Chapter 2: Understanding, Mapping, and Delivering Effective Customer Experience

5 minute read

Upland Admin

The Customer Experience Management Guide [Chapter 2]

Customer experience. It’s the latest marketing buzzword. But what does it mean for your business?

We’re here to help. If you want to know more on what it matters, discover leading analyst perspectives and research in Chapter 1. Otherwise, keep reading to learn actionable steps for mapping the customer journey, building connections between content, and eliminating disjointed, confusing experiences

An Experience, Defined

Before jumping into how marketers can effectively and efficiently manage the customer experience, let’s start with a definition.

An experience is a set of content assets or touch points with a similar purpose: to move a customer persona from a set of questions to a set of conclusions.

As discussed, content is the backbone of customer experience. A content asset can be a blog post, email, or video. It can be a voicemail script for an inside sales rep, or a presentation used by a field rep. Content can be a physical, in-person conference or event. It can be a tutorial or a “getting started” guide.

In this definition of an experience, the term content asset is expansive; it references any touch point and interaction across the customer life cycle.

Some assets make up an entire interaction with the customer (e.g., a blog post); other assets support an interaction delivered by a person (e.g., a call script used by a sales rep). Either way, content guides the interactions between a customer and vendor. And it’s marketing’s job to orchestrate these content assets—these touch points across the entire customer life cycle— to deliver a winning, high-growth customer experience.

Thinking back to the Securita fable, here’s how Securita might define an experience around cloud security awareness:

This Securita “cloud security awareness experience” then might have the following set of assets:

  • Video interview with experts on the state of cloud security
  • Blog posts series on real life stories of failed cloud security
  • Infographic on the current state of cloud security
  • White paper on the most common challenges and approaches to cloud security, based on survey data from CIOs
  • Case study featuring CIOs using Securita to support cloud security in their organizations
  • Pitch deck focused on how Securita supports the most effective best practices to cloud security

Multiple, Customer-Centric Experiences

In the Age of the Customer, marketers must meet the buyer where they are—particularly early in the customer life cycle, when the customer is focused on asking questions and finding solutions to specific business challenges.

But different experiences resonate with different customers depending on their interests and concerns. A successful approach cannot be one-experience-fits-all. By using a customer-centric model, marketers must provide multiple experiences to engage with the customer on the topics they care about most, and strategize how these experiences will guide customers deeper into the funnel.

This is the step beyond the current model for mapping the customer journey, the one-message-per-stage construct of the buyer’s journey map.

Evolving the Buyer’s Journey Map

Creating a buyer’s journey map—a commonly used tactic—is a valuable jumping off point for theorizing customer behavior, but it does not help marketers fully understand the customer experience. In this practice, the marketer defines the stages of the buyer’s journey and the goal of content at each stage. When mapped across buyer personas, the resulting grid looks something like this:

The intention is to define what content a marketing organization should create, taking into account the concerns of a given persona at a given stage. If we were to look at the buyer’s journey map and the content for a single persona and buying stage, it may look something like this:




As you can see, the model above presumes that there is one message per stage of the journey. This is precisely where the model must expand.

Today, customers decide their own path in ways that defy one-dimensional mapping tools.

Today, customers decide their own path in ways that defy one-dimensional mapping tools.

Because buyer’s journey maps don’t provide an actual overview of the customer experience, they’re often created and promptly ignored. As a result, different teams fail to coordinate efforts and create inconsistent content, producing disjointed pathways with poor conversion rates.

If marketers are going to successfully deliver consistent customer journeys, they must engage the customer using many different experiences that address specific buyer questions, provide relevant conclusions, and draw the customer down a seamless pathway.

For example, Securita might build the “cloud security experience” discussed earlier, as well as experiences for big data security, mobile security, or—as outlined below—security thought leaders:

With multiple experiences for the customer, the question becomes, how can marketers manage all of these experiences, and how do they connect?

Table of Contents

[Chapter 1] Consistency in the Customer Journey

[Chapter 2] Understanding, Mapping, and Delivering an Effective Customer Experience

[Chapter 3] The Marketing-Driven Customer Experience Map

[Chapter 4] From Chaos to Marketing-Driven Customer Experience: The Steps to Effective Customer Experience Management

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