Connect with us


A 4-Step Customer Journey Map Process for Better Content Results [Template]



A 4-Step Customer Journey Map Process for Better Content Results [Template]

Did you bring a map (digital or otherwise) with you on your last road trip? Most people do – It’s the best way to ensure that you arrive exactly where you intended to go.

Yet relatively few marketers create a map when planning content. They should. A customer journey map is a great way to lead prospects and customers to a destination that meets their information needs (and your marketing goals.)

The journey mapping process also can provide the strategic direction your team needs to know what kind of content to create to help move website visitors and other prospects through the sales cycle.

Though journey mapping can seem like a complex and tedious time suck, it doesn’t have to be.

A streamlined journey mapping process helped fintech company Datasite transform random acts of content into connected, customer-centric experiences.

Convince & Convert’s Jenny Magic worked with Datasite Vice President of Marketing Americas Marcio Moerbeck to create the company’s customer journey maps. Here’s a detailed walkthrough of the process they followed (and a template you can use to get started) from their presentation at Content Marketing World 2021.

Marcio and Jenny also explain why customer journey maps are a critical part of any content marketing strategy and what they can help your brand achieve in this short video:

What is a customer journey map?

A journey map is a visual representation of the customer journey that defines:

  • All the points where customers and prospects interact with your brand
  • What they want to accomplish at each one
  • The path they take from point to point as they move toward a purchase

Jenny describes it as representing the intersection of buyer needs and your organization’s calls to action. “It’s thinking about what they need, what we need, what do we want them to do, and why would they want to do it. It helps content marketers get out of their own heads and see their brand through the eyes of customers,” she says.

Creating a customer journey map for your #ContentMarketing helps you see your brand through your prospects’ and customers’ eyes, says @JennyLMagic via @CMIContent @semrush. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

1649081311 39 A 4 Step Customer Journey Map Process for Better Content Results

Journey mapping is a marketer’s “secret superpower,” Jenny says. “The intersection of your brand strategy, your personas, and your journey maps is true content marketing gold.”

Why create customer journey maps?

Viewing your brand’s value through that lens helps you evolve your content experience to become more customer-centric.

That’s particularly important because customers want to do their own research. According to TrustRadius research, 87% of buyers want to self-serve part or all of their buying journey, and 57% of buyers already make purchase decisions without ever talking with a vendor representative.

87% of buyers want to self-serve part or all of their buying journey, and 57% already make purchase decisions without talking with a vendor rep, according to @trustradius #research via @joderama @CMIContent @semrush. Click To Tweet

And they’re less patient with marketing that prioritizes the brand’s messages and goals over a useful and contextually relevant content experience.

“Every single content preference study gives marketers a thumbs down on whether or not the content is objective versus being biased; whether it is focused on substance over style; whether it’s the right amount of material or an overwhelming volume, and finally, whether or not it’s extraneous to their research,” Jenny says. “This means [marketers] are not doing a fantastic job telling them what they need to know to make that decision.”

Working through the mapping process keeps you focused on customers by:

  • Enabling cross-team alignment around customer needs: The mapping process brings sales, marketing, and customer support together to define what customers need to know before they buy, what they need after they purchase, and the stories marketing can tell to support those interactions.
  • Guiding content priorities: It’s easy for teams to get distracted by the next shiny object, the next social media channel, or some exciting idea from the C-suite. A journey map that clearly articulates audience needs helps ensure the team stays true to what your audience wants and needs.
  • Inspiring customer-centric content. Auditing your content during the mapping process can reveal topic gaps you should create content to fill.

ADVERTISEMENT1649081311 212 A 4 Step Customer Journey Map Process for Better Content Results

The State of Content Marketing 2022 Global Report

Looking to grow your business with content? Explore the ultimate blueprint for content marketing success: the State of Content Marketing 2022 Global Report by Semrush. 500K articles analyzed. 1,500 marketers surveyed. 9 industry experts surveyed. Download your free copy now! 


A streamlined customer journey mapping process and template

Jenny recommends a customer journey process that focuses on a narrow set of information selected to help you plan more effectively and create higher-performing content.

I’ll walk you through the steps of this process, using a template Jenny built in Airtable to illustrate the steps (you can access her template here). You can use Excel, Google Sheets, or any other project management tool to create a similar tracker.

Step 1: Define your personas 

1649081311 96 A 4 Step Customer Journey Map Process for Better Content Results

Click to enlarge

List your customer personas in the first tab on the far left of this template and fill in their most important characteristics. Jenny’s example shows details for three personas (A, B, and C), including their job titles, who they report to, and their role in the decision-making process.

If you haven’t yet created detailed customer profiles as part of your content marketing strategy development, consider this quick-start personas guide.

For journey mapping, Jenny recommends including only those details that are relevant to the decision journey – mindset and motivation.

These are the must-have insights she includes:

  • Triggers: What drives their interest in changing their current solution or taking action on a new purchase?
  • Influences: Who or what influences them on decisions like this?
  • Value proposition: Which of your advantages and benefits will resonate with them most?
  • Motivations and frustrations: Why have they chosen to engage with your business, and what do they need to do or solve right now?

TIP: To avoid bringing unintentional biases into your work, don’t give your personas names. “If we use a gendered name like ‘Driven Daniel,’ we instantly picture a male, and that may not be [relevant] to the decision process,” Jenny says.

Don’t give gendered names to your audience personas because that can introduce unintentional biases in your #ContentMarketing, says @JennyLMagic via @CMIContent @semrush. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Step 2: Define your calls to action (CTAs)

1649081311 942 A 4 Step Customer Journey Map Process for Better Content Results

Click to enlarge

In the second tab, fill in your top 20 or so business CTAs – the activities that drive consumers toward a purchase decision.

Jenny says marketers tend to rush through this step or skip it entirely. But this step keeps content teams focused on desirable business outcomes rather than vanity metrics.

Think about these CTAs in terms of the behaviors you want to drive, such as:

  • Assessing readiness to make a purchase decision
  • Learning how to evaluate our type of solution
  • Requesting a demo

Bring sales and customer support teams into your planning conversations to share insights and real-world scenarios at this stage.

“Sales might have a whole set of activities that they’re judged and rewarded on that are often very different from the [marketing team’s] CTAs – and very different from what the support team wishes our clients knew once they signed on the dotted line,” Jenny says.

She recommends bringing the teams together and getting them to agree on which CTAs to prioritize. Although this part of the process can feel arduous, Marcio confirms that it delivers important benefits: “The great moment of this exercise was that we came to a consensus on a set of CTAs that we can go and activate. Be patient and be resilient through that process because, for us, that was the win,” says Marcio.

Get sales, customer support, and marketing together to agree on which business calls to action to prioritize in your #ContentMarketing, says @JennyLMagic @AskMarcio via @CMIContent @semrush. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Step 3: Define your customer experience

Once you’ve defined your audience targets and CTAs, use the Journey Map tab to align the persona details and journey stages with your content and CTAs. You can also fill in the emotions that likely drive your persona’s actions at each journey stage (as Jenny has done in this example). But don’t worry about the content column just yet – you’ll have that information once you do the audit in Step 4.

1649081311 482 A 4 Step Customer Journey Map Process for Better Content Results

Click to enlarge

When filling in these fields, don’t nitpick every word choice or haggle over the fine details. Just summarize the essential information. In the remaining columns, Jenny recommends distilling your customer insights into answers to these four questions:

Think of this step as a narrative exercise that results in a first draft, Jenny says. It’s not meant to serve as a definitive resource to answer all your content planning questions.

Step 4: Audit your existing content

A comprehensive content audit is never a bad idea. But Jenny suggests speeding things up for journey mapping with this focused approach:

  • List the titles of only your 50 highest-performing evergreen content pieces. They’ll serve as a representative sample of your best content.
  • Determine which of your CTAs would be most relevant for each asset.

In Jenny’s full template (not pictured), you’ll see additional fields you can fill in if they’re important to your business (such as the asset’s URL, and target formats and channels).

But even if you just outline the content you have and the CTAs each one aligns with, the process will reveal two key content insights:

  • Gaps: You’ll find out if you lack content for specific CTAs or topics. This insight will help you set priorities for future content creation.
  • Waste: You’ll identify topics you’ve covered sufficiently (or more often than you need to). You can deprioritize these topics in your list of new content to create.

Transform random acts of content into connected customer experiences

These steps help you create the framework for a living content plan you can build on by adding more insights and ideas over time. As you brainstorm new content pieces or look for ways to refresh and repurpose the assets you’ve already created, use this template to set priorities and track results through your creation and distribution workflows.

Deciding what content pieces to create – and how to connect them to provide a seamless, customer-focused experience – can seem intimidating in the absence of a linear process. Try Jenny’s suggestions to help simplify your decision-making, increase your strategic focus, and achieve better marketing results.

Want to learn how to balance, manage, and scale great content experiences across all your essential platforms and channels? Join us at ContentTECH Summit (May 31-June 2) in San Diego. Browse the schedule or register today. Use the code BLOG100 to save $100.

Note: No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools (from your company or ones you’ve used) in the comments.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

Treasure Data 800x450

Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
Ecommerce CertificationEcommerce Certification

Become A Certified E-Commerce Marketing Master

The Industry’s Most Comprehensive E-Commerce Marketing Certification For The Modern Marketer. Turn Products Into Profit, Browsers Into Buyers, & Past Purchasers Into Life-Long Customers

Click here

Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]



How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]

It’s no wonder that responsive search ads have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Through Google’s machine learning capabilities, RSAs provide a powerful way to automate the testing of multiple headlines and descriptions to ensure a closer match to user intent. The benefits are clear: RSAs mean broader reach, better engagement, and improved performance metrics.

However, all these benefits come at a significant (but reasonable) cost – they can be extremely difficult to manage, especially when it comes to updating ad copy to promote limited time offers.

I know this firsthand – I work with several ecommerce clients with promotions that constantly change. Not too long ago, I found myself going through the consistently tedious process of updating a client’s RSA headlines and copy. As I was making the changes, I thought to myself: “There must be a better way to update this ad copy. I shouldn’t have to use find and replace so many times while pausing and enabling my ad campaigns.”

After expressing this to my colleague, Jordan Stambaugh, the two of us agreed there must be a better way. But we’d have to make it happen. A few weeks later, we put that idea into action and created a more efficient process for updating RSA ad copy on a scheduled basis. If you want to try this process for yourself, just keep reading.

Responsive Search Ad Customizers 101: Basic Options & Execution

Before diving into the process of scheduling automatic updates for your RSA customizers, it’s essential to understand some key Responsive Search Ad fundamentals.

First, you can customize three main options within RSAs: the Attribute Name, the Data Type, and the Account Value. Each of these plays a vital role in personalizing your ads:

  • Attribute Name: This is essentially the identifier for the customizer. It is how you’ll reference the specific piece of information you’re customizing within the ad. For instance, if you’re running a promotion, you might name an attribute “Promotion.”
  • Data Type: This indicates the kind of data the attribute represents and it determines how the information can be formatted and used within the ad. Common data types include Text (for plain, non-numeric text), Percent (to represent percentage discounts), Price (to denote monetary values), and Number (for any numerical value).
  • Account Value: This is the default value for the attribute that you set at the account level. It acts as a fallback if more specific values aren’t provided at the campaign or ad group level.

For example, if you wanted to promote a 10% off discount using RSAs, you’d use the “Discount” attribute, a data type of “Percent,” and an account value of “10% off.” Then, when someone is searching for products, Google would test automatically inserting a copy regarding a 10% off promotion into your ad.

Once you’ve set up the right customization options, you can start to format your RSAs with customizers.

Here’s how:

  • Start by typing in {
  • Click on Ad Customizer then select your attribute
  • Google will populate your attributes that are already uploaded
  • For a simple offer, use the “Default text” attribute as a catch-all. This will ensure your ads run smoothly if Google can’t pull the right messaging from your RSA feed



How to Schedule Your Ad Customizers with a Feed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s cover how to schedule your ad customizers.

Just follow this three step process:

1. Create the feed

Start by creating two sheets: The Parent sheet, and the Child sheet. The “Parent” sheet will act as the primary data source, while the child sheet will pull data from the parent sheet.

We’ll start by building the parent sheet. After opening the sheet, start by renaming the active tab to “Promotions.” Don’t skip this step, it’s crucial for referencing this range in formulas later on.

In your “Promotions” tab, head to the top row and label columns A, B, and C with the headers of your ad customizer attributes. For example, you might have “BrandSaleHeadline” as your attribute in column A, “text” as the Data Type in column B, and “Shop the Collection” as the Account Value in column C.

Once your headers are in place, move to cell C2. Here, you’ll input the expression =lookup(today(),F:G,E:E). This formula will play a key role in dynamically updating your RSA customizer based on the current date.

Next, go to columns E, F, and G, which will be used to manage your scheduling. In these columns, you’ll list out the different values your chosen attribute might take, alongside their corresponding start and end dates. For example, under the “BrandSaleHeadline” attribute, you might schedule various promotional headlines to appear during different sale periods throughout the year.

Here’s how your sheet might look:

Now look back at the first 3 columns on your sheet. They should look like this:

Now create a second sheet. We’ll call this sheet the Child sheet. It’s going to automatically pull in data from the parent sheet you just created, and will be the one you link to Google Ads later on.

Columns A, B and C will be almost identical to the child sheet, but we will be using a special formula later so we can automatically populate this. So, start by labeling Row 1 Column A “Attribute,” then the next column as “Data type,” then column C as “Account value.” 

Then go to C2 and use this expression to populate the right account value from the parent document: =importrange(“[PARENT DOCUMENT URL HERE]”,”Promotions!C2″)

Your sheet should now look like this:

We recommend adding a date range with default text for any days you’re  not running a promotion. In the example above, we have “Shop Our Collection” appearing as default text.

2. Input attributes

Once you have your feed created, the next step involves inputting your attributes into the Google Ads platform. This can be done either manually or through a bulk upload.

For the manual approach, navigate to “Tools & Settings” in your Google Ads interface, then go to ‘Setup’ followed by “Business Data.” Here, you’ll find an option for “Ad Customizer Attributes.” Click the plus sign to add your attributes. It’s crucial to use the same attribute names that you’ve established in your Parent Google Sheet template to ensure consistency and proper data synchronization.



Alternatively, if you prefer the bulk upload method, again head to “Tools & Settings.” This time, select “Bulk Actions” and then “Uploads.” For this process, you only need to upload columns A to C from your template. 

Be aware that it might take some time for your uploaded attributes to be reflected in the business data section of Google Ads.

3. Set up an automatic schedule

At this point, you’ve almost finished scheduling your ad customizers. Navigate to Tools & Settings, then Bulk Actions, then Uploads, then click the Schedules tab at the top. Select your Child Google Sheet as the data source, and share your Google Sheet with the appropriate email.



And there you have it – Google will automatically pull in the data you populated in the sheets into your RSAs.

Common Challenges When Scheduling RSA Ad Customizers

When we test these sheets with our clients in the wild, we’ve uncovered five common challenges. Be on the lookout for these issues – solving them before they happen can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Not scheduling your upload when the site changes 

The first and most significant hurdle is the mismatch between the scheduled data upload and website content updates. For instance, if the Google Sheet is set to upload at 11 am, but the website changes occur at 3 pm, there’s going to be a discrepancy where the wrong message could be displayed for several hours, or new messaging could appear prematurely. Conversely, if the website updates happen before the scheduled sheet upload, outdated promotions might linger until the new data is imported. Synchronizing these schedules is crucial; it’s best to align them so updates occur simultaneously.

Skipping QA during a message change

Another pitfall is neglecting quality assurance (QA) during message updates. It’s vital to regularly check the business data section to verify that the correct values are in place post-update.

Issues with the IMPORTRANGE function

Then there’s the technical aspect of setting up the IMPORTRANGE function correctly in the Google Sheets template. The ‘child’ template must reliably pull data from the ‘parent’ sheet. If this function isn’t configured correctly, data won’t be imported as needed.

Not sharing access of the Google template for automatic uploads

Pay attention to your access permissions for the Google Sheets template. Google will prompt you with the email address that needs permission to access the ‘child’ sheet for automatic uploads. Overlooking the sharing of your sheet with this address will prevent the system from working.

Having date range gaps in your parent sheet

Lastly, a common oversight is leaving date range gaps in the ‘parent’ sheet. Every single date must be accounted for without overlaps. A practical tip is to have an ‘evergreen’ backup message ready, scheduled to run continuously, ideally through the end of the year, to cover any potential gaps.


Leveraging Google Sheets in conjunction with Google Ads to schedule RSA ad customizers is a game-changer for managing dynamic promotional content. This process not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures that your ads remain relevant and up-to-date, reflecting current promotions without the need for constant manual intervention. 

By adopting this method, you’ll save significant time and effort, allowing you to focus more on strategy and less on the minutiae of ad copy updates. Give it a try and experience a more efficient way to manage your RSAs, keeping your campaigns fresh and engaging with minimal hassle.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading