So You Want To Make A Journey Map, Part 2: Who Do You Map?

JourneyMaps_Promotion-Pat-1In my last blog post I talked about what journeys you should map when you set out to create journey maps of your customers. But I also mentioned another equally important decision to make when you’re creating your journey maps—not just what to map, but who to map. If you were wondering how to make that decision, look no further—I’ll guide you through the process here.

The first mistake most people make is assuming journey mapping is a “one size fits all” process. But one journey map can’t represent everybody, because different customers have different journeys. Customers are not one monolithic group—they vary by all sorts of factors, such as their goals, product usage, or experience with your category. You need to capture how these factors influence and alter their journeys in your maps.

As an example of how to break down your consumer base by these defining variables, let’s look at three different maps for a health care provider. In this case, the maps are broken down by the customers’ internal motivations, which is the most important factor in how these different consumers interacted differently with the provider.

First, there was the persona we termed Motivated Molly. Molly cares about getting the best care and rates, and she’s very self-motivated. The best way to serve her is to give her the tools she needs and then get out of the way.


(Click to enlarge, or click here for a PDF version.)

Next, there’s Discouraged Debbie. She’s sure she’ll never fully recover from her back surgery—and she’s right, if she isn’t helped out and supported, she won’t. You need to help her with every step and provide her the support she needs.


(Click to enlarge, or click here for a PDF version.)

Finally, there’s Passive Pat. He could make a full recovery, or he could end up with pain for the rest of his life—he’s on the edge, and doesn’t come in with very many preconceived ideas, so his experience depends exclusively on how he’s treated.


(Click to enlarge, or click here for a PDF version.)

If you tried combining all these journeys into one map, you’ll create a mishmash that doesn’t actually apply to anybody.  You might end up smothering Motivated Molly or abandoning Discouraged Debbie. Each has a different journey, and your employees need to understand who they’re working with. If you try giving Molly the full-on attention that Debbie or Pat needs, not only are you wasting resources, you’re probably frustrating her. But if you assume Debbie will take charge of her own healthcare, you’re going to be very disappointed.

So how do you create these profiles to more accurately and effectively map your customers’ journeys? First, see if your organization has existing segments, perhaps by attitudinal differences or motivations. Demographic breakdowns can also be useful sometimes, though usually the real difference between segments of customers lies in something else. These may exist in marketing, but we often find that Customer Insights has segments or personas that may not be actively used by the rest of the organization.

If you don’t already have existing segments, can create them in the journey mapping research process. This works fine – about 2/3 of our clients don’t have existing personas or segment. But if you have existing customer types, it’s definitely a best practice to use them.

In addition, even if you do already have segments, it can be useful to separate customers by product usage—who purchased, and who didn’t. Who uses you for one product versus multiple. You want to find out who are fans and who aren’t—ideally, include past customers in this, too.

A full understanding of different types of customers will help you organize your journey maps most effectively, and make sure all your customers are represented. This in turn will assure that you are making journey maps that matter, accurately representing your customer base so your organization can better understand your customers’ journeys and drive real change throughout your organization.

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