Customer Journey Mapping: Targeting The Whole Customer Journey With Google Ads

ARE YOU TARGETING THE WHOLE CUSTOMER JOURNEY WITH GOOGLE ADS?  

Many advertisers limit themselves to only targeting one small, albeit important part of the customer journey when they think about Google Ads. They only focus on the “Search” – placing their ad on the search results when a potential customer searches for their product or services.  However, unless the search is something like “Plumber Near Me” or “Order Pizza Online”, the “Customer Journey” will often involve more than one search and one click. From deciding whether they even want or can afford a product or service to which brand and model of product they want to buy.  All of these steps are important in making a final sale in products or services that are considered purchases.   

In reality, customer journeys are more complicated, and usually involve many “touchpoints” before an actual purchase decision is made.  

As well as targeting just the Google Searches that lead to a purchase, Google Ads has the tools to target the whole customer journey.  

 

Answer Customer Questions Early

When people start their “customer journey” for almost any purchase, they will almost always have questions to answer first. “What does the product or service cost?”, “Which brands are best?”.  “Will this product fulfill the need I think it will?”  If you look through your Google Search Console or Google Ads Search Term data, there will be a lot of these questions.  For some searches, it may be worthwhile to compete in the search auction as the payout may be large. (“What is my house worth?”) or you may have an offer or deal on your website that is compelling enough to close the potential customer right then and there. But for the most part, people just starting out in the journey are just figuring out whether it is worth even putting the time into shopping for a particular product.  Is it within their budget?  Is it available near me? For services, it may be figuring out whether they can complete a task themselves or need to hire a professional.  

All of these searches are an opportunity to get a potential customer to your website or boost your brand awareness and get onto their short list of potential suppliers. 

There are a number of channels to get in front of customers at this early stage.  One of the most important, and cost-effective ones is basic Search Engine Optimization – creating the content that will get you in front of these early-stage searchers by answering their questions and taking the opportunity to familiarize them with your company at the same time. Investing in SEO takes time, but other options, such as Google Display Network, Discovery, or, if you have video assets, YouTube, can offer great value for paid placements – often pennies or less per impression or a few cents per click.  All of these are very cost-effective ways to get your company on your potential customer’s radar when they are researching their options.    

You can then keep on their radar with remarketing ads, social media, or inviting them to sign up for your emails and special offers – thus keeping your brand and products “top of mind” with your key potential customers.      

 

Leverage Custom Audiences

One of the often-overlooked options in Google Ads is the opportunity to create your own custom audiences based on what people have searched or the websites they have visited. This is a great, and inexpensive way to raise brand awareness with people who are shopping for your product or shopping your competitors. Custom Audiences can be applied to Search, Display, Discovery, and YouTube campaigns.  All of these are inexpensive on a CPM basis, but offer amazing reach for your brand to get in front of the right people.    

 

Build Your Brand – Keep Top Of Mind

Even in a search intensive world, your Brand is still important.  What do potential customers think of when they see your company name, logo, or ad? What attributes are associated with your brand?  Do you offer the best value? Best customer service? Fastest Service? An innovative product?  Have they even heard of you?  

Once a potential customer has visited your website, you have the opportunity to “Remarket” to them – show them more ads as they browse the web and social media.  You can remind them about the product they left in their shopping cart, but you can also use channels like YouTube and Discovery to help them learn more about  

When people do a search in Google, they are often faced with up to a dozen potential links to click to choose from to take the next step in their shopping journey. How does your company get selected?  You can have a great promise or exceptional offer in your ad. That will help. But customers are skeptical and don’t often have an infinite amount of time available to shop. If they recognize your brand, you have a better chance in this race. If they have heard positive things about your brand, you have an edge at this key point.  If they know what your brand is about, and even better, trust you, you are even further ahead. 

 

What If No One Is Looking For Your Product?

We have worked with quite a few clients who have very innovative products. So innovative, no one is looking for them – so targeting search ads is not very effective. But we have come up with innovative strategies to efficiently target the people who might be interested in their product.  

 

The economics of digital marketing strategy.

Impressions in the Google Discovery Network, the Google Display Network and YouTube are often very inexpensive – sometimes less than once cent per view for a video view or a fraction of a cent for a digital display ad impression. Whether your budget is just a few dollars per month or thousands, you can get your brand and your unique selling propositions in front of your target market easily with the  

 

At Marwick, we focus on the most efficient use of your advertising dollar.  We can target the best parts of the customer journey for your product or service to add to your business.  

Gord Addison
LinkedIn

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