Friday, May 4, 2012

Customer journeys.

I've spent a lot of time over the past few days working with a winsome "experience designer" and a bright communications planner creating "customer journeys" for a client.

Doing these, I realize, is part of the new world we inhabit. A world where our end product hardly matters as long as we do a lot of meaningless work that doesn't really have anything to do with our end product. I think customer journeys are a perfect example of this.

It's been a long week. Of course when you're doing customer journeys, it would be valid to say, "it's been a long nano-second." A long week of working on customer journeys.

I'm packing up my bag in a minute and heading to the Metropolitan Opera to see Benjamin Britten's "Billy Budd." But as I was packing up, I realized something. I've never been on a customer journey.

I recently bought something fairly expensive. I called a friend who knows a lot about such things. He told me what to buy. I bought it.

When I bought new tires for my daughter, I called up her mechanic and said "what tires should I buy?"

Maybe I "went on a journey" when I bought my Macbook. But guess what? That journey started about 25 years ago when Apple started making great machines and doing great advertising.

Likewise, I bought my daughter a used Mercedes. That journey started 40 years ago when I began reading about the brand.

I didn't see a spot, then happen upon a guerilla event, then see an ad in an in-flight magazine, then see a tweet or a Facebook post about the product.

I think the definition of customer journeys should be this: journeys customers never take.


Rich Siegel said...

If I were doing this in longhand, I would say Touche. Written with a pen I picked up on my journey to the mailroom.

Unknown said...

Our industry is coming up with a lot of bull to seem "scientific" and professional enough. Always has, always will. We had a period in between when strong leading figures like Bill Bernbach pointed to a different route, and called BS. We may need another revolution. Oh well. As you allude to, each persons "journey" is different, start at different times and places. If it only was as simple as plotting a prospective customers journey every campaign would be successful. Oh, I forgot, campaigns are dead.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I tell my mother I'm going on a customer journey she always replies "take a scarf, it may get cold".