Customer Value Journey in Digital Marketing 3

In a quaint Midwestern town, there’s a coffee shop that’s more than just a place for coffee. It’s a hub of connection.

This coffee shop has effortlessly achieved what many businesses strive for: turning passersby into a devoted community.

Ever wondered how to turn a stranger into a loyal customer, not just for a coffee shop, but any brand?

Welcome to the story of the Customer Value Journey (CVJ), one part of our predictable and profitable growth triad.

The CVJ is more than a business tactic.

It’s an eight-stage process, leading customers from first contact to deep brand loyalty.

Let’s start with the CVJ’s first stage: from strangers to visitors. Imagine a traveler entering a new city, both curious and cautious.

How do you transform that curiosity into comfort and, ultimately, a sense of belonging?

This journey isn’t about hard selling. Instead, it’s about crafting stories and experiences that echo our innate desire for connection.

As we dissect each CVJ stage, we’ll discover strategies woven into stories.

Like our beloved coffee shop, businesses aren’t just creating customers; they’re fostering communities.

We’ll delve into how to build relationships that transcend transactions, turning customers into brand champions.

This journey is about the delicate art of human connection in business, merging value creation with emotional resonance.

But remember, this isn’t just a business challenge; it’s a human adventure.

Ready for the journey?

The road to transforming strangers into brand advocates, much like the welcoming path to our Midwest coffee shop, awaits.

Let’s embark…


  • The Customer Value Journey (CVJ) is Key: In digital marketing, the CVJ acts as a guiding framework, leading businesses toward greater success.
  • Solving Business Challenges: The CVJ effectively addresses common issues like low customer engagement, high churn rates, and stagnant growth by clearly defining each stage of customer interaction with the brand.
  • Creating Customized Strategies: It allows for the development of tailored strategies that cater to customer needs at every point, thereby enhancing engagement and effectively reducing customer churn.
  • More Than Just Sales: The CVJ goes beyond being a mere sales tool; it’s a comprehensive model for cultivating strong, lasting relationships with customers, emphasizing the creation of value at every stage of their journey.
  • Building Brand Advocates: By focusing on customer satisfaction, the CVJ transforms happy customers into enthusiastic promoters of the brand, not only increasing sales but also significantly improving the brand’s reputation.

The Importance of Customer Value Journey in Digital Marketing

Customer Value Journey in Digital Marketing 1

Okay, let’s break down why the Customer Value Journey (CVJ) is your secret weapon in the digital marketing arena.

Think of digital marketing as this wild, ever-changing maze.

Now, imagine the CVJ as your personal GPS, guiding you through eight critical stages to nail your business goals.

But why is the CVJ such a game-changer in digital marketing?

Customer Value Journey example
Customer Value Journey example (source: DigitalMarketer)

Here’s the deal:

Today’s business world is grappling with stuff like customers losing interest, too many people bouncing off, and growth hitting a plateau.

The CVJ steps in by mapping out every interaction customers have with your brand.

It’s like having a playbook that tells you exactly what to do at each stage to keep your customers hooked and coming back for more.

This isn’t just about keeping your customers happy. It’s about strategic customer value optimization (CVO).

But hold up, the CVJ isn’t your run-of-the-mill sales funnel.

It’s way more. It’s about building real, solid relationships with your customers.

The kind that lasts.

The CVJ is all about delivering value at every single stage.

It’s about turning happy customers into raving fans who can’t stop talking about your brand.

And guess what?

This doesn’t just skyrocket your sales. It takes your brand’s rep to a whole new level.

Understanding the Eight Stages of the CVJ

1. Create Awareness

cvj aware

You need to be seen. Put your brand out there. It’s more than a blip. It’s big.

How? Campaigns that hit the mark. Content that holds attention. Calls to action that stand out.

Strategies for Awareness:

  • Content Marketing: Create content that matters to your audience. Blogs, videos, infographics, podcasts. Inform or entertain to draw people in.
  • SEO: Use the right keywords. Improve your search engine ranking. Be seen more easily.
  • Paid Advertising: Use Google Ads, social media, display ads. Reach more people. Target your audience.
  • PR: Get into news articles, interviews, guest posts. Boost visibility and credibility.
  • Partnerships: Work with others in your industry. Reach their audience too.

But it’s more than just being seen. It’s about engagement. It’s about making them want more.

2. Engage Them

cvj engage

You have their attention. 

Now, you engage them. It’s not just interest. It’s an experience they won’t forget.

How? Tell stories that stick. Make interactive content that makes them think. Have real conversations.

Engaging Your Audience:

  • Provide Value: Offer content that matters. Blogs, tutorials, webinars, social updates. Keep them coming back for more.
  • Interactive Content: Use quizzes, polls, surveys. Get them involved. Learn about them.
  • Social Media: Talk to your audience. Respond, discuss, ask, appreciate. Build a community.
  • Customer Community: Make a space for customers. A forum, a group. Let them talk to each other and to you.
  • Personalization: Tailor your messages. Use what you know about them. Make it matter to them.

Engagement is two-way. 

We listen, talk, and build a community. 

It’s more than selling. It’s relationships.

3. Encourage Subscriptions

cvj subscribe

We’ve got their attention. Now we make them stay. It’s not just numbers. It’s building a group of people who stand by your brand.

How? Give them reasons to stay. Special content, personal experiences, offers they can’t ignore.

Getting Subscriptions:

  • Lead Magnets: Give them something valuable. eBooks, reports, exclusive content. Make it relevant and useful.
  • Free Trials or Demos: Let them try your product or service. No cost. They get to know what you offer.
  • Email Newsletters: Get them to sign up. Tell them about the benefits. Exclusive content, special offers, first looks.
  • Discounts and Offers: Give a discount or a special deal for signing up. Like 10% off their first purchase.
  • Subscription Pop-ups: Use pop-ups wisely. Don’t annoy them. Make it a good time to sign up.

But it’s more than getting them to sign up. It’s making them feel they’re part of something.

4. Convert Them into Customers

cvj convery

Ready to turn interest into action? We’ve made them aware and got them subscribed. Now we make them customers. We want them coming back, staying loyal.

How? Offer unbeatable value, solutions that fit, and a smooth buying process.

Converting Leads to Customers:

  • Entry Point Offers: Start with an offer they can’t refuse. Low risk, high reward. Let them try what you’ve got.
  • Value Proposition: Tell them what makes you different. Solve their problem. Be clear and strong.
  • Build Trust: Show testimonials, reviews, case studies. Make them believe in you.
  • Personalize: Know your leads. Tailor your messages. Make it about them.
  • Nurture Leads: Keep in touch. Use email, ads, anything to stay on their mind. Guide them to buy when they’re ready.

But it doesn’t stop at the sale. Keep talking to them, get their thoughts, support them after they buy. It’s more than a sale. It’s about happy customers who keep coming back.


You’re not necessarily trying to make a profit here (it’s made in step #6). In fact, most successful businesses merely hope to breakeven or go slightly in the red. This stage is just about turning a lead into a happy buyer so they continue their journey with you.

5. Excite Them

cvj excite

After converting them into customers, it’s time for the ‘excitement’ stage. This is where customers realize the true value of sticking with your brand.

How? By delivering those ‘a-ha’ moments. Show them why continuing with your brand is a great choice.

Creating Excitement:

  • Surprise and Delight: Exceed expectations. Offer more than they anticipate. Make every interaction memorable.
  • Exclusive Access: Give them first dibs. New products, services, content. Make them insiders.
  • Gamification: Use game-like elements. Reward loyalty, referrals. Make engagement fun.
  • Storytelling: Connect through stories. Share your brand’s journey, customer successes, product tales.
  • Quality Content: Provide top-notch content. Educate, entertain, inspire. Keep them eager for more.

But don’t let the excitement fade. Encourage them to share their experiences. Get them talking about your brand. Turn them into advocates. It’s more than just a customer base. It’s about fostering a community that’s excited about your brand

6. Ascend Them: Foster Repeat Purchases

cvj ascend 1

Now, make a one-time buyer a regular. After they’re excited about your brand, get them to buy again. It’s more than sales. It’s about loyalty, long-term customers.

How? Offer great value, keep innovating, reward their loyalty.

Getting Customers to Buy Again:

  • Great Customer Experience: Make every step good. From looking to buying to after they buy. Good experiences bring them back.
  • Loyalty Programs: Reward them for buying again. Points, discounts, first looks at new products.
  • Upsell and Cross-sell: Show them more. Products that go with what they bought. Increase value.
  • Stay in Touch: Send newsletters, updates, emails. Keep your brand in their mind. Tell them about new stuff, sales, news.
  • Ask for Feedback: Find out what they think. Show you care. Use their ideas to get better.

But it’s not just about the sale. Make every part of dealing with your brand good. Listen to them. Fix problems fast. Always try to do better than they expect.

7. Advocate: Encourage Them to Share the Love

cvj advocate2

Ready to see your brand catch fire? After getting them to buy again, make them talk about it. It’s more than referrals. It’s making them your advocates.

How? Make sharing their good experiences easy and worth it.

Getting Customers to Spread the Word:

  • Great Experiences: Be better than they expect, every time. From first contact to after they buy. Happy customers talk.
  • Referral Program: Give them something for bringing friends. Discounts, free stuff. Make them want to share your brand.
  • Reviews and Testimonials: Make it easy to leave reviews. Maybe give something for it. Get them to share their stories.
  • Build a Community: Make a place for them to talk. Social media groups, forums, events.
  • Reward Loyalty: Have a loyalty program. Reward them for coming back. Make them feel special. They’ll tell others.

But keep at it. Stay in touch with your customers. Update them. Listen to them. It’s more than getting them to talk about you. It’s about real relationships, trust, and respect.

8. Turn Them into Promoters

cvj promote2

Ready to make your customers your promoters? After getting them to share, it’s the last step. It’s more than good reviews. It’s making them ambassadors.

How? Give them power, recognize them, reward their support.

Making Customers Brand Advocates:

  • Great Experiences: Keep giving them good service, even after they buy. Build trust and loyalty.
  • Community: Make places for them to talk. Social media groups, forums. Let them feel part of something.
  • User Content: Get them to share their stories. Reviews, posts, blogs. People trust what users say.
  • Referral Program: Give them something for bringing new customers. Make them feel important.
  • Affiliate Program: Set up an affiliate system. Let them earn by promoting your products. It’s a win-win.
  • More Than the Product: Share useful content, give free upgrades, hold special events. Offer more than they expect.

Tailoring the Customer Value Journey to Your Business

cvj journey

Discovering the Customer Value Journey (CVJ) in 2014 was a revelation for me. It transformed my approach from scattered marketing efforts to a cohesive digital strategy.

This strategy wasn’t just theoretical; it increased my salary by almost 50%. I’ve noticed that many businesses, both large and small, often miss the bigger picture. They get lost in the details and miss the forest for the trees.

The CVJ, however, offers a panoramic view of the forest, allowing you to chart a purposeful path that not only adds value but turns strangers into raving fans.

Tailoring the Customer Value Journey to Your Business

The CVJ is a robust framework, but its true strength lies in its adaptability. Here’s how you can make the CVJ work for your unique business:

Understand Your Customers

To tailor the CVJ effectively, start by deeply understanding your customers. Creating a customer avatar is a transformative step. It’s like peeling back layers to reveal their core needs, wants, and pain points.

This insight allows you to craft a journey that truly resonates.

Align with Your Brand

Each CVJ stage should mirror your brand’s values and personality. If your brand is about fun and creativity, let these elements shine in your engagement and excitement stages.

It’s about making your brand’s heart beat in every step of the journey.

Leverage Your Strengths

Identify and utilize your strengths. If you’re a wizard at content creation or a social media maestro, use these skills to enhance relevant stages of the CVJ. It’s about playing to your strengths and making the journey uniquely yours.

Adapt to Market Trends

The digital world is constantly changing. Stay agile and adapt your CVJ to align with emerging trends.

For example, with the growing influence of influencer marketing, consider integrating influencers into your advocacy and promotion stages.

Iterate and Improve

The CVJ is not static. It’s a living, breathing strategy that requires constant evaluation and refinement. Learn from what works and what doesn’t, and be ready to evolve your approach.

By customizing the CVJ to fit your business, you create a journey that not only delivers value at every stage but also fosters enduring customer relationships.

It’s about seeing the forest, understanding its paths, and guiding your customers through it, turning them into passionate advocates for your brand.


The Customer Value Journey in digital marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all model. It’s a flexible framework that can be customized to fit your business like a glove.


The eight stages of the CVJ typically include Awareness, Engagement, Subscription, Conversion, Excitement, Ascension, Advocacy, and Promotion. Each stage represents a different level of customer engagement and offers unique opportunities for businesses to interact with their customers.

Businesses often struggle with understanding their customer’s needs at each stage of the journey, creating tailored strategies for each stage, and measuring the effectiveness of their efforts. Additionally, implementing the CVJ requires a holistic approach that many businesses find challenging.

A customer value journey is more than a funnel. A funnel is simple. It’s about moving customers from point A to point B. It’s linear. The journey, though, is complex. It’s not just a path. It’s an experience. It’s about building relationships, not just making sales. The journey turns customers into advocates, not just buyers. The funnel is a tool. The journey is a strategy.

Typically, the Customer Value Journey is divided into eight distinct stages. These stages represent a customer’s phases, from their first interaction with your brand to becoming an advocate for your products or services.

CVJ can enhance digital marketing by providing a clear roadmap of how to engage customers at each stage of their journey. It allows businesses to create tailored strategies, improving customer engagement, reducing churn rates, and fostering strong, lasting customer relationships.

Success in the CVJ can be measured through various metrics such as customer engagement levels, churn rates, customer loyalty, and brand advocacy. Regular monitoring of these metrics can help businesses understand how well they meet their customer’s needs at each stage of the journey.


The story of the Midwest coffee shop, mentioned in the intro as a place of connection and not just coffee, mirrors the essence of the Customer Value Journey.

But this journey is more than a business strategy; it’s about transforming casual visitors into a devoted community. It’s a process of turning strangers into loyal patrons, not just for a coffee shop but for any brand.

Each stage of the CVJ, from the first encounter to creating brand champions, is a step in building relationships that transcend transactions.

Therefore, it’s about crafting stories and experiences that resonate with the human desire for connection. This isn’t just about aggressive selling; it’s a deeper, more meaningful approach to customer engagement.

As we conclude, it’s clear that the journey doesn’t end with a sale. But it’s an ongoing adventure in understanding the subtle art of human connection in the business world. Therefore, it’s about finding that sweet spot where value creation meets human emotion.

Now, the question is, are you ready to embark on this journey?

But to transform strangers into brand advocates, just like the path that leads to our Midwest coffee shop, mentioned in the intro?

Let’s start this journey together, building not just a customer base but a community of raving fans.