Everyone is planning their next trip, even if they don’t know it.

Chris Newton

The customer is always somewhere in the consumer journey. That’s a concept we’ve embraced at JC Resorts. Some people look at the consumer journey as linear. We see it as spherical. 

Customers are always in one of these phases: 

  • Awareness: we’re building subconscious demand
  • Dreaming: we’re implementing casual touchpoints and relationship building
  • Considering: we’re pushing more direct communications about our resorts
  • Booking: we’re providing content, offers, promotions, upsells
  • Experiencing: we’re connecting during their stay
  • Advocating: they’re sharing their experiences, and we’re amplifying it, building more subconscious demand 

And then it starts all over again. 

When you break it down like this, I think it simplifies our job as marketers a bit. Because when you know exactly where the customer is on their journey, you can map your marketing tactics for each phase of the journey, and connect those tactics within that strategic sphere so they work together. 

That’s what we’ve done. We’ve diagramed the entire consumer journey and then we’ve gone through the internal exercise of aligning all of our marketing strategies for each phase. 

For instance, if we are targeting customers higher up the funnel in that dream stage, one of our marketing strategies is to partner with our destination marketing organizations. We pull through some of their high-quality destination content and then leverage that content in ads targeting our past guest list, or other audiences with similar attributes. In that dream phase, we want to put the destination front and center, and our resorts are part of the story. 

For our active bookers, we’re pushing hard in hotel search results and personalized communications that emphasize the booking conversion. For customers who are already staying with us, we’re looking at the best ways to drive ancillary revenue. 

I think it’s such a useful exercise to map out the consumer journey like this. Get your whole team in a room and workshop your go-to-market strategies for each phase of the journey. 

If nothing else, it removes some of that “mystery” surrounding marketing, because you can point to the strategies that work as a group and really get the team aligned. Plus, all of your strategies are documented, proven, and agreed upon, which takes almost all of the guesswork out and lets you put the focus back on execution, where it should be. 

Chris Newton