Integrating Customer Journey Mapping and Integrated Marketing Communications for Omnichannel and Digital Marketing Education: An Abstract

Debbie Laverie, William H. Humphrey, Dorcia E. Bolton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


There has been significant growth in the number of digital marketing courses, certificates, and programs in marketing departments. This growth is noteworthy as competency in digital marketing is increasingly important in the marketplace, and these skills can help job placement (Staton 2015). Reviews of marketing curriculums suggest there is a variety of ways of teaching digital marketing (Munoz and Wood 2015). We argue that integrated marketing communications (IMC) is a useful framework to use teaching digital marketing as it helps tie the tools to marketing strategy. Today’s omnichannel customer experience requires more sophisticated approaches to communication on how consumers reach purchase decisions with the existence of more complex IMC programs. A fresh way of structuring this framework is through tying IMC tactics to customer journeys. The essence of a customer journey has been equated as a process and the sum of all interactions in a customer’s path to purchase with a firm (Lemon and Verhoef 2016). A customer journey map is a visualized iteration of a potential number of media or interactions (like TV ads, retail store visits, mobile reminders) a consumer may take in the process to moving from ignorance about a product to purchase (Richardson 2010; Rosenbaum et al. 2017). Each step of the customer journey represents a potential omnichannel brand interaction a consumer may have, either offline or online, and components of integrated marketing communications strategy are enacted for those interactions that involve the brand as origin of the message. The method begins with IMC and then overlays that onto the customer journey. This approach starts with walking the student through a detailed example of a successful IMC campaign. Next, the professor discusses the notion of customer journeys. A customer journey maps a diagram that shows the steps your customer(s) go through in interacting and engaging with a company. This interaction can be online, in-store, a service, or some combination that includes every touchpoint with a consumer (Richardson 2010). The ma initiates the first interaction with the customer and continues for the life of the relationship. We offer a teaching method that incorporates IMC and customer journeys. The notion of customer journey and how it feels into an AI system is a new concept for most students. Therefore, we developed a hands-on approach that entails developing a customer journey and linking that with IMC. In our experience, students understand the material to a greater degree after this exercise versus receiving it in lecture format. We will demonstrate this process at the conference and involve attendees in building a customer journey.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173


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