Understanding customer motivations and influences
Sometimes, blazing your own trail is the easiest way to get lost — just ask Shyp. Though the startup aimed to disrupt the shipping industry, its low price point would eventually mean death. Shyp’s service was popular with customers looking for easy shipping solutions, but its financial model was unsustainable. The founders remained committed to their original business model instead of adjusting, and that Shyp quickly sunk.
The startup’s mistake — overestimating how often people actually ship things — is a specific example of a common problem. Companies can now access large amounts of data thanks to digital touchpoints, but they continuously struggle to understand customer motivations and influences.
Customer journey maps are perhaps the best solution for this, as they teach businesses how to build relationships with customers using their needs as connection points. Research from Aberdeen Group shows that customer journey maps improve marketing return on investment by 24 percent and shrink sales cycles by 16 percent. The business case is clear, but even when businesses do map out the customer journey, they often depend on small sample sizes and shallow inquiries or create multiple maps that go in different directions. Biases and emotions can also cloud interpretation.