The Digital Landscape is Changing the Customer Journey
March 9, 2023 •Oak Street Funding
The customer journey is rarely a straight path to your business’ front door. It is often a crooked, meandering journey only made more complicated by the digitalization of marketing influencing buying decisions. The digital customer journey is an important component in marketing to your customers. How you market your business in this new, electronic and fast-paced world can determine whether your company stands out among the crowd. Learn to adapt and thrive, and you’ll discover you can connect with customers and prospects in ways you never thought possible.
Reasons for the Digital Customer Journey Shifts:
Before we examine ways to flourish in this new era, let’s look at what has impacted the digital customer journey in recent years:
- Going Digital: Customers have grown accustomed to communicating with businesses digitally and may prefer this method over traditional phone or in-person communication.
- Prevalence of Mobile technology: Mobile web browsing, shopping and researching has now become the new norm.
- Instant Gratification: In this era of technology, people expect to receive information or service immediately.
- Shorter attention spans: With more and more data cluttering our phones and inboxes, customers are easily distracted and overwhelmed by information.
- Millennials rule: Younger adults born in the millennial generation have come of age and have now become the largest buying group in the world.
- Purpose-driven decisions: Customers have not lost their strong sense of community and still look for compelling reasons for buying products or using a service, especially for local or cause-related purchases.
Which digital channels are most influential to your business?
Digital Customer Journey Transformation
Digital transformation refers to the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how the business operates and delivers value to its customers and their digital customer journey. Digital transformation can involve a wide range of activities, including automating processes, using data analytics to make better decisions, and adopting new technologies such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a strategy for managing interactions with customers and potential customers. A CRM system is a tool that helps businesses store, track, and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. The goal of a CRM system is to improve customer relationships, increase customer retention, and drive sales growth.
Digital transformation and CRM are often closely linked, as the use of digital technologies can facilitate the implementation of a CRM strategy. A well-positioned CRM can also help track the digital customer journey so a business can identify opportunities to connect with the customer.
Digital Customer Journey Marketing Opportunities
Digital transformation has had a significant impact on digital marketing, as it has enabled businesses to reach and interact with customers in new and more effective ways during their customer journey. Some of the ways in which digital transformation has impacted marketing include:
- Online marketing: Digital marketing channels such as social media, email, and search engines have made it easier for businesses to reach and engage with customers online.
- Personalization: Digital technologies have made it possible to collect and analyze large amounts of data about customers, which can be used to create personalized marketing campaigns.
- Automation: Marketing automation tools can help businesses automate repetitive tasks, such as sending emails or posting social media updates, freeing up time for more strategic marketing activities.
- Digital customer journey mapping: Digital technologies have made it easier for businesses to track and analyze customer behavior, allowing them to create more targeted marketing campaigns and understand the digital customer journey.
Overall, digital transformation has made it easier for businesses to reach and engage with customers, and has helped marketers to be more strategic and effective in their marketing efforts.
Digital Marketing Strategies to Try:
Some of the benefits of digital marketing strategies that insurance businesses can enjoy to improve the digital customer journey include lower cost, improved visibility (SEO), better targeting and personalization, and a shorter sales cycle. Here are some digital marketing ideas to get you started:
- Website: Your website is more than just a static brochure. Innovative agents use them to showcase customer testimonials, offer helpful advice or even service customers.
- Blogging / Content marketing: What news, trends or information do you wish you could share with your customers? Use blogging and content marketing for better search engine optimization and showcase your expertise.
- Social media: Your customers are using social media. Find out which channels through experimentation (or surveying) and interact with them. Share helpful information, local stories or behind-the-scenes footage on your company social media pages.
- Email: Whether you send out a monthly newsletter or simply use it to get to know your team, many insurance businesses under-utilize email newsletters as an effective marketing tool. Consider driving traffic to your website or social media accounts via your team’s email signatures.
- Video: Try several options in this category, from live social media videos to your own YouTube® channel. Share facts, stories, customer successes, or answer frequently asked questions via a video. Don’t forget to include some of these on your website and link to them from other channels.
- Online Chat: Many insurance businesses have added online chat features to their websites to answer any questions prospective customers or current customers may have. You may be able to find an industry-specific service who can handle the chat service on your behalf.
- Online listings: From Google® Local profiles to business review sites, many online directories exist to help customers find what they need. Do some research to find ones in your industry who can direct customers to your website. Also consider trade industry association listings as an option.
- Internet Advertising: With tools like cookies and paid search, consider investing in either pay per click advertising or remarketing ads. Pay per click will help move your business listing higher up on a google page, inspiring visitors to choose your business over competitors to click on. Remarketing will show an ad for your business to a website visitor after they have left your site, reminding them of who you are and to come back.
- Geo-fencing: Advances in marketing have enabled advertisers to specifically target consumers in a geographic region. Using geofencing tools, you can deliver your advertisement to a pre-defined set of boundaries, when they are most likely to see it.
- Voice marketing: Amazon® Alexa, Google Home, Google Assistant and other conversational user interfaces have changed the way consumers are searching for information. In the future, advertisers will discover ways to advertise subtly through these methods by developing a skill or incorporating content into the query responses.
- Influencer marketing: Many national brands have discovered the power of social media or online influencers who can serve as spokespeople for their brand by representing it on their channels. What companies or partners might make good influencers for your business?
Keys to Success in the Digital Marketing Era:
To succeed with digital marketing, remember to keep in mind your core customers and how their digital customer journey impacts their experience with your company. Determine ways to reach them through trial and error and keep the strategies that are most successful. Integrate your new marketing tactics with your traditional ones and tie them all to your operational and sales methods for greater success. And don’t forget to track your return on investment!
Oak Street Funding has helped hundreds of customers improve their digital customer journey with a working capital loan to improve their digital strategies. Contact us to learn more.
Disclaimer: Please note, Oak Street Funding does not provide legal or tax advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. It is not a statement of fact or recommendation, does not constitute an offer for a loan, professional or legal or tax advice or legal opinion and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining valuation services or professional, legal or tax advice.