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A Map Finds More Treasure than a Funnel

A Map Finds More Treasure than a Funnel

Sarah Steimer

Creative teams need to meet customers where they are and stop expecting them to step into the funnel. Data-driven marketer Jessica Best explains how involving more teams in the experience design process can highlight more on-ramps in the customer journey.


When Jessica Best describes Wingstop’s campaign for April 20—better known as 4/20, the unofficial holiday for cannabis consumers—it elicited chuckles from her HO​W Design Live audience. The 2018 iteration of the campaign featured a twist on the classic “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” jingle from the 1950s, with the update featuring the restaurant’s products dancing to “Let’s all go to the Wingstop.” Each version of the commercial, released throughout the day, gets a little trippier.

While giggle-inducing, the campaign is a great example of following the customer journey, says Best, director of data-driven marketing at Barkley. The quick-service restaurant never would have known to target this demographic had they focused exclusively on the marketing funnel, which Best says is more keyed to what the company wants consumers to do. The customer journey, on the other hand, flips the script to learn what the customer is doing and what they feel at each stage of the process. The company was listening to consumers online, finding the terms “weed” and “Wingstop” frequently mentioned together and pointing to a new route in the customer journey—and an experience design opportunity.


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Sarah Steimer is a writer, editor, podcast producer, and yoga teacher living in Chicago. She has written for Marketing News, Chicago magazine, Culture magazine, the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette, and other outlets.