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What Is a Customer Journey and How It Applies to Healthcare

As marketers, our goal is to determine the most effective way to move consumers through the funnel towards taking action and actually purchasing a product or service. The marketing funnel consists of three stages: awareness, consideration and conversion, and marketing professionals aim to perfect the right marketing strategy that will get their target audience across the finish line. A customer journey is a great way to map out this entire process, and today, I’m going to share the basic elements of creating one with you!

What is a customer journey?

Conversion is where we want all of our consumers to end up. In fact, according to ThinkGoogle, “marketing leaders are 1.5x as likely as mainstream marketers to say their organizations have a clear view of customer’s journeys across channels and devices”. Well, you want to make sure your business is one of those who has this strategy in their pocket too. How do we get them there? Well, the way to increase conversion is to strategically reach our consumers through the first two parts of the funnel first. These moments of interaction with our consumers are called touchpoints and can come in the form of social media posts, email blasts, google ads and many other tactics. The touchpoints are also presented using different channels such as social media, websites, blogs, etc. The overall process of leading your target audience through these channels, by these touchpoints is known as a customer journey. 

Healthcare Customer Journey in Action

In healthcare, it is essential to understand who your target audience is based on what service line you are trying to promote. For this example, I am going to use orthopedics. 

As depicted above, every customer journey consists of a few key elements:

  1. Key Audience Persona: Understanding who your audience is is an essential aspect to any customer journey. As you can see above, “Mary the Full-Time Working Mom” is my key target audience for orthopedic knee care. Make sure to define what your persona’s goals, motivations, frustrations and media mix are before moving on to the next step.
  2. Stage Goals and Duration: Understanding how long your persona spends at each stage of the funnel is the next step to constructing a customer journey. How long does it take them to become aware, consider and then act? It is also important to know what the consumer’s goal in each phase looks like.
  3. Channels: Then, you should establish what channels pertain to your specific persona. Do they use Instagram or Facebook? Are they on their phones or on a desktop? By determining this, you will be able to reach them through the next step.
  4. Touchpoints: Once you have figured out what channels work best to reach your persona and for how long, you must figure out what strategies would appeal to them the most. This is where you can map out whether you will use a blog post, social media campaign or maybe even a phone call.
  5. Moments of Truth: Lastly, once you have the entire process mapped out, you want to confirm that you have at least five “moments of truths” which are moments when your consumer engages back with you and your touchpoints. This could be clicking on a CTA in an email, picking up the phone and calling for more information, or even following your social media page!

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into understanding our consumers’ behaviors, attitudes and actions. A customer journey map allows marketers to map out each step in an organized manner. Not only does this increase our ability to think of a strategic marketing plan, but it also enhances our ability to connect with our consumers, driving business overall. 
Did you enjoy this post? Learn more about how healthcare content varies by social platform on my last post.

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