Understanding The 5 Essential Parts of a Customer Journey Map

— By

The Kärna Team

Many business owners know that having a Customer Journey Map is key to any business’ success. But what’s not as common is knowing what exactly a strong and strategic CJM entails.  

Creating a CJM requires a lot of time and effort as you have to take the time to figure out and understand your team, your customers, and what their experiences are at every touchpoint of your business.  

The reality is that many businesses don’t have the time to sit down to make sense of all of this data. This results in CJMs that have many missing pieces. This gives businesses a false sense of security in their knowledge of their customers, leading to many issues down the road. For example, inaccurate budgets that cause you to waste money and resources when you could have redirected them elsewhere.

Good news, you can avoid problems like these if you follow Kotler’s 5 A’s.

The 5 A's to Sales Marketing

This strategy was created by Dr. Phillip Kotler, a famed marketing scholar and expert to help marketers and business leaders like you effectively map out the customer experience!  

Note: Before going through the 5 A’s, make sure you have established your Buyer Personas. If you have not, don’t worry. Here’s our expert made Audience Research template to help get you on your way!  

1. Awareness

This first stage refers to when a potential customer learns about your business- whether that be from online ads, referrals, or from a search engine. The main takeaway is that they know you exist, though, this doesn’t mean they will make a purchase just yet!  

Questions for reflection:

  1. How do customers usually find you?
  2. Where is your Buyer Persona usually found? (For example, mainly on Instagram instead of Facebook or search engines)

2. Appeal

This stage is when your potential customer starts to develop an interest in what you offer and will keep you in mind when they want to make a purchase in your field. They might seek out more information about you on your website and online.  

Questions for reflection

  1. What are your most popular products?
  2. Who’s your competition?
  3. Why might your Buyer Persona choose you over your competition?

3. Ask

This stage is when your potential customer becomes a little bit more serious about following through with a purchase. But before they do so, they need to learn more about your business through testimonials, reviews, talking with your customer service, etc., so they can compare it to your competition.  

Questions for reflection

  1. How do your different customer personas seek out information about your business (for ex: social media messages, customer service chats, etc.)?
  2. How do you respond to negative reviews?
  3. How do you respond to positive reviews?

4. Act

Your potential customer pulls the trigger and makes a purchase from you!  

Question for reflection

  1. What is the average length of time it takes for a customer to pull the trigger?
  2. What strategies/campaigns do you have that encourage customers to follow through with a purchase?

5. Advocate

If the potential customer has a pleasurable customer experience, they are likely to become an advocate for your business. This means that they might share their experience on social media, leave a positive review, and recommend you to their friends, family, and other businesses! If they become an advocate, they are more likely to become loyal customers!  

Question for reflection

  1. Think of a time when a customer became an advocate for your business- what was their experience like? How can you replicate it for different Buyer Personas?


If you keep all 5 A’s for each of your Buyer Personas in mind, you will be able to build strong CJMs for each! We have created a free template based off Kotler’s 5 A’s framework to help get you started that you can download here!

If you and your team are looking for more help with Customer Journey Maps, the Kärna team has your back. We can lighten your workload by helping you create powerful strategies that get your business on the right path towards success. Book an consultation with us today to get started!

December 28, 2022
Marketing Strategy
The Kärna Team
December 28, 2022
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