In autumn 2017, Basware Oyj, which specialises in e-invoicing services and network purchase to pay solutions, began to develop its understanding of the customer journey at the Nordic level. The company realised that information on its customers’ journeys already existed, but it had not been documented or compiled in a single location and no coherent view of the customers’ motives had been formed. Maarit Asikainen, head of the group’s Nordic marketing team, decided to address these issues. The organisation was informed immediately about the expected results.

‘Somehow, we’d got stuck in a rut where the marketing team prepared campaigns and sales staff performed selling activities. Our Nordic teams wanted to reach a situation where these functions pull together to support the customer’s purchase path. Of course, our marketing already generated leads, but we wanted to take the results to the next level with this project,’ says Asikainen.

Asikainen explains that she first assessed how best to kick-start closer collaboration between the sales and marketing teams. A content strategy seemed like an ideal tool for achieving this, as it would help shift the marketing and sales teams’ focus to the creation of a shared vision and the customer journey.

‘In ten years, the demarcation between sales and marketing will have ceased to exist.’

‘We set some concrete sales targets right at the beginning of the project. For us, it was essential that this didn’t remain as a higher level plan that is never put into practice on a concrete level. We are striving to achieve improved sales opportunities and new deals through better customer understanding.’

Supporting the customer’s journey is a joint effort

At Basware, supporting the customer’s journey is treated as a joint effort and not just as a marketing and sales task. Sales are only seen as a step on the customer’s journey, and Asikainen emphasises that Basware offers long-term partnership to its customers.

‘All those people who are in direct contact with customers play an important role in adding to our knowledge of our customers. With their contribution to the customer’s journey, they are helping us to fulfil our promise. We want this to be a seamless journey, a process that offers added value to the customer every step of the way,’ says Asikainen, summing up the marketing goals.  Having consolidated its position as a market leader, Basware is a pioneer and idea leader in its sector, but because our goal is to offer the best customer experience, we wanted to develop this area of our operations.

Basware has a global view of the customer journey. According to Asikainen, the approach was easy to adopt in the modelling of the customer journey. She explains that market-specific differences between various countries posed some challenges.

‘Throughout the autumn, I have engaged in active dialogue with our personnel in all parts of the organisation. In an extensive project like this, it is essential that all participants know what is happening and why at all times,’ she stresses.

With the customers’ purchase path now completed, Basware is moving onto the realisation stage.

Maarit Asikainen’s tips for companies facing a similar situation:

  1. When you embark on a project to model and highlight the customer journey, make sure you offer information, engage in dialogue and discuss — this ensures that everyone is on board with the project.
  2. Don’t talk about a sales or marketing project; keep the focus on the customer
  3. It’s high time to get started! Similarly to all other functions, marketing and sales are rapidly going digital.

Would you like to learn how to kick-start a project?

Content strategy provides you concrete tools for success.