Storyboarding (customer journey mapping) is the process of displaying images or illustrations in sequence to pre-visualize a motion picture or interactive media sequence. The idea is to better plan how viewers will experience the story. Or looked at from a retailer or B2B supplier’s perspective: What does the customer experience look like when they walk in your store? Visit your website? Or move from channel to channel?
Take one of the world’s most iconic theme parks whose creators required a clear plan for how the brand wanted visitors to experience the park. They used the concept of storyboarding to look at the park through the eyes of a visitor. As a result, it made the castle at the center of the park appear much larger than it really is by shrinking the size of the buildings on the main street leading up to it. This effectively created a visual that is enchanting to people as they first enter and influences their experience of the park from beginning to end.
For B2B brands, storyboarding helps determine the layout of an entire e-commerce site or mobile app, from the way the homepage is designed to the size of images on the site or how to navigate from page to page. Mapping out the entire journey ensures that the customer’s interaction with the brand is smooth and efficient.
Here are a few tips for B2B brands using the storyboarding idea to create a digital experience for online customers:
Take advantage of the homepage. The homepage of your website or mobile app should act as the “front door” to your brand. It should lead your site’s visitors on the journey you want them to experience. It should be easy to use, interactive and designed in a way that navigating feels natural. Ask yourself: At what point are most visitors leaving your site? If you change the positioning of certain content on the page, does it change?
Start with personas. When envisioning your customer’s story, it’s important to keep in mind exactly who your customers are and how they think and behave. Create a persona for your typical customer to keep in mind when mapping out their journey. How do they make decisions? What are their priorities? What might inspire them?
Make changes along the way. Don't feel like you have to map the entire journey from square one and stick to it. It's okay to make improvements along the way. Experiment with different ideas and determine what resonates best with your customers. It’s better to lead customers down a few different paths to determine what works best rather than relying on one experience that might lead customers away from your site. A/B, or multivariate testing, is an important part of understanding the experience your users will have on your site before launching.
Talk to your audience. Don't assume that you, the seller, are the expert. The best way to actually determine what your customers want in interacting with your brand is by talking to them. Do focus groups, conduct surveys and pay attention to website analytics to determine where customers may be cutting off the journey.
Before creating digital content, whether it’s an e-commerce site or a branded app, successful brands map out the journey a customer would take when interacting with the content. They create branded content with the full experience in mind. They master this because they experiment, talk to customers and create a journey — and tell a story that keeps their priorities in mind.