In real life terms, the friends of people who follow you on social media might be in the Awareness state of the funnel. However, many of them will never move down into the Interest stage. Fans on social media and your email subscribers are much more primed for the Interest phase, and once they’ve been in contact with you they would be considered Prospects in the Desire phase. Action is where they book and become customers.
I like the AIDA funnel model because it helps us visualize a few things. One is that our potential market is never going to equal the number of leads we have coming in. Even if, for example, we had a market of 100,000 ideal “Josephines” in our region, we simply cannot expect to be generating business, or even interest, from all of them at the same time.
It also helps us contextualize a few things about the marketing strategy we will be developing together. Remember when we were talking about traditional print ads? Well, where would you place them in the AIDA funnel? If you said Awareness stage, you’d be right. Traditional print ads and digital banner ads are great for generating brand awareness, but they don’t always move customers all the way to the Action stage on their own.
And if you’re drawing a blank here, wondering what to do to fill in those gaps, don’t worry! This is where the AIDA funnel needs a little help, and where we return to the idea of mapping out a Customer Journey. I love Customer Journey mapping because it helps us take our Ideal Client Avatar and understand and empathize with their process of finding our services in ways that make us better in our marketing and our overall business services.
The Customer Journey Map
The core purpose of a Customer Journey Map is to understand what a prospect is thinking and feeling at each stage of their process. It takes elements from the AIDA funnel and humanizes it by asking us to explore the ways in which we might reach a potential customer in their journey, and what that potential customer is thinking and feeling at each point. A Customer Journey Map also asks us to explore what our opportunities are at each of these moments.
Let’s explore an example together. Let’s say that you are a boudoir & glamour photographer and that your Ideal Customer Avatar is named “Karen.” You’ve fleshed out your Ideal Customer Avatar and decided that Karen recently got a promotion and wants to celebrate. She has worked really hard to get to this point in her career but realized that she wasn’t taking the time to celebrate all of her milestones.
Ask yourself what an Awareness stage might look like for Karen. Perhaps her girlfriend shares a social media post with her. Or as she is browsing the internet an article featuring your work and mission to empower women comes up.
In the social media post or internet feature, there might be a link to another of your blog articles that talks more deeply about your mission, and your own backstory in coming to love this type of photography. Moved, Karen bookmarks your blog and thinks that a photoshoot might be just the thing for her. She’s a little nervous about the idea of being in front of the camera, but she is officially in the Interest stage.
After reading your blog for a short time, Karen decides to sign up for your newsletter. She has officially expressed Desire, and for everyone who moves into this phase, you’ve queued up a welcome series for prospects like Karen. The goal of this is to introduce your studio’s philosophy and that manages to answer a lot of questions potential clients might have had about a photoshoot.
Once she has gone through the automated welcome sequence, Karen gets an email with a video showcasing a behind the scenes look at one of your photoshoots and inviting her to book. She takes Action by responding and asking for a consultation. You meet, she books, and she walks away a very happy and confident customer!
Again, at each of these stages it’s important to think about what your ideal client might be thinking and feeling. What are the opportunities that might exist at each stage, with both negative and positive thoughts and feelings?
Let’s take a look at what a Customer Journey Map might look like with another example of how Karen might find a glamour and boudoir studio. Ask yourself what an opportunity could look like for each of these stages and feelings: