Companies like Amazon, GoPro, Zappos, Uber, and Apple have demonstrated again and again that having a deep understanding of who one’s customers are and how they make decisions is one of the most powerful competitive advantages an organization can possess. Over the years, marketers have devised a number of tools like buyer personas, empathy maps, and journey maps to better understand the customer’s experience and decision-making process. Unlike personas and empathy maps that attempt to build a more or less static profile of buyers’ characteristics, journey maps convey how the customer’s decision-making process unfolds over time.
While journey maps can be used to describe almost any buying decision, they’re particularly helpful in describing high-consideration decisions — like choosing a college — that often span months or years, involve input from many sources, and include a variety of logical and emotional considerations.
In this episode, we talk with Matt Sluzinsky, Director of Web Strategy and Services at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. While Mayo Clinic is one of the most recognizable names in medicine, many are surprised to learn the clinic also provides over 400 academic programs ranging from entry-level certificates to elite residency programs. As part of the school’s efforts to raise awareness about the extraordinary range of opportunities available at the college, Matt and his team partnered with an outside firm to create a series of journey maps to better understand how different types of students engage in the decision-making process and how to better tailor the college’s online content to support prospective students in their journey.
According to Matt, the results were illuminating and helped to energize his team’s efforts as they set about a full-scale redesign of the college’s website. Backed by fresh, compelling data, his team was able to focus their efforts on developing the specific types of content they knew would have the greatest impact on prospective students, including the creation of a comprehensive online healthcare careers guide.
In this episode, Matt outlines the process his team used to create the journey maps and shares specific examples of how the journey mapping process informed his team’s work.
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