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Customer Journey, beyond physical engagement by Brenda Hobin

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Photo by Jason Briscoe

When I was asked by our talent management team to conduct a practical training session on marketing for Future Leadership Advancement Institute for Real Estate (FLAIR)

training programme, I deliberated which segment of marketing I should choose to discuss. FLAIR is aimed at cross training future leaders with the aim of each individual to one day assume a critical role within the YOMA Group. 

Branding and Portfolio Management .. Marketing Communication .. These topics sounds too theoretical and I wanted to share practical tips that are easy to understand and relate to, hence Customer Journey came to mind.

Customer Journey

While it is not exactly a new topic, the study of Customer Journey has undergone massive changes and has evolved considerably over the years. 

Beginning with the engagement between service providers or organisations and consumers, through pre-defined on-boarding processes, touch-points and events with specific starting and ending points, a journey is imagined and described in detail which goes beyond the actual, physical interaction and engagement with a customer.

Regardless of the different approaches, the ultimate goal of the journey or experience is the sense of conversion - from being a non or new user to becoming a loyal customer. For companies and service providers, understanding the customers’ experiences offer opportunities for innovative ideas to be realised, such as the creation of new and exciting events or products that continuously exceed the customers’ expectations.

For marketers, understanding human behaviour and psychology creates opportunities for early buy-in, and creates opportunities for marketers to convert a lead to sales. The earlier the buy-in takes place along the marketing and sales funnels, the higher the chances are of closing a sale.  

To illustrate the point on early buy-in, we look at the imaginary journey of movie director Quentin Tarantino. It’s believed that epilogue-y, his 10th movie will also be his last. After the movie, he intends to spend time with his first child and playing golf in his holiday homes around the world; Yangon is one of the post epilogue-y destinations. As he has not decided where he would spend most of his time at this juncture, he decides to lease villas and will decide if he buys the villas later. 

The customer journey starts way beyond the actual interaction in this case. His decision will be based on a golf estate. That’s where the golf estate brands need to be, at the precise moment Tarantino decides epilogue-y will be his last movie. This is where a strong brand with international presence is of utmost importance; a strong brand awareness creates directions to be considered at the start of the marketing funnel. Tarantino would then ask his agent or manager to investigate the brands.  

At this stage, the manager will investigate the designs of the villas, the reputation of the golf courses and the quality of the golf clubs and the professionals who are part of the structure.

A good reputation could be earned in the form of awards, for instance, Pun Hlaing Golf Club becomes the natural choice of selection given the reputation of it being the best golf course in Myanmar with the additional kudos that it was designed by the legendary golfer Gary Player.

As Tarantino is going to want to spend time with his young child he will be considering staying at an estate which offers exceptional club services, reputable medical care, international education, excellent dining experiences and reliable security. Lastly the reputation of the real estate developer, in this case, Yoma Land, an award winning real estate developer, partner of international hotel brands such as the Peninsula Hotels Group and Marriott International would influence Tarantino’s final decision making.

Customer Journey goes beyond the engagement of the intended buyers or customers, in fact it benefits from the positive experiences of the existing users who I consider to be the ambassadors of the brand.

Customer Journey is not a linear experience, it could be better described as a cobweb of experiences.

Brands who can understand and deliver these intricate and complex experiences and engagements throughout the touch-points stand a better chance of survival in the competitive marketplace. 

About Brenda Hobin

Mrs. Hobin is the Deputy General Manager Marketing of Yoma Land. She understands customer journey, and uses the knowledge and insights to enhance the company’s strategic messages.

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