Let's begin where we left off in the last post. We've established our specific customer journey and noted where our journey differs from the generic journey:
In the example above, we see that direct counts much more up front in my website's customer journey than it does in the generic model. The generic model, however, hints at what else we may want to be trying. In the direct model, there are channels I'm not currently using, such as generic paid search, display advertising, and branded paid search. These channels might be good opportunities for me to explore.
The other thing the generic model doesn't talk about is how well each channel should perform and what percentage of the marketing mix I might want it to occupy. Fortunately, Google Analytics' benchmarking feature gives us answers to these questions. You'll find Benchmarking in the Audience menu in your Google Analytics account; depending on your setup, you may need to enable it. For a detailed walkthrough of the basics of benchmarking, see this post first.
Above, we see from my benchmark against other marketing sites of similar size that social media and organic search are performing well already. I'm far above the baseline for the marketing space. What we also see is that other channels aren't doing quite as well. Based on the customer journey we've mapped out above, I need to be doing a better job with email, and as my custom customer journey above shows, I'm not doing anything with paid search.
Now, not only do I have a customer journey mapped out, I know which parts of my customer journey are working well and which parts need help. I can work on improving email and adding paid search and display advertising to the mix if I want to make the journey as comprehensive as possible.
The benchmark also tells me at what levels I'd need to invest. Look above at line 7, paid search. Sites comparable to mine get almost 10,000 visitors from paid search, where I get 10 (likely accidental/bad data, since I'm not running any paid ads). If I needed to get 10,000 visitors in a month, that's roughly 333 a day. Based on this, I could go to Google's AdWords keyword planner and see what 333 clicks a day would cost me:
To reach the levels of my peer competitors, I would need to invest $300 a day, or $9,000 a month.
You can perform the same assessment for any channel in which you have performance data. For example, I know what efforts are needed to achieve the social media numbers in the benchmark above. If I want referral traffic to match those numbers, it's a reasonable starting point to experiment with investing the same amount of time and effort as I do in social.
In another example, I know what time and effort I currently put into email, and I see the results above. I'm at half of what my competitors are doing. Thus, it's a relatively small leap of logic to test doubling my effort to see if I can double the results and get on par with the industry averages for peer companies.
With these tools, I can now make the necessary changes to my customer journey to improve it, to reach customers where they are, in the right order. My marketing effectiveness should substantially improve if I fit the journey to the way customers actually behave and adapt quickly when I'm out of alignment.
In the next post, we'll talk about taking your customer journey to the next level, quite literally.
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