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When and how to create customer journey maps

From Nielsen Norman Group: Journey maps combine two powerful instruments—storytelling and visualization—in order to help teams under­stand and address customer needs. While maps take a wide variety of forms depending on context and busi­ness goals, certain elements are gener­ally included, and there are under­lying guide­lines to follow that help them be the most successful. · Go to When and how to create customer journey maps →

Stop branding and start activating

From ChangeThis: Marketers don’t generate demand. Great compa­nies spend their time under­standing what and where latent demand exists and build the prod­ucts, services, and user expe­ri­ences that connect to that demand. They delve into their founding prin­ci­ples and develop, invent, or inno­vate goods and services specif­i­cally driven and defined by those prin­ci­ples. Don’t misin­ter­pret this effort. It’s not a matter of chasing market oppor­tu­nity. It’s as much an inward journey as it is recog­ni­tion of the current state of any given market. This is where the mental shift is happening among great compa­nies that are attracting incred­ibly loyal customer bases. They are thinking about markets and the compet­i­tive envi­ron­ment they reside in terms of user expe­ri­ence design. · Go to Stop branding and start acti­vating →

Museums, the next media companies

From Contently: When the Metro­pol­itan Museum of Art acquired Charles Le Brun’s 17th century painting “A Portrait of Ever­hard Jabach and Family” from a private English collector late last year, it made head­lines in The New York Times. In the past, this would’ve been the end of the famous painting’s story—but things are a bit different nowa­days at America’s largest art museum.

Today, anyone from the most casual art fan to the most ardent restora­tion geek can get an in-depth look at the scrupu­lous process behind the painting’s prepa­ra­tion — all by visiting the Met’s website. Once there, visi­tors can learn about the piece’s long and damaged history (the painting was folded and tucked into a frame for 250 years). The restora­tion is a chal­lenge that the museum might have once hidden from the public eye. Now, it wants to tell that tale. · Go to Museums, the next media compa­nies →

Asking “who’s the customer?”

From kottke.org: If you’ve bought a ticket to an event in the past, oh, 15–20 years, chances are you got it from Tick­et­master. Chances are also pretty good that you think Tick­et­master completely sucks, mostly because of the unavoid­able and exor­bi­tant conve­nience fee they charge. And that prob­ably has you wondering: if everyone who uses the service hates Tick­et­master so much, how are they still in busi­ness? Because ticket buyers are not Ticketmaster’s customers. Artists and venues are Ticketmaster’s real customers and they provide plenty of value to them. · Go to Asking “who’s the customer?” →

All you need to know about customer journey mapping

From Smashing Maga­zine: Stories have defined our world. They have been with us since the dawn of commu­ni­ca­tion, from cave walls to the tall tales recounted around fires. They have continued to evolve, with their purpose remaining the same: to enter­tain, to share common expe­ri­ences, to teach and to pass on tradi­tions. · Go to All you need to know about customer journey mapping →

Actually only one thing needs to change about classical music concerts

From Ron Spigelman at Sticks and Drones: Baldur Brön­ni­mann made waves with his 10 things he would change about concerts post, but he didn’t bring up the most impor­tant thing! So in October Baldur’s blog post went viral and not that this discus­sion shouldn’t take place, or that several of his ideas aren’t valid, however his list is mostly about current tastes and aesthetics and not struc­tural change.  I will give my brief take on his 10 Things and then intro­duce my one thing that I believe really will make a differ­ence.  It has very little to do with the concert itself. · Go to Actu­ally only one thing needs to change about clas­sical music concerts →

Seeing through the illusion: Understanding Apple’s mastery of the media

From 9to5 Mac: Apple’s public rela­tions depart­ment is prob­ably the best in the world — certainly more impres­sive at shaping and control­ling the discus­sion of its prod­ucts than any other tech­nology company. Before customers get their first chance to see or touch a new Apple product, the company has care­fully orches­trated almost every one of its public appear­ances: controlled leaks and advance brief­ings for favored writers, an invite-only media debut, and a special early review process for a group of pre-screened, known-posi­tive writers. Nothing is left to chance, and in the rare case where Apple doesn’t control the initial message, it reme­dies that by using proxies to deliver care­fully crafted, off-the-record responses. · Go to Seeing through the illu­sion: Under­standing Apple’s mastery of the media →

Testimonials: increase your visitor’s trust

From Yoast: Testi­mo­nials are powerful in creating trust, and not just for online shops. The same actu­ally goes for sales. Research has found that posi­tive reviews can signif­i­cantly increase sales. In fact, testi­mo­nials have been found to be a more impor­tant cue for judging the trust­wor­thi­ness of an online store than the actual overall repu­ta­tion of that store. But obvi­ously you can’t just slap on some glori­fying texts on your site. Your testi­mo­nials will have to earn the trust they’ll evoke in your site’s visi­tors. · Go to Testi­mo­nials: increase your visitor’s trust →

A complete guide to crawling inside your customer’s head with empathy maps

From Copy­blogger: We all need to know our customers in order to create prod­ucts they’ll actu­ally buy. This is why the minimum viable audi­ence idea is so powerful. It doesn’t start with the product. It starts with the customer. That means the media you create — the daily podcast, weekly Hang­outs, the monthly down­loads — all contribute to attracting an audi­ence. As that audi­ence grows, you learn their needs, wants, hopes, and fears. That infor­ma­tion allows you to build a world­view of your customer. And when you confirm that world­view in your media, it allows you to sell prod­ucts they actu­ally want to buy. · Go to A complete guide to crawling inside your customer’s head with empathy maps →

The power of aligning consumers with your brand

From Gallup: Compa­nies often believe that they can change consumers’ percep­tions of their brand by embarking on big adver­tising and marketing campaigns. They use updated logos and celebrity spokes­people to signify changes in their atti­tudes and behav­iors.

But these tactics simply promote a message; they do not deliver what consumers really value — an actively aligned brand promise. Consumers want to walk into a store, go online, or contact a customer care center and have the expe­ri­ence they were promised. They want compa­nies to back up their taglines and follow through on their guar­an­tees. When compa­nies do this, consumers will align them­selves with those brands — and ulti­mately, will trust them. · Go to The power of aligning consumers with your brand →

Why customer engagement matters so much now

From Gallup: The upshot is that consumers are spending money, but they’re more inclined to spend it only with busi­nesses they feel good about. And this mindset isn’t likely to disap­pear even if spending continues to increase — and even if it returns to pre-reces­sion levels. Simply put, consumers will give more money to the busi­nesses they feel emotion­ally connected to, and they will continue to ignore, or even oppose, those that provide them no value. · Go to Why customer engage­ment matters so much now →

The why and the how of organizations that deliver great experiences

From Peterme: As compa­nies embrace the need to take user expe­ri­ence seri­ously, often their first step is to build out a “UX depart­ment.” However, the reality is that user expe­ri­ence is a phenom­enon that emerges from an entire organization’s activ­i­ties, not just the efforts of one team. There are (at least) six compo­nents that need to be aligned throughout the orga­ni­za­tion, which I’ve grouped into “The Why” and “The How”. · Go to The why and the how of orga­ni­za­tions that deliver great expe­ri­ences →