Digital transformation is not a “let’s do it” approach, one needs to understand what digital transformation will do to own business organization, IT structure, business model and culture. Before starting that journey, figure out what it will do to you.
I have called consumer journey maps dead and so have many others, but I have also said they do have a place in this world. I believe consumer journey maps can have a strong place in digital transformation, as they will tell the key point for consumer touch points, thus representing a good teaching tool for your organization.
I have seen the consumer journey map being the root of fail both in the marketing planning phase and in digital transformation. But the core of the failure has always been the lack of data points and under thinking about the consumer. The consumer journey map needs to have its core in data pulled from your system and market research. The map will only be a good tool if you understand and research all possible perspectives, all the way to the psychology of the consumer, the physical needs and spiritual needs.
So how should the ideal consumer map look? The map should take an ideal look on the journey. One should therefore start by looking at the stages the consumer walk-through: Awareness, Consideration, Acquisition, Service and loyalty. This is the starting point, next one has to understand each of the stages and their sub-steps. Each step can either long or short, it depends on the consumers, but none of them should be left out.
Steps have touch points and the focus should be here on how the consumer can be approached during each of them. It is important that you map out which platform you consumer uses in each step and which are the technologies present on these platforms and touch points. And here is how one can figure out why the consumer journey map is a good way of starting the digital transformation!
Next, look at the environment the consumer journeys in! As we all know by now, consumers do not make decisions alone and everyone affects them. It is important to figure out who affects the consumer – Family, friends, influencers? – and where that happens during their journey. Map it out to understand it!
This was just a small sample; journey maps are not easy. Get help! Other elements you should think are related to what drives the consumer, everything from psychologies to sceneries, and to what needs to be changed to meet that within the organizational mapping.
Journey maps reduce the risk!
You should by now have come to the conclusion that consumer journey maps let you take control over your digital transformation and take in consideration: your engine, the dynamic world and your definition.
Normally, the order for digital transformation comes from the top-down and is driven by a here and now process. The management main driver for digital transformation, 70% according to CIF, is to cut cost. And that is explained below.
The process can be easy: start without a consumer journey map, but consider what should be your guiding point. The consumer journey can lead you to success and will do so if you do the job right and thoroughly. The map will keep your transformation on track and help you to be consumer-centric in approach. It will minimize risk because you have a road map, but it also aligns your organization on the same path. It gives clear responsibility to all departments and it will help you set up your team based the work done on the consumer-centric approach.
Just think, what do consumer experience and digital transformation have common? Every consumer experience today has a digital journey and every digital transformation is driven by consumer experience. The simple answer on why it works like this is that each experience has multiple touch-points within your organization and it requires data points from more then one source. Consumer experience breaks down silos and digital transformation enables it.
Creating the road map
Remember to create the journey map from the point and keep in mind that your organization should understand it as well as you. Sharing is caring, but understanding is loving. We get information from everywhere today, so sharing is not enough, you need to be the driver of understanding.
When you are making your map, you need to remember to support your transformation and journey map by doing the following:
- Customer view
The journey map will allow you get an overview of consumers as one unit, but consumer are individuals and act like that. So, take a step back and build consumer journey map based on individuals, and after that you will have something to compare reality to. Build 1-100 cases based on your size and resources, then use those to actually see if you really are consumer-centric. A study done by Capgemini showed that 70% of companies call them self-customer-centric, while only 30% of the customers would call them that. This Gap between the truth of the Customer and the one of the company is what makes and breaks companies’ transformation.
But why do we have this gap? Well, simply because companies have become to dependent on data and do not see the customers as individuals. That is why you need the cases.
To minimize the gap, you need to go and be old school. You need to talk to you customers and try to connect with them as individuals.
- Build as an organization
Digital transformation needs to be supported and growing with the organization. This means you can not leave out a department because if you do, you will break the customer experience.
Digital transformation is a scary thing for an organization. It brings many though and fears to life. The Consumer journey map can help you show what and how the organization will be affected. It will show what technology and HR need each department have and how it will need to be fulfilled.
It is important to be transparent; it supports the transformation and builds trust with your organization.
- Drop waste, keep focus
Digital transformation is not a static process and it keeps changing with the behavior of the consumer, organization and due to other factors. If you see it as a static process, you will fail. The same goes with the consumer journey: it is not static because the digital landscape keeps changing and the journey adapts based on that. What does that mean for your organization? It means your process is not static and you need to adapt to its dynamic. One of the key elements is represented by the fact that the KPIs of today are not the KPIs of tomorrow. When you work with KPIs in digital transformation or consumer journey, set clear goals and give KPIs a life cycle. Remember, the KPI might have more than one lifecycle, but focus on the changing landscape and KPIs based on that. This way of thinking will make your digital transformation an agile approach.
The KPIs should focus on three main subjects: Product level, Business level and brand level. If you take a product, then it has a Product Life Cycle (PLC) and, during that cycle, the product changes in the eyes of the consumer and the KPIs should meet those eyes. It supports the consumer experience and it supports an agile PLC. You can do the same for Business and brand. Both of those will also change, either by time or by the changes in the dynamic world around you.
So, in short build two things into your consumer journey and digital transformation. Time to revised the KPIs and Time to kill the KPIs. Do remember, sometimes is better to to have lessKPIs than too many, it helps maintain focus.
I know I have asked a lot from you this time but remember: the best start is to learn and understand the issue / problem before beginning. And do remember: nothing you do today is static, because the only constant in the world is change and change is coming.
Anders Holmberg Lange is the Co-Founder of Entername, a company with the core belief that strategy should be simple, understandable and evolving. Designing 360 digital campaigns and leading selected clients from digital transformation to digital excellence in Marketing, business and sales.
Anders has been working with major global brands the last 15 years, taking them from digital transformation to digital strategy to digital excellence and delivering double digits growth rates across the board. He worked in industries like fashion, banking, entertainment and for leisure companies. No matter there were fortune 500 companies or startups, Anders was always building around a gamification approach creating win-win strategies.