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Realtime Boards: An Innovative Approach to Customer Journey Mapping

Realtime Boards: An Innovative Approach to Customer Journey Mapping

By Crystal Gee, Solutions Associate

We find more and more clients are interested in understanding their customers’ journey to purchase. But from experience, we also know that these studies can be massive and require extensive time and travel, both on our side and the client’s.

In our typical journey mapping interview, participants create a large map that represents their triggers, behaviors, emotions and influences in their decision pathway. All the complex individual journeys, from all the interviews, in all the locations, are then combined, digested and refined in an extensive ‘war room’ synthesis session with our own and client teams. This approach has been very successful in producing strong, actionable decision pathways that reveal opportunities for clients to influence their customers’ decision-making.

However, as believers in the importance of continuous innovation, our team explored platforms that would allow us to do much of the in-depth interviewing, journey mapping and partial synthesis virtually.

Landing on a platform called Realtime Board, we customized it for our own unique systems-focused Journey Mapping approach. This allows us to:

  1. Conduct online journey interviews with geographically dispersed and sometimes difficult-to-reach audiences,
  2. Use an overarching framework and set of journey icons consistent with our in-person work,
  3. Share a screen with the respondent, so they can populate a journey map as personally and in as much detail as they would in-person,
  4. Allow clients to observe the interviews from their own offices, adding probes as the respondent’s journey unfolds.

One interesting application of this approach to journey mapping was for an appliance client. Due to the virtual nature of the interview, we were able to interview people who were actually in the process of making a decision. Capturing them in real time yielded nuances in the decision process that are often forgotten in retrospect.

A final, important point: the Realtime Board makes it possible for us to do much of the pre- and post- synthesis work virtually, so the analysis process is more efficient and quickly identifies the patterns we need in order to understand the human story. This means we can spend more time in-person working on solutions.

We know our clients’ time and money are precious and we’re proud to be able to offer this option for Customer Journey research that allows them to capitalize on what we consider to be a stellar systems approach, while respecting both their time and budget.

Disruption and Disintermediation

It has been said that we now live in a world of perpetual disruption. Technological advancement continues to drive seismic, industry-wide shifts across just about every category of consumer engagement. For brand, marketing and insights professionals, proven approaches to managing strategic equity have long played a stabilizing role for customer acquisition and growth within the context of evolving consumer behavior. However, there is no doubt that the pace of change has increasingly exposed or created new blind spots for brand marketers. Innovation in industries from Financial Services (read banking, wealth management, lending, payments, etc.) to grocery, healthcare, hospitality and retail goods have changed the competitive landscape view from two-dimensional perceptual maps to complicated topographic-like landscapes where disintermediation has marketers nervously looking over their collective shoulders wondering what’s next? Where do we compete? What business are we actually in?

 

Within this context, it is easy to feel on the back heel when managing brands and addressing market opportunity. It does not have to be this way. Brands rise or fall by how well they resonate within the context of human decision-making. At Heart+Mind Strategies, we guide clients in evaluating their competitive landscape with a holistic view to ensure they are still relevant and resonating with both their existing target market and potential newly addressable market. Which competitors have “moved the cheese” and how should we respond? What new consumption models have born out to present threats? Or proactively, what opportunities exist for clients to leverage their strategic equity to create disruption and redefine the landscape?

 

We understand you resonate with people when you understand your role in context of how they make their way TO a decision and help organizations succeed because of, not despite disruption.

Heart in head

Knowing what is valued at a rational and emotional level showcases the things you need to say or do

Pathway icon

Mapping the pathway illustrates the experience you need to create or facilitate at specific moments.

Gears

Understanding their lives in context uncovers the role(s) you need to play in context of everything else

At Heart+Mind Strategies, we help clients defensively respond to new competitive offerings as well as determine where and how they can successfully compete with a new dynamic. To discuss how we might support your efforts, please contact Brian Elkins or Graham Lane.

 

How Strategic Partnerships Help You Innovate

Innovation is never easy. That’s why collaborating with the right business partners can be invaluable.

“Innovation at the end of the day is about helping your customers grow, whether it’s a product or a service line, or the way they do business,” says Mike Dabadie, President and Managing Partner of Heart+Mind Strategies. “Innovation is about being responsive, customer centric and co-creative.”

This IndustryWeek white paper explores the client and supplier sides of multiple relationships–including Mike’s long-time partnership with R&R Partners in service of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the people who brought you the infamous tagline “What Happens Here, Stays Here” #WHHSH.

To read the full IndustryWeek article, click here: UPS_IW_Partnership-Has-Its-Benefits_WhitePaper_final copy