Journey Maps: Past and Present

A journey map is exactly what it sounds like: it is a tool that shows you the journey that your customer takes when they interact with your brand.

A journey map considers the priorities and feelings of a potential customer (outlined in your personas) and uses that information to forecast the decisions and influences that ultimately lead the individual to not just make a purchase from you, but hopefully feel satisfied enough to tell their friends and return for more.

In order to create effective journey maps, it is important to understand what the customer journey used to look like, and how it has evolved to what it looks like today.

What Journey Maps Used to Look Like

Similar to the experience of the customer before advanced digital technology, journey maps used to be linear. They sought to identify how the customer became aware of the brand, what steps they took to consider the purchase, and ultimately what caused the decision whether or not to purchase.

The sale that occurred was the culmination of their journey, and the only way the company could hope to influence the customer to return was by having delivered an exceptional product.

With the many additional touchpoints available now to communicate with customers, today’s journey maps look much less linear.

What Journey Maps Look Like Now

The journey maps of your customers today are cyclical: they begin when your customer first hears about you, and they don’t end until the customer either stops hearing about you, or asks to stop hearing from you (opts out).

Today’s journey maps include awareness, consideration, and decision-making, but they often include these steps happening on multiple occasions from many different channels, and involve the customer making multiple decisions.

For example, a customer becomes aware of a restaurant that offers online ordering and curbside pickup when they see an advertisement on Facebook, right around dinner time. They consider the offering after a busy, stressful day when their stomach is growling, and make the decision to purchase a to-go order from the restaurant.

The journey doesn’t end there. There are many digital tools that the restaurant could employ to convince the customer to return and take advantage of new offerings. As long as the customer keeps hearing about the company, the journey continues.

The next question would then be: What digital tools and technology will best enable the customer’s continuous and multi-part journey? How do you help customer find their way using a seamless, high-functioning Google Maps app rather than a bulky and heavy atlas? *No offense to anyone who prefers to use atlases.

To find out the answers to these questions, plus view a sample journey map, view our latest insights report: Choosing the Right Digital Solution.