Posted by Shawn Gross

In a recent Webcast, we teamed up with Citrix's global strategy lead for audience & content marketing to discuss a modern approach to journey mapping that considers customers' psychological drivers.

Of course, discussing strategies for mapping your customers' (hopefully) life-long journey with your brand is a tall order for a 45-minute Webcast. So, we've assembled some of the best questions from the Webcast below (watch the replay here).


Is it best to create personas before journey mapping?

A resounding yes! Personas are how we unearth all the great psychological insights of buyers. What keeps them up at night? What gets them out of bed in the morning? Personas also are the first step in understanding customers decision-making process. Once your personas are complete, you can effectively consider what a buyer is thinking at each stage and map relevant content and messages to help move them along the journey.


Should each persona get its own journey map?

There definitely will be some common aspects across the various journey maps you build. However, you should go into journey mapping thinking that every persona will have a unique journey. You might even consider that a single persona may have multiple journeys. This is the best way to make sure you're truly uncovering your audience's journey rather than the journey that is convenient for your marketing strategy. Once you've identified the unique qualities of each journey, then you can start to look for commonalities. Maybe two personas have the same starting journey but then branch off from there. Or maybe the same content offer can be repurposed for two different personas and their unique needs at that point in the journey.


How should my content strategy change as a buyer moves from pre-awareness to awareness?

The change catalyst stage (which we also sometimes refer to as pre-awareness) happens before someone has recognized a “need.” Psychological frameworks refer to it as a period of “conscious-raising.” In this stage, cognitive content helps someone become aware of the issue that needs to be addressed. It’s why “thought leadership” works so well. 

Once someone has identified a problem that needs solving, they begin to move into the awareness stage where they start to evaluate how they might “tackle” the issue at hand. Buyers in this stage want to understand how others have approached it. And, now that they are aware of an issue, more emotional content that builds a personal connection can play a role in accelerating their journey forward. For example, using video storytelling to show how another company addressed a similar issue. Also consider how you might highlight some of the personal challenges in the use case and not just the business issues.

At what stage in the buyer's journey should I use case studies?

Customer stories are one of those content types that can (and should) be used at multiple stages of the audience journey. It all comes down to how you position it. For instance, an emotionally-charged video about a customer that overcame its challenges can be a great offer in the early stages of the journey where emotional content and personal connection are top strategies. Later in the journey, when a buyer is looking for cognitive reassurance that they are making the right decision, an ROI-focused case study is more appropriate. 


What type of content should a healthcare marketer provide to a patient in the awareness stage?

Let's look at an example in healthcare: A prospective patient (let’s call him Roy) is turning 40. This life event is a change catalyst that makes Roy realize he’s probably not as healthy as he should be at this point in his life. Now that he has a pain point around his health, Roy is in the awareness stage and wants to understand how others his age have gotten on a healthier track.

Your content strategy in this case, might include a video or a blog article on your hospital website that interviews a similar patient about her 40th birthday. The content would outline some of the healthier habits patients adopted but also how she formed a relationship with a wellness coach at the hospital and began tracking her steps with a fit-bit (which the wellness coach was also monitoring). It would discuss how the patient’s cholesterol levels got back into a safe range. But it would also touch on some more personal-aspects that are top of mind for Roy – such as being able to keep up with his kids on the soccer field or increasing his sex drive.


Have a question of your own? Drop us a line. And be sure to watch the Webcast replay, The Science of Audience Journey Mapping.


Topics: B2Me, Strategy, Experts, Healthcare, B2B