Want to send highly targeted (and better performing) marketing campaigns? Start by mapping your customer journey.
The customer journey is broadly defined as the steps a potential buyer could take toward becoming your customer. For most brands, this will be comprised of Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, Loyalty, and Advocacy:
Taking the time to map your customer journey is a great way to help you better target your marketing, support the sales funnel, align sales and marketing to the same conversion plan, improve customer experiences, and identify problem areas in your funnel. Getting a map together can take time and effort, but the payoff is a stronger, data-driven marketing and sales strategy that everyone can agree on.
Mapping Your Customer Journey with Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics is perfect for this exercise, given that Microsoft Dynamics is already designed to map data points along a sales funnel. Take a look at how each of the above steps might look with Microsoft Dynamics and your marketing automation platform (which serves as the data house for the Awareness stage):
Now that you’re thinking about Microsoft Dynamics as a guide for your customer journey, let’s talk about how to actually map and optimize your touchpoints.
Step #1: What’s Your Journey?
For the first step, document all the potential ways a person could be engaged with your brand, from marketing to sales, to customer success. This could be:
- Email (through marketing or through sales/direct)
- Social media (paid, organic, or both?)
- Events (webinar, trade show, networking, etc.)
- Customer support (automated and personal)
- Online content (your website, promoted profiles, partner sites)
- Phone calls
- Face-to-face, word of mouth, referral
Make note of where each of these touchpoints might happen in the document above so that it’s easy to reference what stage these touchpoints fall into later on.
Step #2: What’s in Dynamics?
For the second step, ask yourself if Dynamics is capturing marketing, sales, and support data. Basic marketing data you will need in Dynamics should include:
- Campaigns Entity: Leverage both Lead Source and Source Campaign
- Competitor Entity: Capture who you’re losing (and winning) to at the Lead and Opportunity stages
- Marketing Spend and Potential ROI
Having these tracking options in place will help you build a stronger, data-driven marketing budget that looks at marketing spend, the number of leads a campaign drives in, which types of marketing activities are most successful for your brand, and the potential and actual revenue of the campaigns you’re invested in. You’ll need these data points later—so even if you don’t have them in place now, be sure to ask for them.
Step #3: State Your Goals
These goals could be general or you might want to create a unique goal for each line of service you offer. Using previous Dynamics data, determine:
- How many opportunities did it take to get to your sales goals?
- What was your average deal size?
- How many leads did you need to meet those sales goals? Look for outliers and use average deal size.
- How many MQLs do you expect and at what rate do you turn them into SQLs?
Step #4: Start with the Best Lead Source
Now that you have data to support which of your lead sources drives the highest quality leads and biggest sales dollars (this is easy to do if you’re tracking Lead Source and Source Campaign for every single Lead), you can determine which source is your best source. Is it tradeshows? Paid search? Memberships? SEO?
Keep track of why you picked this Lead Source so that your sales and customer success teams understand why you’re starting with it.
Step #5: Get Your Team Involved
The short version of this is that you’ll want to invite every person who engages with any part of the funnel. For most organizations, this will include Marketing, Sales, Support, and Customer Success. The goal is to invite these people to a meeting where you can have a collaborative discussion about what’s actually happening at each stage—not just what the data says, but what the actual conversations are like.
Preparing for Your Customer Journey Mapping Session
As you prepare yourself and your team for your first customer journey mapping session, be sure to let everyone on the team know their role. You’ll have your most profitable lead source as your starting point, so be sure everyone who touches that lead source will be in attendance.
Next, drill down on a handful of good examples, and ask your sales team to do the same. Have them each bring examples of emails passed back and forth, notes from sales meetings, or remarks made in conversation that could be relevant to understanding what’s happening (versus what you think is happening). Sometimes it helps to pick a handful of opportunities you have won, lost, and have open in Microsoft Dynamics to frame the conversation on concrete examples.
Your meeting goals are to answer:
- What’s missing at each stage?
- Are we over/under communicating?
- Where is sales getting stuck? Can marketing help?
- Is there more opportunity in the pipeline?
- Are there broader goals marketing can support on the client side?
- Are we working hard enough to turn existing clients into advocates?
What Happens Next?
You should walk away from the customer journey mapping session with a clear understanding of what campaigns you need to create, where marketing needs to fill holes in the funnel, and how you can better support each team with marketing initiatives. Now you’ll want to build a campaign map to help you identify what data points you need in Dynamics to make these campaigns happen, like so:
Once you have mapped your best lead source, you will want to work your way down to your worst lead source. Keep in mind that most marketing strategies have many campaigns but fewer than a dozen tactics—stay focused on the big buckets (like conferences, digital ads, webinars, SEO) so that you don’t get lost in the weeds.