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Glossary overview

Customer Journey

Armin Gögele, last updated on Mai 18, 2023

The term customer journey refers to the path followed by a customer or guest before deciding to purchase a product or booking a hotel. This process is split into several touchpoints, where consumers interact with a brand, a product, or a service. The customer journey is divided into the following phases: 

  • Awareness: The (potential) customer has a problem or need and is looking for information.
  • Consideration: The customer is aware of the different options they can choose from but is still researching information.
  • Preference: The customer has narrowed down the options and is inclined towards one product, brand, or service.
  • Conversion: Thea customer ultimately buys the chosen product or service.

Customers or guests can be addressed in each phase with targeted marketing strategies to ensure a successful conversion.

Alternative Models of the Customer Journey

Other models also incorporate the stages after the purchase, for example, in the case of a hotel:

  • Potential guest becomes aware of the hotel (awareness).
  • They consider whether the hotel is suitable for them and their needs (consideration).
  • They make an inquiry or book a stay (conversion).
  • The guest stays at the hotel and is satisfied with the services offered (retention).
  • The guest shares their positive experiences with others on platforms or personally (advocacy).

Through targeted marketing efforts, the customer or guest can be addressed with the right advertising materials in each phase to lead them to a successful outcome.

Goals and Benefits of the Customer Journey

The process of the customer journey is particularly interesting in online marketing because user behavior can be precisely tracked, recorded, and analyzed using tracking measures. This allows for clear measurement of results and, more importantly, precise optimization. Attribution models, for example, can attribute conversions to specific touchpoints within individual advertising channels of an online campaign.

The most important questions about the Customer Journey

When does a customer journey start for a guest?

The customer journey starts with the first touchpoint of a potential guest with the hotel. This can occur offline through a print advertisement, online through an Instagram Reel or a Google Ad, or even through word-of-mouth, such as a friend's recommendation.

What is meant by touchpoints?

Touchpoints refer to all types of interaction points between a potential consumer and the brand, product, service, or, in the case of hotel marketing, the hotel itself. Touchpoints can be direct points of interaction between the consumer and the company (advertisements, website, etc.) or indirect in nature, such as reviews on hotel portals by other guests or the opinion of influencers.