Customer Journey Maps

August 14, 2020


How Can Marketers Best Utilize Customer Journey Maps?


Customer journey mapping is a buzzword all marketers have heard by now, although with evolving technology, this journey continues to morph and reshape. This fast-paced change is especially challenging right now due to the implications and impact of COVID-19, which has quickly changed the way people shop and consume information and products.

According to Salesforce, customer journey mapping is the process of creating a customer journey map, which is essentially a visual story of your customers' interactions with your brand. This exercise helps businesses step into the customer's shoes and imagine the various touchpoints and business landscape from the customer's perspective. Meeting consumer needs at precisely the right moment with right message at the right place is the goal of excellent advertising, which includes perfecting the consumer journey.

Ashu Arg, general partner at Foundation Capital, stated that a marketers' "biggest priorities for digital transformation are marketing-related issues: transforming the customer experience, commerce, and marketing communication." For brands to move forward in challenging times, effectively utilizing customer journey maps is the first step to creating a holistic, omnichannel approach.

Below are helpful best practices, surveys, and case studies.

Customer Journey Mapping During the Pandemic

  • Customer Journey Mapping in a Crisis. Forrester, June 2020
    In this podcast, Forrester Principal Analyst Joana Quintanilha discusses how customer journey mapping can help firms find clarity in the midst of constant customer behavior shifts.
    • Journey maps are, by design, dynamic documents that can (and should) be amended to reflect reality on the ground.
    • With good journey maps in hand, customer experience (CX) teams can determine where to put resources to fulfill customers' current needs.
    • In this related article, Forrester's Quintanilha outlines three key priorities for virtual customer journeys during COVID-19.

Best Practices

  • The State of Mapping the Customer Journey. Hanover Research, December 2019.
    To help organizations understand how to best leverage customer journey maps, this gathers data on organizational behaviors and preferences for journey maps, including how companies use their maps, what makes maps an effective tool for decision making, and the impact they have within organizations.

  • Journey Mapping 101. Nielsen Norman Group.
    This article covers the basics: what a journey map is (and is not), related terminology, common variations, and how we can use journey maps.

  • How to Conduct Research for Customer Journey-Mapping. Nielsen Norman Group, February 2019.
    Recommends use of qualitative methods that allow direct interaction with or observation of users, such as interviews, field studies, and diary studies.

  • Walking in Their Footsteps—The Business Case for Customer Journey Mapping. Econsultancy/Salesforce, August 2019.

    This report, based on a survey of more than 1,266 marketing executives and interviews with brand marketers, explores the state of customer journey mapping, its impact, and organizational and business factors that contribute to its success.

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Customer Journey Map Templates

  • Customer Journey Map. ANA.
    See also: instructional video
    This chart tool allows you to identify the different stages of your customer's journey across five phases:
    1. Discovery/Research
    2. Evaluation/Comparison
    3. Decision/Purchase
    4. Implementation
    5. Support/Renew

  • HubSpot Customer Journey Map Templates
    Provides seven different templates for various scenarios such as customer present state, customer future state, customer service, and customer churn.

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  • Why the YMCA Believes in Journey-Mapping. ANA, May 2019.
    The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities details how they successfully used journey-mapping to learn more about its members and increase retention. Interesting factoid: Per this case study, 65 percent of journey-mapping programs fail to drive change.

  • Putting CX Measurement into Action. ANA, November 2019.
    Winning in the experience era requires companies to differentiate by focusing on the entire lifecycle and serving customers through a connected experience that goes beyond the product itself. Companies like Delta have continued to invest systematically in CX over the past decade, transforming an airline experience that was a dime-a-dozen into a best-in-class recognized experience. Similar stories can be told about USAA and, which prioritize CX to play and win in the experience era.

  • Buying a Tesla: An Exercise in Experience Mapping. UX Planet. July 2, 2019.

    A UX professional mapped out his personal journey toward buying a Tesla. Map here.

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"Consumer Journey Maps." ANA, August 2020.