The keys to optimizing your customer journey with digital advertising

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Among the notions that guide marketing teams in their daily actions, the customer journey is one of the most important.

In order to define and follow this path, there used to be models, in particular the AIDA model (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). However, with the multiplication of communication channels, these models are now becoming obsolete. Nowadays, it is more and more complex to understand how your potential customers make their purchasing decisions, as their pathways are so multiple. 

What if digital marketing allowed your brand to be present at every moment of your customer journey, to influence their purchasing decisions in a personalized way?

This is what a relevant multi-levers digital marketing mix, where media buying is streamlined thanks to programmatic advertising, promises. Here's how it can help you. 

Step #1 of the customer journey: Showcase your brand and offers

At this stage of the customer journey, your marketing strategy aims to create a need among your customers. As a marketer, your goal is to influence their behavior. To do so, you need to activate the most relevant levers to reach new potential customers and arouse their curiosity. 

Digital touchpoints you may already be using in your strategy: 

  • Search engines, with a SEO strategy that allows your brand to be present on the prospect's search path
  • Video content, which is ideal to stand out from the competition on social media, and to convey informative and educational messages
  • Reviews on social networks, a great social proof that allows potential customers to be reassured about the quality of your offers
  • Advertising banners on specialized sites, allowing you to sprinkle your brand messages throughout the customer journey

So what does digital advertising, and programmatic in particular, add to your overall strategy? 
Programmatic display can help you drive traffic to your website, to landing pages containing content that makes your target-audience aware of their needs in relation to your offers. 
To do this, focus on key formats such as... 

  • Wallpapers
  • Native advertising
  • IAB banners

To deploy the right programmatic marketing actions, check out our article "How to drive traffic to your website thanks to programmatic advertising?".

Step #2 of the customer journey: Help your targets make their purchase decision

The second stage of the customer journey that you need to take care of is the one where your targets will make the decision to buy from your brand. It all comes down to a strategy that allows the customer to decide, at a time when they are comparing the different brands and products available to them.

Digital touchpoints you may already be using in your strategy: 

  • Emails, especially with marketing automation workflows that feeds their purchasing decisions: email remains an effective touchpoint with targets whose information you have collected beforehand
  • Tutorials and product demonstrations, which show your offers in action, and demonstrate their ability to solve your customers' problems
  • Blogging, where your articles offer real added value, and make your prospects think carefully about their issues
  • Product pages, which highlight the value proposition of your offers, and should be detailed enough to give a realistic view of what the consumer can get

But how can you integrate display into your strategy? By conducting very fine retargeting campaigns, which encourage the visitor to continue browsing your brand content... or even to buy your products directly!

Because retargeting requires a real strategy, keep our 8 best practices to launch ultra-effective retargeting campaigns in mind.

Step #3 of the customer journey: Convert your targets

At this stage of the customer journey, you have to convert your targets into customers. To do so, you must convince them of the added value of your brand. 

Digital touchpoints you may already be using in your strategy: 

  • Help pages on your website, a real key to relational marketing where each customer finds an answer to the last questions he asks him/herself before purchasing
  • FAQs, to overcome the last objections of your potential customers

And here again, digital advertising can accompany this customer journey!
First of all, in a drive-to-store logic, programmatic advertising is ideal to attract your customers in physical points of sale. Key formats such as "store locator", Instamap, e-couponing or even drive-to-store by Facebook or by YouTube, become your allies to do this. 
To learn more about this topic, check out our little guide to creating performant drive-to-store campaigns.

And here’s good news: if you have a mobile app, programmatic can help you boost the number of downloads you generate
The formats you can experience with for this type of campaign are…  

  • Leaderboard ads, i.e. horizontal mega banners
  • Medium rectangle, that need to be positioned next to editorial content
  • Interstitial ads, i.e. ads that interrupt the audience’s navigation to serve the ad

Need to dive deep into this topic? Discover 7 tips to increase your app downloads thanks to programmatic advertising.

Step #4 of the customer journey: Develop customer loyalty

Last stage of the customer journey: the one where your goal is to build loyalty among your targets in order to promote the repurchase of your products, or even cross-selling and up-selling. 

Digital touchpoints you may already be using in your strategy: 

  • The newsletter, ideal to establish a regular and personalized customer relationship with targets who already like your brand
  • Blog posts, great to continue to provide best practices to your satisfied customers 

To work on your customer satisfaction, you can activate the power of programmatic. The key to doing so? Making good use of the customer data in your CRM, which helps you address your buyers with well-targeted ads that are personalized according to their previous buying journey and needs.

Want to deploy an optimal customer relationship strategy? Discover how to turn your CRM into a customer loyalty tool.

5 key tips to apply to each of your programmatic actions

Ready to invest in the various digital channels at your disposal, and implement a digital advertising strategy that allows you to accompany your customers throughout their journey? 
Don't leave without these 5 expert tips, allowing you to deploy a truly ROI-oriented digital marketing strategy

“As your potential customers' journeys become increasingly diverse, digital advertising, and in particular programmatic advertising, is one of the most effective marketing levers for creating a unified, cross-channel, ROI-driven brand experience. To do this, however, you need to think about your campaigns in terms of personalization and scripting, while making sure you deploy your budget in a streamlined way. This is where expertise in programmatic and its various levers is crucial: you need to know where to deploy your budget, and how to reach your targets in a relevant way at each stage of their journey.” Zbynek Zapletal, Head of Programmatic & Tech Development at Gamned!

Know your audience inside and out to target it the right way

If you want to set up relevant programmatic ads, you need to be able to create a fine segmentation of your targeting. To do this, you need to use all the customer knowledge you have about your targets. 
So, before launching any marketing campaign, think about studying your personas: these are portraits of your ideal customers. They should enlighten you, not only on the socio-demographic characteristics of your targets, but also on their purchasing issues and the channels they use on a daily basis to learn about their customer journey. 

Customize and script your advertising campaigns

Today, you are faced with a cross-channel customer, who expects an optimal, personalized customer experience that takes into account his/her issues. To put the customer at the center of your programmatic strategy, you need to think about personalization and scripting. 
To do so, take the time to… 

  • Implement a DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimization) tool, which allows to broadcast ultra-personalized banners, which contain for example the products consulted in your targets’ browsing history  
  • Script your campaigns to adapt your messages according to the stage of the buying process where your targets are: your customer must feel accompanied in each of his thoughts by your ads

Think mobile-first

If your programmatic strategy is to be omnichannel, it must also be mobile. Consumers are using their smartphones and tablets more than ever to research and purchase products. 
To do this, make sure to optimize your ads for mobile, via adapted formats, but also to unify the tracking of your campaigns on all devices where your ads are consulted.

Make sure your strategy is brandsafe

Implementing personalized marketing campaigns at all touch points of the customer journey is a great strategy… but you need to make sure it’s never at the expense of your brand image!
Some types  of programmatic ads will require you to set up block lists of sites where you don't want your ads to run. Make sure you do this before you start.

Set up the right KPIs to measure and optimize your results

Finally, there is no effective digital advertising without appropriate performance measurement. 
To measure the performance of your campaigns, take the time to set up the relevant key metrics. These should include... 

  • User factors, which are all metrics related to customer interactions. This can be the time spent on your web pages, the click-through rate, the number of subscriptions to your newsletter or the number of comments generated. They give you an idea of the relevance of the content you offer to your potential customers. 
  • Traffic factors, i.e. all the KPIs that measure the quality of the traffic you generate to your channels. Quality of leads, page views, unique visitors, referral traffic... These will allow you to verify that the prospects you are attracting are indeed in your core target-audience. 
  • Sales factors, i.e. the metrics that describe the economic results of your campaigns, such as the conversion rate, the ROAS (Return on Advertising Investment), or the cost of customer acquisition. These are what define the final profitability of your campaigns. 

Armed with these different digital advertising techniques and best practices, you are ready to implement a marketing strategy that accompanies your targets from the beginning to the end of their customer journey!


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