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From nominating to analyzing, Orca is there to guide you through your customer marketing journey to ensure you have the industry's best practices implemented


Bringing customers into the program shouldn't be the blocker. Whether you have an existing pod, need to find new ones, or just want to see what our classifier will produce, Orca has made it easy to expand your customer marketing pool.


Advocates only make an impact when your colleagues can utilize them. Orca's native Salesforce functionality seamlessly integrates into existing sales and customer success motions to ensure adoption and utilization.


From finding your best advocates, to determine which awards return the highest ROI, Orca enables the pandora's box of data analytics for your customer marketing program

What Are the 5 Stages of the Customer Journey?

November 22, 2023

When a business is strategizing their most effective marketing plays, customer marketing should be near the top of the consideration list. A customer marketing plan leverages the power of your satisfied customers to reach new potential clients. Essentially, customer marketing primarily focuses on building and nurturing those relationships that will ultimately result in referrals, testimonials, case studies, advocacy, and more. It involves segmenting customer profiles, personalizing communication, and fostering mutually beneficial relationships—as its foundational techniques. 

Because so many companies looking for B2B solutions (82% of them, in fact) trust peer reviews for recommended products to use, leveraging the right customers at the right time can be the difference between winning and losing a deal. .

In this article, we will address questions like:

  • What are the 5 steps to map the customer journey?
  • What are the 5 E’s of relationship marketing?
  • How many touchpoints is a customer journey in total?

What Are the 5 Stages of a Customer Journey?

The most commonly used five stages of a customer journey are awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. But much has been written about the path a potential customer takes to becoming brand loyal to a business, and writings often refer to multiple architectural models. Sometimes marketers refer to these models as a funnel, other times a path, journey, map, steps, or stages. But all of them are getting at the same multi-faceted truth of consumer behavior. Here are the details about one common breakdown of the five stages and how they work for B2B marketing:

  1. Awareness - The decision maker at a business becomes aware of your brand, often through social media, word-of-mouth, or other brand awareness marketing campaigns. 
  2. Consideration - A company recognizes that they have a pain point your solution could help with, and they actively contemplate making a purchase.
  3. Purchase - The business decides your offerings would benefit them, and they buy your product or service.
  4. Retention - A combination of positive customer success experiences and reaping the rewards of your product or service maintains a customer in good standing.
  5. Advocacy - The loyal business client becomes an effective customer advocate for your brand, sharing their positive experiences through advocacy work such as word-of-mouth promotion, reference calls, case studies, testimonials and speaking engagements. 

Automating and integrating the advocacy stage into your marketing plays with a tool like Orca ensures this last step especially is not neglected.

Which Are the 5 E’s in the Customer Journey?

Another framework used to talk about the customer journey is the five E’s: entice, enter, engage, exit, and extend. These closely align with the five stages discussed in the last section, although they do encourage a slightly different way of considering each.

  1. Entice - Attract ideal customers to learn more about your business offerings, often using marketing tactics like LinkedIn ads, informative topic blogs, or word-of-mouth recommendations.
  2. Enter - Impress potential clients with your website once they arrive with good functionality, well-written content, and modern design.
  3. Engage - Create website functionality that fosters customer interaction, like tools with benefits they can use or trials of your solution.
  4. Exit - Provide follow-up to clients when they leave an interaction with your brand. This process could include a positive checkout experience, or reminder check-ins to revisit their trial subscription.
  5. Extend - Encourage repeat purchases and brand advocacy on your behalf to highly satisfied customers. A top-notch customer marketing and reference management application, like Orca, can enable a seamless path for customers who fit this role.

Now that we’ve gone over two frameworks for custom journey layouts with an emphasis on B2B businesses, we can leverage this information to design a hypothetical journey map.

How to Create a Customer Journey Map

When creating a customer journey map, consider each stage from the viewpoint of customer marketing to add extra impact to your marketing efforts. Keeping an eye towards how advocacy can benefit your organization at each stage of a customer’s journey will yield benefits beyond just the basics. 

  • How can a customer advocate help with the awareness and entice stages?
  1. Customer advocates mentioning your business builds brand awareness.
  2. An engaged client telling their story of working with your company on a podcast or webinar brings your name to new audiences. Orca can help identify ideal customers for this type of advocacy.
  • What is the consideration stage and enter stage in terms of advocacy?
  1. Reading a compelling case study on your website helps future customers envision your solution solving their pain points.
  2. Examples of real-world results achieved by prior users gives prospective clients quantitative results to consider. Orca’s metrics can help you identify which clients would make good examples.
  • What does customer marketing do for the purchase and engage stage?
  1. Enthusiasm in new clients is fostered by glowing recommendations of existing users, reducing the sales cycle. 
  2. Rapid adoption of your product or service due to this increased vivacity decreases time-to-value. 
  • How does a customer advocate assist with the retention stage?
  1. Loyalty programs create empowered and enabled customer advocates that actively engage with potential prospects, resolve issues, and build strong relationships to enhance satisfaction and loyalty.  With Orca, you’ll have access to powerful tools for building loyalty programs.
  2. Community creation between brand advocates adds additional value to your offerings, with proactive support, customer education, and a demonstrated value of your product or service—ultimately contributing to increased retention. 
  • What happens when new customers enter the advocacy and extend stage?
  1. Advocate campaigns enable new ideal customers to become advocates themselves. Orca makes managing these campaigns easy.
  2. Real-time metrics can highlight when a user’s behavior indicates they are ready to take this next step.

Orca’s products and services are designed to leverage the power of each of these stages to generate new growth and revenue potential. Explore our features for more information or contact us today to get started.

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