Savvy marketers know that the internet puts people in control.

These prospective buyers are going on a journey of their own making, and smart marketers know that creating engaging content and being exceptionally helpful will help position their brand as the only logical choice.

This is according to Brian Clark’s Masters of CX report Beyond the Sale: Building Customer Relationships for Life.

Brian Clark is an entrepreneur based in Boulder, Colorado. He’s the founder and CEO of Copyblogger Media and the host of the New Rainmaker podcast. We’re delighted to work with him on our Masters of CX series which features true marketing thinkers and industry heavyweights covering the issues surrounding the customer experience approach and strategy. 

Find out more about the other authors and download all the reports at Masters of CX then join the discussion using #MastersofCX

In the meantime, here are a few takeaways from the report…

Build owned media assets that transcend the sales funnel

According to Brian Clark, the traditional sales funnel is rightly maligned as a flawed metaphor for the internet age. Unfortunately, most of the suggested replacements also fail to take into account how buying behaviour works online.

The traditional sales funnel fails to consider anything beyond the point of conversion. After that, marketing’s job is done. 

Conversion occurs at every step of the buying process and it continues during the entire customer lifecycle. A prospect may change into a customer through a transaction, but that only alters their place in your audience; it doesn’t eliminate them.

The easiest way to envision this is through a series of concentric circles, with your brand’s owned media at the centre point. 

Discover the customer journey and become the mentor

The mythical Hero’s Journey as identified by Joseph Campbell is incredibly fitting for the customer experience.

The American mythologist and writer Campbell studied the power of myth throughout many different cultures and ages, and discovered that many of these stories were similar. All mythic narratives are variations of a single great story…

This narrative journey, which has been told for as long as stories have been told, can be found everywhere from Star Wars to The Lion King to Lord of the Rings to John Lewis adverts.

It’s important to remember however that although your brand can be a heroic character, it can’t be the primary hero. You instead play the role of the archetypical mentor or sage. Basically your prospect is Luke Skywalker your brand is Obi-Wan.

Put yourself in their shoes and walk their path

When you’ve figured out what kind of content needs to be created, you then need to understand when it should be provided to enhance the experience through the customer lifecycle.

You’ll need to map segments of that cycle from the perspective of the customer, not the brand.

There are two types of visual mapping exercises, which you can integrate to make this happen. Empathy maps and customer journey maps.

To find out much more about these techniques and other detailed insights, download the rest of the free report.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 8 December, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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