How to Tackle the Barrier of Abstraction with Flow Mapping
Everything that is bought or sold has a customer journey: the awareness of the need, consideration of the options, and a decision to purchase. User journeys vary from the very straightforward and simplistic to incredibly complex and long-winded. While it’s nearly impossible to pin down every customers’ exact user journey, it’s very important to be visible throughout your customers main routes to purchase – especially in B2B and high-value purchases.
Importance of Visualisation
Regardless of the complexity or simplicity of each user journey, to be visible throughout a customer’s journey requires the skills of multiple teams and contains many different creative and technical elements. This process can become quite overwhelming when you’re trying to also plan content and media to support the journey. It can often involve pulling teams together towards one common goal.
Visualising the user journey, content, and the supporting media removes a lot of the hard brain work of conceptualising. Some elements of the process such as planning remarketing strategies can be counter-intuitive and being able to see the elements of the plan in front of you can help remove the abstract nature of the process; it can help you understand fundamental requirements and remove distractions. This can be done using a variety of tools from specialist software to word documents or spreadsheets.
Over time we’ve come to rely on Google Draw to help us visualise our client’s customer journeys. The free and easy-to-use tool is also shareable for collaboration between teams and clients. Using Google Draw, you can delegate specific tasks to different teams in your organisation. It gives us and our clients a better understanding of what media and content is needed. We tend to use Google Draw to create flow maps of a user’s journey and can then visualise how we interact with them at each stage. You can use our template here.
While working with Travelport Digital, we developed content distribution strategies that mapped onto their customers’ journeys. We found these visual aids very helpful for planning and communicating our award winning strategy. You can learn more about how flow mapping supported our campaign by checking out our case study here.