Are you logging or limiting the customer’s journey to your door? For if new research is to be believed, men and women are already abandoning that trip because of outdated gender stereotypes that are used in advertising.
Men are turned off by ‘laddish’ images of ‘partying and promiscuity’, according to a study from the University of Illinois. Female customers are put off by adverts showing women chatting around a kitchen table, says British ad agency Creative Orchestra. This is useful data for your e-mail marketing.
The findings have been reported on various websites, including research news service PhysOrg.com and trade publication Marketing Week. Creative Orchestra also found that most UK marketing professionals think their industry doesn’t understand female consumers.
While partying and promiscuity are often depicted in advertising, some men find these images to be negative portrayals,’ said Cele Otnes from University of Illinois. Some men are adversely impacted by images of ‘ideal masculinity’, leading to the end of the relationship with a brand, she warned.
If that’s the case, then some customers’ journeys are finished before they even start. Digital analysts like Gary Angel have stressed there is no more important problem than developing an understanding of your customer’s actual experience with your brand – charting ‘the full customer journey’:
- to track;
- to understand;
- to use that customer information.
What is your customer’s ‘online persona’? It’s a crucial question to ask, before embarking on your e-mail marketing campaign. But once you’ve answered it, then go for it. We are all on ‘this big data journey,’ as IBM’s Anjul Bhambhri called it – a journey that starts with ‘being willing to experiment’.
Customer experience expert Bruce Temkin has formed that single question into an entire line of enquiry. He’s written a paper on it called, ‘Mapping The Customer Journey’. Here are some further questions we need to ask:
- what are the customer’s needs;
- what are the customer’s perceptions;
- what are the customer’s processes?
He recommended investigating how customers interact with you, what they want from you and how they actually feel about you. In particular, he used an interesting phrase – spotting those ‘broken moments of truth’ where you’ve failed to meet your customer’s needs. And this should be an ongoing process – not only a one-off exercise before an e-mail marketing campaign.
It looks like these experts with their findings are encouraging us back to basics again. It’s all about the customer, yes. But even more specific, it’s about their journey to your door. Who are your customers? What do they expect of you? What are they actually receiving from you?
It’s the same with any journey. There are hopes and expectations, and the thrill of reaching a great destination. So you’re either promoting or preventing the customer’s journey to your door. Which one will it be? To help you on your way, here are some helpful weblinks: