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.