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Customer Journey in Times of Digital Media

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Grade 1.3

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Term Paper


Business Administration>Marketing & Sales




Term Paper Customer Journey: The customer journey describes the interaction between the customer and the company along the purchase decision process from the first customer contact point with a product, a brand or a company to the desired target action (Esch et al., 2014, p. 3). Thesecustomer contact points are called touchpoints in which customers interact with the company during their journey. Touchpoints are influenced highly by word-to-mouth of customers and need to be encouraged by companies (Bodo & Hyde, 2013, p. 2).Thecustomer journey helps companies to develop an understanding of customer behavior in order to alignmarketing and sales activities with customer needs based on gained insights. Customer journey mapsarean increasingly popular tool to illustrate the customer journey. It is a visual depiction of the sequence of events through which customers may interact with a service organization during an entire purchase process(Rosenbaum et al., 2016, p.2).By understanding this process, a company can learn how to structure the touchpoints to create the most effective and efficient journey for their customers (Agius, 2018, p.1).In the age of digital media the customer journey becomes more and more complex. Across allindustries the average number of touchpoints amounts to 20 (Schobelt, 2018, p.1). Due to the multitude of contact points withmany different companies, it becomes increasingly difficult for companies to stick out from the market.On the contrary, the digital world offers great advantages for companies. Advertising effects of each individual channel can be traced through web analytics. The definition of web analyticsrefers to themeasurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage(Web Analytics Association, 2008, p.3). Web analytics tools can createcustomer journey maps and show how users navigate a site. There are various customer journeymodels, such as the AIDA model, the hierarchy of effects,the hierarchy of sequence, the howard sheth buying behavior modelor the consumer decision journey (Wolny & Charoensuksai, 2014, p. 1). The most fundamental model of the customer journeytheoryisthe AIDA-model, which describes the stages of a purchase decisionfrom customers perception. It was developedby Elmo Lewis in 1898and refers to the funnel process of attention, interest, desire and action (Hadiyati, 2016, p.51). Based on the needs of AIDA model, the aim of marketing is to attract the attention from potential clients, arouse their interest and desire to the final buying action. By going through the funnel, the number of clients decreases with each step(Li & Yu, 2013, p. 48). The goal is to increase the conversion rateand therefore the number of clients who take action. This funnel process applies for every customer journey process, however in the age of digital media the process is much more complex. Theconsumer decision journey conceptstates customer purchasing decisions are provoked by a trigger, which causes an impulse to buy. Customers systematically narrow the initial consideration set as they weigh options, make decisions and buy products. The initial-consideration set is stronglyinfluenced by brand awareness. Brands in the initial-consideration set can be up to three times more likely to be purchased eventually than brands that aren’t in it(Court et al., 2009).The secondstepinvolves theactive evaluation of products and brandsby the consumer. In this step consumer-driven marketing is important to influence and optimize the relevant touch points. Two-thirds of the touch points during the active-evaluation phase involve consumer-driven marketing activities, such as internet reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, as well as in-store interactions and recollections of past experiences (Court et al., 2009). The customer journey analysis takes aimto the effects and interdependencies ofmarketing campaigns to uncover interdependencies and synergies between individual channels and contact points. The objective is to derive optimisation potentialand adapt it to the purchase decision process. The analysis points out which effectsthe channels have on each other and which touchpoints contribute to target actions(e.g. purchase) (Bartholomäus,2011, p. 50).Furthermore insights about the behavior and preferences of the target groups can be gained. Read Less