Consumer journey mapping

Consumer journey mapping


A human centred approach to communications planning

Photo by Clemens van Lay on Unsplash

No better time to start a journey

With more channels than ever before bombarding us with more messages than ever before, it is little wonder that the consumer experience has become so fragmented. Competition for attention has increased, which means brands are having to shout more loudly or get increasingly sneaky. The result — audience filters are getting sharper. Brands have to respond, and at BCM we believe this response should be founded on precision. Brands and advertisers have to be absolutely precise about how they deliver their message and find new ways of connecting with impact. A key tool in our BCM kit bag is Consumer Journey Mapping. Linking the journey is a must and when it’s done effectively, its able to connect all elements of a campaign to deliver work that is truly integrated.

Journey Mapping foundations

A journey map is a visualisation of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal. Commonly used in the user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) world, BCM looks at the role of the advertising through this lens in order to connect with audiences in more meaningful ways. Taking this framework, we link the customers’ mindset with their actions and emotions at each defined stage of the journey. Each framework is bespoke to the category we are operating within — a financial services experience will be very different to an FMCG which will be different to education. Our end goal is running this process is to deliver integrated work that moves users along their natural journey through a category to the benefit of our client.

A consumer centred approach

It all begins (and ends) with the consumer. One of the big problems with the way marketing funnels are presented is that they take a Utopian view on how people behave, and all too often are written through the lens of the brand. This doesn’t take into account one important fact; people don’t care as much about your brand as you do. Taking a customer centred approach frames the kind of thinking that leads to good, effective work.

This approach opens up insight into the objectives of the consumer, what they’re thinking, feeling and doing, in order to help define their state-of-mind at any given time. It shines a light on the motivations, ability and struggles the consumer may be facing, which helps to set the opportunity that exists at every stage of the journey. Importantly, this framework maps out the intersection of audience, channel and message which gives a strong foundation for the role that a brand and its communications can play in assisting the audience to achieve their goals.

At the end of the day, if brands can be useful and help their audience achieve their goals, the goals of the brand will very quickly fall in line.

Benefits of a clear consumer journey map

Once complete, the map provides a clear blueprint for the role of communications and how they need to work at each stage of the journey. It outlines the channel opportunity and gives a strong, strategic foundation for how the creative, content and connection points all work together. This benefit is really important — the power of the simple action of strategically aligning creative and media cannot be underestimated.

The finished consumer journey map should succinctly articulate exactly what the brand or advertiser is able to inject into the journey to positively impact the consumer as they move closer to achieving their goal.

In our experience, the journey framework provides a powerful foundation for delivering ideas that are strategically sound and aren’t at odds with what the user is looking to achieve. It very clearly links creative opportunity to connection opportunity, establishing an integrated road map for audience focused campaign delivery. Most importantly, it just works.