Before we look at how to start a customer journey, it is worth revisiting Simon Sinek’s ‘Start With Why’ theory. He uses this simple ‘Why, How, What’ model to reinterpret the reason you do anything. The examples in his video use Apple [the video is from 2007 when Apple was truly revolutional], Martin Luther King, and the Wright Brothers. The mentality from within, be it an individual, collective, or institution, was different. It changes the message; from once being about what is done, now it inspires by saying why they do it. This model categorises the message from within; it is an internal perspective, looking from the inside, out. It redefines a business cause or a purpose of being. With this Why/How/What message, the purpose is now clear to see for everyone. Suddenly it positions your business, collective, or individual apart from the norm. This is beyond the ‘USP’ (in Simon’s video this is the ‘How’ section)
So what’s the point of a customer journey?
Well, without meaning to sound pretentious: everything. The ‘Start With Why’ theory above, as I have mentioned, comes from within. It doesn’t take into consideration the opposite. The outside looking in. Or, put it another way: the point at which someone would want or need for something. Or put it simply, the demand for a product or service. Not one of the three examples before [Apple, Martin Luther King, the Wright Brothers] would exist if there wasn’t a need to fill. This is the start of a customer journey. This is the understanding of the When, Where, and Who.
So, when is it ‘When’ in the customer journey?
We define when as ‘the point in pursuit of change when a customer decides to take action’. Everyone experiences this point daily. Each action we take is being driven by a conscious decision to change the current situation by doing something. Start at the beginning of your day. The alarm goes off; it’s loud, annoying, far too early etc., but you muster the energy and movement required to turn it off. Some of us would take longer to ‘take action’; content with suffering the noise we didn’t need to move, but there comes a point, a tipping point, where action needs to be taken to stop that God-awful noise! Same applies when we are thirsty, hungry, need to use the bathroom, are cold/hot, feel tired, sense danger, you get the idea. When, is the point when something needs to happen to change the status quo.
What do we mean by ‘Where’?
At this point is necessary to understand the relationship your products or services have with a customer’s need. There are two points which outline when the product or service is in most or least demand from a prospective buyer. To make it easier consider this:
Imagine you have a problem with your heating. The problem isn’t preventing your heating from working it is just causing the boiler to act intermittently. At this stage, it is a mild annoyance and generally, in your busy life, you can cope with it. This is the point you have enter ‘where’. As with all things mechanical, this situation is going to deteriorate until eventually, you reach your ‘when’ as described above.
So that now leaves ‘Who’?
In between the entry ‘where’ and the must do ‘when’ is an area primed for targeted marketing. If a heating company can promote the benefits of a heating plan early on in the ‘Where’ it could lead to a conversion as it is a convenient solution. But, not everyone is the same! And this is where the ‘Who’ comes in. Defining ‘Who’ your customers are, known as avatars, will help you define the right marketing message for the right ‘Who’.
This is a quick summary of the When, Where, Who model, and we will be revisiting this throughout the blog.