Ancient Japanese samurai called it “ikigai.” Sixteenth-century Tibetan monks referred to it as “lamrim.” And centuries of African tribal communities simply referred to it as “pad.” Today, we commonly understand it as “the way” or a purposeful pursuit of a certain direction. This enlightened ideology has resonated with the sage marketing gurus here at Spoke, and we’ve come to know it as, well, destination mapping™.
It sounds easy enough – a plan to get from Point A to Point B. But inspired by years past, our process for developing this marketing approach is based on illuminating research, inspirational ideas, and insightful strategies that bring our clients along on this proven path and connects them with potential clients where it matters most: the customer journey. Ready to get started? As the Chinese proverb exudes: the trek of a million miles begins with a single step.
Step 1: Walk in Your Customers’ Shoes
In order to get you where you want to be, you need to find out where you are, and this requires you to take a close look at all aspects of your brand. At Spoke, we specialize in conducting “discovery sessions” which will help you clearly define your brand attributes and audience and begin to develop a plan to meet potential buyers on the way from Point A to Point B of the customer journey. It’s also about providing them with everything necessary – the right messaging, incentives, and inspiration – to convert prospects into brand advocates.
Participating in this brand-building exercise will help you develop a clear understanding of your customers and how they think, feel and act. In short, what motivates and inspires them to action, and why your brand is the solution that they have been seeking. When you ease their pain points and give them a clear path to their own personal victory, your brand becomes the hero they have been looking for. And when you help your customers find their way, you in turn, will begin to find yours. That’s how you begin to successfully move your brand from where you are to where you want to be™.
Step 2: Chart an Inspired Path
Research helps you do more than just identify who your buyers are; it helps you to develop a customer profile. We call it a persona – a detailed look at common characteristics of people who are attracted to your brand. From a business-to-business perspective, we can also help you to develop an ideal customer profile (ICP) that will help you define the type of company that has all of the qualities that make them the best fit for the solutions you provide.
Creating accurate personas and ICPs makes it easier to develop highly-specific messaging that connects with your prospects. Suddenly you’re developing marketing for real people and companies and not just a demographic. You’re able to go well beyond just a standard brand message to producing meaningful words and graphics that touch emotions, build excitement and expectations, and provoke positive action.
While you can’t change the way your customers make purchases, you can develop approaches to meet them where they are in their buying journeys and give them everything they need to make a purchase decision. In addition, you can’t alter the roadmap your customers are following, but you can chart an inspired path to connect with them during every step of the buying process. How do you accomplish this lofty goal?
Spoke’s destination mapping process will help you to create a detailed messaging framework that brings your brand to life. Your messaging should provoke thought, appeal to sensibilities, and open your persona’s eyes to what your brand truly is – the best and most valuable solution for them.
Step 3: Speak to Your Customers’ Innermost Thoughts
It’s not about what you want to say; it’s about what your customers want to hear. That means tailoring messaging that inspires your persona to take action and become part of your brand success story. It all begins with a messaging framework that works in tandem with your marketing plan to build a cohesive, campaignable pathway of information that appeals to intellect and emotion. While logic is important, most people buy based on emotion and if you don’t get them to feel something, it’s hard to get them to buy anything.
To be clear, brand messaging is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Within your defined customer persona and ICPs, there will be sub-categories with different motivations and outlooks and in different stages of their buyer journeys. A well-researched and thought out messaging framework can help you to create detailed campaigns that reach everyone included in your audience. This allows you to not only speak directly to your prospects and customers but inspire them to make your brand their ultimate destination.
Step 4: Follow the Fastest Path to Cash™
It’s all about arriving at a place that’s where you want to be. One that gives you every opportunity to better serve your customers, connect with them and provide the solution they are seeking. When you successfully accomplish this, something amazing happens. Your brand keeps moving too – onward and upward toward achieving the goals you’ve set for you, your team, and your business.
When your potential meets a great plan, the road before you is a path of infinite possibilities. Consider Spoke as your sage guide for recognizing the possibilities and helping you turn them into a profitable reality. We like to call it the enlightened way. You’ll simply identify it as your fastest path to cash. Either way, we both win. And isn’t that what great partnerships are all about?
None of Us Are Getting Any Younger. Be Wise and Connect with Us Now.
Thousands of years of wisdom (and a little bit of destiny) have led you to this blog. Now the wise thing to do is let us empower you on your continuing journey – and your customers on theirs. Let’s take the first step and begin the destination mapping process. You’ll like where you end up.