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How to connect and guide audiences through your customer journey

Ryan Mallory


May. 31, 2023

Welcome to the world of distractions. With social media, streaming, Smartphones, breaking news, texting, daily commitments, mass media, kids, family, job, and more. Our chaotic world is nuts! Delivering solutions to our customer’s problems is even more difficult and problematic. 

But wait, don’t click the “back” button, and there’s some good news. We still can fight the good fight, meaning we have the tools in our marketing arsenal as business owners, event promoters, non-profit organizers, and marketers to help us cut through the day-to-day noise to communicate and solve our audience’s problems. Yes, there’s hope, it takes a bit of knowledge with a dash of discipline, and you’re there.

Let’s dive in and take a deeper insight to see how we can develop a business strategy. Before we get started, I wanted to provide you with the backstory and inspiration behind this article. If you’re in a rush, feel free to skip the next section.

Night shot of Tempe, home of Arizona State University.

Backstory, on vacation and checked out.

So, my family and we’re on vacation in Phoenix, Arizona. During our trip, we decided to explore Tempe, home of Arizona State University. We ate lunch and then walked around to see what the area was like. As we were walking, a man standing behind a table approached us and asked a few questions. 

Looking down, I saw marketing materials such as brochures and pamphlets about the environment, climate change, and pollution. He asked where we were from, and I told him Indiana, and he proceeded to talk about environmental problems going on in Arizona as well as other areas throughout the nation.

After a minute or two of the gentlemen speaking, I lost my patience and promptly said, “Thank you, but I am not interested,” and walked away.

Here’s the irony, I am pro-environment. I feel we, as people who live on Earth, should do our part to make our home planet a better place to live. Now I’m not this fanatical hippie that believes we should shut everything down and make drastic changes in our lives. But yeah, many of us can play a small part that has a positive macro effect on our planet. 

But the reason why I cut off this gentleman was we were on vacation, we had two-hour parking, and our time was limited. We were busy, and I didn’t connect with his message.

That evening, I replayed the events and how this relates to marketing and how we communicate with customers who have a problem or pain points, and we offer a solution, but often our audience is too busy or distracted to engage with our products or services.

The goal of effective communication is to move our prospective clients through a process called the customer journey while providing a deeper understanding with effective messaging that communicates and allows our patron to make an informed decision. With the end game of obtaining loyal customers to help grow our organization or business.

Woman brainstorming marketing ideas with sticky notes on a whiteboard.

Rely on your marketing formula.

The key to your marketing strategy is to know your prospect (customer persona) and where they’re at in the customer or buyer’s journey. Once you have that information, create a customer journey map with a clear and easily digestible message. The goal is to provide an ultra-simple call to action. The final factor is timing. You only have a few seconds to hook your customer, be aware of the environment or type of medium you’re presenting and adjust accordingly. 

To deliver successful marketing messages and create meaningful customer interactions, it is essential to understand your audience’s touchpoints related to the buyer’s journey. Crafting a clear yet simple call-to-action that resonates with the prospects will help grab their attention in an instant, giving you the desired results.

Timing is also of utmost importance because you have only a few seconds for your prospect to take action. To succeed, you should adjust accordingly depending on the environment or medium you’re using to communicate your message. With this formula, marketers or business owners can break through all distractions and communicate directly with the average customer!

That’s it. This formula: audience’s persona and where their at in the buyer’s journey + clear messaging + specific action + timing considerations = effective campaign. These marketing strategies cut through all the noise and talk directly to your audience. Let’s take a deep dive into your marketing formula.

Salesman showing a customer a feature on his computer.

Know your customer and their journey.

Truthfully, I could dedicate an entire article to this subject. In essence, before you begin, define your customer and where they are in the buyer’s journey. In the marketing world, we call this establishing your customer persona.

To begin, you must determine your experiences, demographics, behaviors, goals, and motivations. What you’re doing is identifying the type of customer that is most likely to listen and do business with you.

Now, before you dive in and establish your customer persona, you need to conduct research and collect data to accurately reflect the traits representative of your target buyer. Again, this is an involved process, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s focus on these five areas to get you started:

Your audience

First, to establish your buyer persona, you must walk in your customer’s shoes and look at specific factors, such as demographics (age, gender, location), psychographics (interests, values, lifestyle), and other relevant characteristics.

Utilize existing data

Second, conduct research on any existing data you have on your buyer, such as customer databases, website analytics, or social media insights. Look for patterns and trends to provide insights into your audience’s behavior.

Conduct surveys and interviews

Third, research and develop questions on how your customer interacts with your products and brand. Set up a time and ask these patrons your questions. Remember, the goal is to get enough specific information to accurately represent how your patron’s persona resonates with future promotions.

Monitor social media

Fourth, utilizing social media is one of the best ways to see how your customer interacts with your content, products, or services and your organization’s identity. Look for interactions, post comments, topics, and conversations that help gives you a better idea of your customer expectations.

Analyze competitors

Fifth, research your competitors and their customer base. Identify their specific audience and analyze how they position their products or services. This insight can give you valuable insights into the needs and preferences of your shared audience.

Woman carrying a shopping bag, looking back at the camera.

Putting it all together

Once you’ve gathered sufficient data, organize the information into distinct profiles or groups. At this point, you should identify gaps and make appropriate adjustments to your customer persona. Each profile should represent a segment of your target audience and include details such as demographics, goals, challenges, values, preferred channels, and buying behaviors.

How you create these personas is up to you, whether you’re a visual person needing a graphical chart or a simple paragraph with bullet points highlighting key characteristics. It doesn’t matter. Just develop a system that works for you, have it written down, and use this information as your guide when creating promotions.

Once you have clearly defined your audience’s profile(s), you need to decide where they are in the buyer’s journey or customer lifecycle. The buyer’s journey or customer journey map (a visual representation) has many different levels depending on who you’re asking, but for simplicity, let’s boil this down to three: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision as defined on HubSpot.

Man holding a compass, with a natural scene in the background.

An in-depth look into the customer journey map

When it comes to your customer journey, there are three stages you need to keep in mind for your potential customers to follow and they are:


In the awareness stage, we’re actively pointing out the problem to your customer, making them aware of the issue from a broader point-of-view that they may or may not know. Or maybe they are experiencing a problem that they want to solve. They know it’s there but are not entirely sure how to solve it, and your customer is conducting some consumer or market research to help solve their pain point.

The awareness stage involves recognizing and having a basic understanding of the customer’s problems in an effort to provide solutions that meet their needs. By doing this, companies can build trust with new and potential customers while creating effective messaging strategies tailored toward them.


Our buyer has defined the problem and is actively seeking a solution; they’re researching or seeking answers to their problem. This stage focuses on how they are going to solve their headache.

Now that your customer is aware of the problem, it’s time to focus on how they can solve it. Ensure they know your product or service can help them by providing marketing messages across all channels — from email and paid media ads to social channels and blog articles.

In the consideration stage, customers are actively considering their options. They’ve identified a need and have done a research process into how to solve it. At this point, it’s time to differentiate your product or service from the competition.

By focusing on the entire customer journey and providing marketing messages that are relevant and meaningful, you can ensure that your customers will stay engaged. As mentioned before, you should also consider creating content across multiple channels — such as email newsletters, blog posts, social media updates, and others — to reach a wide variety of audiences. Remember to keep your message consistent across all platforms and tailor it for each specific audience.


Once our customer has progressed through these stages, they must decide whether your solution is the best choice. If “yes,” then your customer has decided that they need your product, service, or even business strategy to solve their problem. In this stage, were looking for the customer to act, purchase your product, call your company, or sign up to your email.

It’s important to provide clear and concise messaging that outlines the benefits of taking action. Customers should have no doubt that your solution will solve their problem. Additionally, you should include customer reviews or case studies from people who have already benefited from your product/service. This will help to reassure a customer that they are making the right decision.

Ultimately, delivering meaningful marketing messages to customers requires a deep understanding of who they are and what matters to them. When you know this, you can craft an experience that resonates with them and stands out from the competition.

Customer journey map

A customer journey map is a visual representation of every interaction a customer has with your brand from start to finish. It displays all the touchpoints across social media, email, and live chat. By creating a map of the customer journey, you can get a clear idea of how customers engage with your brand, find out where improvements can be made, and ensure every customer has a smooth experience.

Younger man texting or typing on his cell phone, in the mid morning hours.

Delivering a clear message

Okay, so we talked about your buyer’s persona and your customer’s journey and the importance of moving them through the process. Now let’s talk about clarity. Clarity is how clearly you communicate your message to your audience. Now there are a ton of great books that focus on this topic. Even a book written for screenwriters called “Save the Cat,” talks about having a good one-liner to communicate and sell your pitch to movie producers.

But my favorite book on messaging is “Building a Story Brand” by Donald Miller. In this book, the author explains the “essence of branding is to create simple, relevant messages we can repeat over and over so that we ‘brand’ ourselves into the public consciousness.” Later, Miller explains, “People don’t buy the best products; they buy the products they can understand the fastest.”

Yep, I couldn’t have said it any better. The key is to develop clear, concise messages directly written for your customer. When coming up with these messages, review your customer’s experience and demographics (customer persona) while deciding which stage of the buyer’s process (buyer’s journey) you want to communicate.

Young child running in a pasture that it hilly, and very green environment.

Eloquently move your patron through the customer lifecycle

Once you have communicated your message and connected content with customer emotions, you have to move your patrons through the buyer’s journey. The key is to guide them to take the next step through their journey, and this step should be as fluid and consistent as possible.

As marketers, our job is to create meaningful connections with customers that resonate. We need to be able to deliver marketing messages in such a way that it catches their attention and keeps them engaged throughout an effective customer journey map. By providing informative content, we can guide customers through understanding what problem or solution they are looking for and how our product or service addresses those needs.

A great example of reaching customer touchpoints using the “Awareness” stage is through a YouTube video. This video should spark curiosity so viewers will want to learn more by clicking a “Learn More” button, which then redirects them to the company landing page, where we continue the customer journey with consistent branding and messaging.

This creates a smooth transition from awareness to consideration of your brand’s products or services — making sure every step feels cohesive and eloquent along the way.

When delivering meaningful marketing messages to our customers, keeping the customer journey in mind is essential. From the first interaction, everything should be in-line with your brand’s personality and message. That includes using consistent images, colors, text font styles & sizes that are recognizable across all channels of communication. This will help create a strong visual identity for your company, both online and offline.

Man holding up his arms in victory.

Decision — getting your first win.

Congratulations. You’ve done everything you suppose to do, and now your prospect wants to be a customer. All right, now we need to provide them with clear action.

Taking action is often referred to as call-to-action statements, such examples are: call and talk with a team member to learn more, click here to purchase our product, or schedule an appointment with one of our experienced representatives.

The key is for your customer actions to take the next step in the process. It doesn’t need to be monumental. It needs a simple action that moves them through the decision stage.

Young woman sitting on a rock reflecting the outdoor landscape below.

Mapping and optimizing the customer journey

In order to effectively reach and engage real customers with meaningful marketing messages, it is important to understand your customer journey and provide them with clear call-to-action statements that move them through the decision stage.

To do this successfully, businesses should map out an optimized customer journey in order to ensure that they are providing customers with an effortless experience. This will help to ensure that customers get the right message at the right time, leading to a successful marketing campaign. Here are some helpful marketing strategies.

Tools and techniques for mapping customer journeys

Tools such as customer journey mapping and understanding your buyer persona can help businesses better understand their customers’ needs and preferences, allowing them to tailor their marketing messages accordingly.

Persona development

Creating customer personas based on market research and data analysis. Personas represent different customer segments and their characteristics, allowing businesses to better understand their needs, motivations, and pain points throughout the customer journey.

Customer surveys and interviews

Conducting surveys or interviews with customers to gather qualitative data about their experiences and perceptions at various stages of the journey. This feedback helps identify key experiences, pain points, and opportunities for enhancing customer touchpoints.

Customer analytics and data tracking

Utilizing analytics tools to track and analyze customer interactions and behaviors across channels and brand touchpoints. This data provides insights into the customer’s perspective, preferences, patterns, and potential areas for optimization.

Digital tracking tools

Leveraging digital tracking tools, such as heat maps, clickstream analysis, or session recordings, to gain visual insights into how customers navigate websites, mobile apps, or other digital platforms. These tools can identify bottlenecks, drop-off points, and areas of friction.

Social listening and monitoring

Monitoring social media platforms and online communities to gather real-time customer feedback, sentiments, and discussions related to the brand and its products. This helps identify customer pain points and expectations, as well as provides an opportunity for proactive engagement.

Computer showing a screen shot of analytics, from line to pie charts.

Analyzing customer data and feedback

Analyzing customer needs through data and feedback based on the customer journey is crucial for gaining valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points. Here are some steps to effectively analyze customer data and feedback:

Collect relevant data

Gather data from various sources that are relevant to the customer journey. This may include website analytics, CRM systems, survey customers, social media monitoring tools, call center logs, and customer support tickets. Ensure the data collected covers the different stages of the customer journey.

Segment data

Segment the customer data based on various criteria such as demographics, behavior, purchasing patterns, or engagement levels. This segmentation allows for more focused analysis and understanding of customer groups and their journey experiences.

Map data to customer journey stages

Organize and align the collected data with the different stages of the customer journey map (awareness, consideration, and decision). This helps to identify trends, patterns, and key touchpoints at each stage.

Identify key metrics

Determine the relevant metrics to measure and analyze at each stage of the customer journey. This could include conversion rates, bounce rates, time spent on the website, customer satisfaction scores, customer churn rates, or repeat purchase rates. Select metrics that align with your business goals and objectives.

Analyze patterns and trends

Look for patterns and trends within the data to identify common behaviors, preferences, and pain points experienced by customers at different stages of the journey. This analysis can be done through statistical analysis, data visualization techniques, or dedicated customer analytics platforms.

Seek insights from feedback

Pay close attention to customer feedback gathered through surveys, interviews, reviews, or social media mentions. Look for recurring themes, specific pain points, or areas where customers express satisfaction. This qualitative feedback provides insights into the emotional aspects of the customer journey.

Identify opportunities and challenges

Based on the analysis, identify opportunities for improvement and areas where the customer journey can be enhanced. Pinpoint specific pain points or bottlenecks customers encounter and determine potential solutions or strategies to address them.

Remember, analyzing customer data and feedback is an iterative process. Regularly revisit and update your analysis to capture evolving customer behaviors and expectations. By leveraging this analysis, businesses can make informed decisions and improvements to optimize the customer journey and enhance the overall customer experience.

Man holding in his hand an older stop watch clock.


We’ve all heard the say that timing is everything. Yeah, that’s true, but how do you know when the timing is right? Truthfully you don’t. That’s why the world of digital marketing is so magical because if your customer is clicking on your video ad to learn more, then clearly you have their attention, and they will make time to hear what you have to say.

This is why general branding techniques in traditional marketing are not as effective because the timing “just sucks.” But where traditional marketing works is by having repetitive simple, clear branding messages. Eventually, the buyer will realize the problem and will do something about the solution at a later time.

Regardless of your advertising medium, whether it’s digital or traditional, you must be mindful that you only have a few seconds, maybe a minute, to hook your patron. Use your ad copy wisely, write a clear and relevant statement, and then deliver a clear call to action to either learn more about the product or service or to purchase your product.

Old fashion key with aged paper in the background.

Focus on these key tips

Okay, so I have dumped a ton of information on you when communicating with your new customers. Below are some key takeaways that you should keep in mind when developing content for your customer journey.

1 | Customer journey map

Create a customer journey map tailored to your buyer’s needs and pain points is essential for a successful campaign. It requires you to understand your customers’ wants and needs in different phases of the buying process.

2 | Identify where your buyer is at in the customer process

Identify where your customers are in their buying process and craft messages accordingly. Remember, the stages are awareness, consideration, and decision.

3 | Identify key media or social channels — to make a connection

Utilize different media channels to reach your desired audience and build relationships with them wherever they may be spending the most time online.

4 | Offer valuable insights to move your customer through the customer journey

Leverage user-generated content to understand the customer journey better, learning what is important and valuable to them.

5 | Connect and stand out and develop meaningful content

Deliver creative marketing messaging that stands out from the competition with engaging visuals, punchy copy, exciting videos, and helpful infographics.

Man holding a lens and in the background there is a natural scene.

Additional insights

Deliver meaningful messages

Crafting effective branding messages that are tailored to the customer journey is key to delivering meaningful marketing messages. Start by being mindful of the short time you have to grab their attention and create a message that resonates with them.

Ensure your message is concise and to the point so that you can get your message across quickly. Then, focus on presenting them with a call-to-action for either learning more or purchasing your product. Doing this will increase your chances of getting through and delivering a meaningful marketing message that resonates with your customers.

Additionally, make sure your message is clear, concise, and actionable. Relevant visuals or videos can also be an effective way to grab your customers’ attention and help them understand how your product can help solve their problems.

Tracking your results

Track the effectiveness and collect feedback on your message using analytics tools such as A/B testing and segmentation. By doing this, you’ll be able to understand how your customers are interacting with your messaging and adjust your approach accordingly.

By taking the time to tailor your message, you can ensure that it resonates with your customer’s experience and delivers real results. It’s important to remember that delivering a good customer experience starts with crafting an effective marketing message that resonates with the target audience and is in line with their journey.

Taking the time to tailor your message can help you create meaningful connections with customers and drive real results for your business.

These tips will help you create meaningful and effective marketing messages that stand out in a world full of distractions. By understanding your audience, crafting an engaging message, and tailoring it to the customer journey, you can deliver meaningful messaging that resonates with your customers and gets results.

Two people hold and having a cup of coffee.


Delivering meaningful marketing messages to customers can be challenging in our fast-paced and ever-changing world. However, by crafting simple yet clear branding messages targeted at the customer lifecycle from awareness to decision, you will have more success with your advertising campaigns.

To successfully catch someone’s attention, it’s important to be aware of the limited time you have. By presenting a clear call-to-action for either learning more or making a purchase, you can increase your chances of success. Remember, simplicity is key to being effective.

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Need additional guidance?

Keep in mind you don’t have to implement all these practices. Just be intentional with your marketing efforts and keep your messaging and customer journey in mind. If your business or organization needs further insight into your digital marketing needs, please connect with Ryan from Neomark today, and together we can help move your business forward.