Any novice marketer knows the importance of customizing their content to fit their intended audience. However, not all remember that a prospective customer fits into different audience categories depending along different points in time. As a consequence, the content that was best suited to affect them two weeks ago may not be the same as the content that will reach them best today.
Take, for example, the (very) rough outline pictured above of a teenager’s customer journey toward deciding to get a MacBook for college. As a teenager, appearances sometimes make the strongest initial impressions, which is why seeing MacBooks depicted in media such as movies and television sets her off on a path toward viewing them as the most attractive option. At this stage, Apple’s marketing team reaches her through product placement, such as having the main character of a popular movie seen buying and using a Mac.
But as she goes through the buyer’s journey, she goes through different mindsets, and if the marketers behind the scenes are to help her arrive at the final point of purchase, multiple touchpoints must be accounted for and addressed. Looking at each possible touchpoint labeled in the graphic above, it is relatively simple to decide how to meet this demographic at each one. Apple can mix up the formatting and persuasion tactic to match up to this consumer’s state of mind as she travels along the road to eventual purchase. Is Apple leveraging the power of social media? Do they vary the appearance of ads depending on what platform they are appearing on? Do they work with third-party retailers to ensure that their employees are well-equipped to educate shoppers?
None of this is difficult to conceptualize once the customer journey is even roughly laid out. The issue can be whether the marketer takes the time to map out the ways in which the audience in question is multi-dimensional and cycling through different mindsets. The closer that the marketing content gets to mirroring the customer’s journey, the more fruitful that content has the chance of being.