How optimised is your customer journey?

By John Blyth, Ricoh Graphic Communications, Ricoh Europe

Ricoh Europe, London, 1 November, 2023 – Marketing can be guilty of being the dog that barks at every passing car – there is always something shiny and new to get distracted by.

So says Phil Barden, Managing Director of DECODE Marketing Ltd and author of ‘Decoded. The Science Behind Why We Buy’ in conversation with The Strand Review of Books.

He explains that, as a result, marketeers can lose sight of the fundamentals – human behaviour. He states: “Ultimately marketing, or sales, or advertising is all about behaviour change. We want people to buy our brands, buy more of our brands, switch to our brands and tell their friends about our brands. It is all about human behaviour.”

A lot of time, money and energy can be wasted doing what is thought to be new and cool if it misses understanding:

  • why we, as consumers, make the choices we do,
  • why we like certain brands and not others,
  • how communication works in the brain.

Brand marketeers are encouraged to optimise the path to purchase as that can help. Taking a behavioural lens to a customer journey and analysing what the behaviour is now and what the desired behaviour is, should help with successful mapping. Different techniques should then be applied across the various stages of the journey. Classic A/B testing is one tried and tested option.

Key too, is consistency of messaging and consistency of look and feel across the different journey points. Often different people in separate departments are responsible for unrelated touch points or sectors of the customer journey. Unless they are all aligned, and what is trying to be achieved is properly understood, the journey can become disjointed.

Gaps can then open up between the strategy and execution. And the whole approach is compromised.

There are several ways digital print can help optimise the customer journey with consistent, informative, and impactful communications.

It can help create:

  • Timely, targeted, educational promotions and refined offers with cleaner, more accurate, and better segmented data, that complies with GDPR.
  • Impactful personalisation that makes the customer feel individually valued, powered by solutions such as the FusionPro VDP Solutions suite of tools  which uses rules based intelligent templates and automated workflows to allow companies to generate unique communications quickly and easily using customer data effectively.
  • A MAM (Marketing Asset Management) system can also be adopted to help ensure brand guidelines are met and a consistent look and feel is applied across the different journey points.
  • Engaging messages and visually exciting communicationssuch as those made possible by the new Ricoh Pro™ C7500 colour sheetfed press. It can enliven print on a wide range of media with spot colours, fluorescent effects using neon toners, white toner, and metallic effects.
  • Memorable interactions with tactile substrates that can be employed to stimulate the sense of touch for a greater feeling of connectivity.
  • Increased interactivity between on and offline worlds with printed QR codes and Augmented Reality (AR) for a more seamless experience. Something that customers are looking for according to a YouGov survey that found 85% of millennials and 82% of Gen Z preferred a blend of digital and physical channels from the brands they have relationships with. JICMAIL (the British Joint Industry Committee for Mail ) also found that 70% of recipients have interacted online after receiving mail.

The combination of the above can determine a connected journey that recognises the individuality of the customer and makes them feel valued. It builds trust – Great Britain’s Marketreach, found 87% of customers rated messages delivered by mail as believable, compared to 48% for email.

It gets results – the IPA’s Marketing Effectiveness in the Digital Era report found that adding direct mail to the marketing mix drives a 10% uplift in effectiveness.

Digital printing technology can support your marketing clients in their quest for building and sustaining optimised customer journeys.



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