We talk a lot about journeys in our business, usually in the context of a “customer or buyer’s journey” or a “project roadmap.” Broadly speaking, a journey can be defined as a passage or progress from one stage to another. By this definition, a journey can be used to describe any number of things. It can certainly be used to describe a series of projects that take our clients from where they are today to a new stage of maturity with the marketing systems they use.
We all know journeys typically have a destination, but for me, understanding the motivation for the journey is equally important. It helps define our goals. In fact, getting to a true understanding of why you’re on a journey can be a journey in itself—a fascinating and exciting one.
You may wonder why understanding your motivation is so important. Generally, we spend time figuring out the “what” and the “how” of what we’re doing—what must be done, and how will we do it. We overlook the “why.” But without knowing why, we may get lost, confused or discouraged along the way.
What the journey looks like
Let’s look at an example in which figuring out the motivation for a client’s journey with us made all the difference.
The journey started with a crack team of DemandGen consultants conducting a series of interviews, both by phone and in person, with key stakeholders, to determine what was important to them and why they felt they needed help. In other words, we made determining the “why” of their journey a priority, early on. After the interviews and subsequent presentations, we had a solid understanding of our client’s pains and goals. With that information, we were able to define our destination—the “what.”
By the end of the process, we had some familiar items on our project list: Develop a Lead Management Framework, provide Lead Scoring, deliver a Lead Nurture Framework and so on. Then, we mapped out projects over time and demonstrated—at a high level—how we were proposing to deliver the projects we recommended. We looked for dependencies and considered available resources to put together a plan that met their deadline.
Quite frankly, we probably would have predicted those basic needs without conducting interviews, and we could have easily mapped out the “how” based on what we already knew. But information we obtained through speaking with the client enabled us to devise five critical objectives, to accompany our project list and plan. Altogether, we had the “what,” “how,” and, most importantly, the “why.”
Icing on the cake
With all three components at our disposal, we could tie each project back to a critical objective. We used this infographic to explain our approach visually, which was extremely effective:
Over the last few months, we’ve had to change and reprioritize some of our project components, and we’ve had many discussions about how to execute. But what never changed was the “why”—knowing the client’s motivation for a journey of change has helped us keep focus and make the right decisions.
Because we understood “why,” we were able to establish key points of measurement for success, and report back to the business in terms that were relevant to the business and its specific issues.
Strong reasons make for strong actions
As Shakespeare once wrote, “Strong reasons make for strong actions.” Understanding the reasons for the journey helps us set goals, and those goals drive action, helping us to keep our energy focused on our goals. That way, when we reach our destination, we feel satisfied and understand what we accomplished. We’re also ready to start planning the next journey.
Norm Bellisario – With over 20 years experience managing professional services in a number of agency settings, Norm has focused on delivering excellence to satisfied clients all over the world. Prior to joining DemandGen Norm designed and managed marketing and online initiatives for Motorola, Disney Online, CNN, NASA (Americas), Bandai Enterprises, Sony (APAC), Volvo and Eli Lilly (EMEA). Bringing his strong marketing background and management experience to DemandGen, Norm has managed hundreds of Eloqua projects and client initiatives. Today, Norm is responsible for all professional services and team members in the Americas, ensuring that the execution team and project managers have the training, resources and coaching they need to deliver world-class services to our clients.