Friday, August 12, 2016

Introducing the Buy/Own/Advocate Customer Experience Journey

Even though we all recognize the role of word of mouth (WOM) in building brands and delivering marketing results, customer journey models routinely omit any consideration for the impact of brand advocacy. Many of the journey frameworks used today to guide customer experience (CX) initiatives fail to account for the ways happy customers champion the brands they love and how others value WOM as they discover, evaluate and select products and services.

In the era of always-on, personalized information and trusted WOM at scale, it is time to update our customer journey models to recognize how great customer experience drives WOM, and great WOM drives business outcomes. Marketers need a new and better framework--one that considers the entire virtuous circle from buy to own to advocate and back to buy, again.

The customer journey model we use on the Gartner for Marketing Leaders team--the Buy/Own/Advocate framework--recognizes that strong brands aren't merely better at acquiring customers; they are better at keeping them and motivating them to tell others. This is why improving CX isn't just the right thing to do for your customers; it is also the right thing to do for your organization and its stakeholders.

For example, in 2011, Starbucks was honored as one of the top five brands for customer experience. That same year, the brand moved up two spots to become the third largest restaurant chain based on sales. It did this despite “being outspent on advertising anywhere from two to eight times by rivals.” This company and its success demonstrate how great marketing results come from the combination of smart outbound marketing and compelling, differentiated customer experience.

To learn about other brands activating their Buy/Own/Advocate customer journeys, the importance of driving customers not just to use but love and the power of advocacy and loyalty, please read the complete blog post on my Gartner blog. 

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