapped in this way, the marketer can ascertain whether a media channel is missing from the route taken. The data captured in graphic form might, for example, show that only 50% of leads were generated from a LinkedIn or SEA campaign and that another important touchpoint is missing.

 

 

Conclusions

 

Digital marketing is constantly evolving and changing. SEA is no longer a simple process; it has to be augmented by the knowledge gained from an analysis of the customer journey. It is not essential to track in detail the activity of each individual visitor, the aim is to allocate the marketing budget more efficiently than in the past. If Analytics tools such as those described in Step 3 above are implemented correctly, the improvements can be measured in hard currency.