AI Has Made the Customer Value Journey More Powerful: Here’s Why

If you are reading this article, chances are that you know something about Ryan Deiss and his Customer Value Journey. Ryan literally built a marketing education empire on the concept of this framework.

It’s so important to the DigitalMarketer community that he even has the original napkin version framed like a relic to be viewed like the Mona Lisa.

My name is James Bullis. I am a Marketing Technologist / Webmaster with over 25 years in the industry.
I remember when I first learned about this concept around 15 years ago.

It was originally called Customer Value Optimization and had an entirely different structure. I’m a web designer and when I started working in this industry I started out in marketing.

When I became a web designer, I didn’t understand that a business web design is a part of a business’
marketing plan. After learning more about marketing, I realized how I could put these concepts into the website and use them to create a better website experience for my customers’ website visitors.

Then the along came the Customer Value Journey (CVJ) which was a fundamental upgrade and made the entire foundational framework make more sense. It essentially closed the loop and created an endless flywheel of customers if applied correctly.

It really played well in helping to understand how a business website should be laid out so that the traffic could be funneled through the Customer Value Journey.

The CVJ is not the only part of this foundational framework. It is usually accompanied by an Ideal Client Avatar and the Before & After exercise. Essentially, you need to understand who you want to help and be able to empathize with them to discover how you can bring value by easing their pain.

But there is a real problem when it comes to the CVJ that I have noticed over the years. It seems to me that no one will sit down and do it.

Do I know this for a fact? No. But, I can guess with some authority that most people who have learned this framework skip over it in practice.

This became obvious to me some years ago inside of DigitalMarketer Engage – the Facebook group of people who have spent some time and money with DigitalMarketer to engage with other members to talk about the frameworks, get advice, and learn from each other.

You could always tell when a fresh wave of members would join because the same questions were asked repeatedly.

These were questions that could simply be answered if they took the time to go through the process of completing these exercises for each new campaign or business that they started to work on as marketers.

I don’t know why people skip over these foundational steps. The framework itself along with the worksheets probably make…

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4 Questions that Guide Your Most Important Conversation

4 Questions that Guide Your Most Important Conversation

Quality of conversations predicts quality of life.

I talk to strangers even though momma said not to. You talk to dogs, babies, team members, bosses, family members, neighbors, and store clerks. Some talk to God. Others talk to nature. But the most important conversation you have is the one you have with yourself.

You guide action with words.

The quality of your leadership is directed by the conversation you have with yourself. Action begins with thought. Thoughts are words you say to yourself.

Leadership quote: Today's conversation reflects tomorrow's destination. Image of two camels standing face-to-face.Leadership quote: Today's conversation reflects tomorrow's destination. Image of two camels standing face-to-face.

4 questions that guide the most important conversation:

Two of my clients reflect on the way home. One said he replays the day like a movie in his head. You probably do the same thing but haven’t noticed.

Brains run to dark places without direction. Tell your brain what to think about when you reflect. Self-defeating behaviors take root in gray matter.

Leadership quote: Give your brain something to think about or it will run wild dragging you behind it. Image of horses running away through a dark forest. Give your brain something to think about or it will run wild dragging you behind it.Leadership quote: Give your brain something to think about or it will run wild dragging you behind it. Image of horses running away through a dark forest. Give your brain something to think about or it will run wild dragging you behind it.

Use structure to protect yourself from an angry inner critic. Guide self-reflection with established questions.

  1. What are you glad you did today? You hate work if you aren’t happy about things you did.
  2. How did people feel when your conversation with them ended? Anyone can beat down. Leaders energize action.
  3. What did you plan to do today? What actually got done?
  4. How did you serve your future self today?

Quality of questions determines quality of self-reflection.

Talk to action:

One leader said he calls people when he feels uncomfortable about a conversation. He doesn’t wait to get home. He calls them on the drive home. “Sometimes people say what they really think on the phone. It feels less confrontational than face-to-face.”

He might say, “I don’t feel good about our conversation.” This leads to reflecting on original intent and evaluating outcomes. He’s owning it, not blaming.

What questions for reflection do you suggest?

Still curious:

The Most Powerful Words You Hear

5 Ways to Expose Your Inner Critic

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Self-Reflection

20 Dangerous Traps Intelligent Leaders Stumble into by Accident

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Weight Loss: These Foods Help Burn Belly Fat

Certain foods help people sleep better and lose more weight.

A high-protein diet drives weight loss and the burning of belly fat, studies reveal.

Eating more lean meats and low-fat dairy leads to more weight loss than a standard calorie restricted diet, researchers have found.

Protein makes people feel more satisfied so they subsequently eat less.

Diets that have more protein are also linked to better sleep.

Sleeping better can also lead to more weight loss.

For the study, 130 overweight women were put on a calorie restricted diet.

Half, though, ate a restricted diet that was high in protein and dairy.

Dr Ellen Evans, study co-author, said:

“Essentially we substituted lean meats and low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, etc., for some of the high-carbohydrate foods in the food-pyramid diet.

Participants also ate five servings of vegetables and two to three servings of fruit each day.”

The results showed that the women lost weight without losing bone mass.

Dr Evans said:

“This is an important finding because many people, especially women in mid-life, are concerned with both obesity and osteoporosis.

Furthermore, treating obesity often increases risk for osteoporosis.

Many people lose bone mass when they lose weight.”

People in the high protein group had better bone health despite their weight loss.

Dr Matthew Thorpe, the study’s’ first author, said:

“In the higher-protein group, bone density remained fairly stable, but bone health declined over time in the group that followed the conventional higher-carbohydrate diet.

A statistically significant treatment effect favored the higher-protein diet group.

The combination and/or interaction of dietary protein, calcium from dairy, and the additional vitamin D that fortifies dairy products appears to protect bone health during weight loss.”

The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition (Thorpe et al., 2008).

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Content Marketing vs. Content Strategy: What’s the Difference?

The distinction between content marketing and content strategy is subtle because the two concepts work together. Once you figure it out, you can use them as the one-two punch to help grow your brand. 

This post explains content marketing and content strategy and gives advice for using both to benefit your business.

The Difference Between Content Marketing vs. Content Strategy

Content strategy is your master plan to drive business goals with content. It focuses on the big-picture tasks that help you meet your customers’ needs and achieve your business objectives.

Content marketing is a group of tactics or activities you use to enact your content strategy. It’s the creation and distribution of content that helps your audience solve problems and lead better lives. Even though you may not actively try to sell with all content marketing, the free information you provide will eventually help you attract and convert your target audience to drive business growth.

The objectives, approaches, and outcomes differ for content strategy vs. content marketing. 


Content strategy seeks to document the role content will play in your business goals. It gives content marketing efforts direction, cohesion, and meaning. 

Content marketing revolves around creating brand awareness, generating leads, and capturing demand by transforming ideas into content assets and sharing them.


Content marketing assembles your marketing resources to create and distribute content assets across relevant channels to build a brand’s presence. It also includes measuring data to alter content campaigns where necessary.

Content strategists determine the content marketing tactics will be most meaningful for your business objectives. They handle all the backend of content from pre-production (like research, content audit, and content guidelines) to production (like content creation, distribution processes, and tools) and post-production (promotion, evaluation, and analysis).


Content marketing leads to increased brand traffic, authority, trust, lead generation, conversion, and loyalty.

Content strategy produces content marketing systems that position a brand as the solution to customers’ needs.

How Content Strategy and Content Marketing Intersect

Despite being different, content strategy and content marketing work together. They are two sides of the same coin.

Strategy is the Foundation for Marketing Practices

Content strategy helps you decide why and how you want to create content. So, content marketing success depends on your strategy.

Content marketing is the process of putting your content strategy to work. It’s creating, distributing, and measuring the success of the content according to the content strategy. So, your content marketing efforts rely on your content strategy to achieve your business goals.

Neither Can Stand Alone

As marketing expert Amanda Milligan said, “Don’t try marketing without strategy; don’t bother strategizing without marketing.” What’s the point in making plans if you don’t implement them? And how can you succeed with your marketing efforts if you don’t have a plan? Strategy and implementation go hand in hand.

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Culture Shock: The Most Important Habit of a Great Manager

Culture Shock: The Most Important Habit of a Great Manager

Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

Organizational culture is the way we treat each other while we do the work. Should you build a culture that puts employees or customers first? The better question is how can you enable team members to create and keep a customer?

The chief scientist at Gallup has a surprising answer.

Leadership quote: Who is the culture champion in your organization? Image of a floating hat.Leadership quote: Who is the culture champion in your organization? Image of a floating hat.

Build a culture that energizes employees:

Jim Harter, chief scientist at Gallup, says the most important habit of a great manager is, “One meaningful conversation per week with each team member.” (In Gallup’s new book, “Culture Shock.”)

Lousy conversations are holes in your boat. Meaningful conversations propel you forward.

What is a meaningful conversation? Jim says a meaningful conversation, “Focuses on employee goals.”

“Discussing goals leads to customer retention, team collaboration, recognition, and wellbeing.”

The ultimate measure of a great manager:

Gauge manager effectiveness by asking employees on a scale of 1-5 if they have received meaningful feedback in the past week. Only 5s matter. (Jim explains meaningful conversations and the necessity of 5s in the video below.)

Meaningful feedback energizes performance. You’re doing it wrong when feedback sucks the life out of people. When giving feedback:

  1. Clarify positive intention.
  2. Confirm aspirations.
  3. Determine the win.

Coaching conversations:

A coaching culture meets two primary demands of high performance and wellbeing.

  1. Fit strengths to role. Are people using their strengths every day?
  2. Have the right conversations. Do people know you’re personally interested in their success?

Jim Harter in his own words.

  • 19:45 only 5s matter.
  • 37:35 the power of one meaningful conversation a week.

What makes conversations meaningful?

Culture Shock,” is released today, 5/30/2023.

This post is based on my conversation with Jim Harter.

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The Popular Supplement That Does NOT Protect Against Dementia

The results are based on a review of over 70 different studies.

Vitamin D probably does not help protect people from dementia or other brain-related disorders, research finds.

While vitamin D is essential for the body, there is no solid clinical evidence that it benefits brain health.

Ms Krystal Iacopetta, the study’s first author, said:

“Our work counters an emerging belief held in some quarters suggesting that higher levels of vitamin D can impact positively on brain health.”

The results are based on a review of over 70 different studies.

There was no evidence vitamin D protected against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other brain diseases.

Ms Iacopetta said:

“Past studies had found that patients with a neurodegenerative disease tended to have lower levels of vitamin D compared to healthy members of the population.

This led to the hypothesis that increasing vitamin D levels, either through more UV and sun exposure or by taking vitamin D supplements, could potentially have a positive impact.

A widely held community belief is that these supplements could reduce the risk of developing brain-related disorders or limit their progression.

The results of our in-depth review and an analysis of all the scientific literature however, indicates that this is not the case and that there is no convincing evidence supporting vitamin D as a protective agent for the brain.”

However, there may be evidence that sunlight is good for the brain.

Professor Mark Hutchinson, study co-author, explained:

“We have presented critical evidence that UV light may impact molecular processes in the brain in a manner that has absolutely nothing to do with vitamin D.

It may be that sensible and safe sun exposure is good for the brain and that there are new and exciting factors at play that we have yet to identify and measure.

Unfortunately however, it appears as if vitamin D, although essential for healthy living, is not going to be the miracle ‘sunshine tablet’ solution for brain-disorders that some were actively hoping for.”

The study was published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience (Iacopetta et al., 2018).

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Why ChatGPT is the Best Tool for Marketers

Why ChatGPT is the Best Tool for MarketersWhy ChatGPT is the Best Tool for Marketers

Artificial Intelligence is a game changer for marketing. While AI will be useful in many industries, the nature of the marketing profession makes it even more powerful, from the need for constant content generation, to ideation for advertising concepts, to automation for day-to-day operations, AI is the biggest innovation in marketing since the internet.

Since the beginning of 2023, the amount of AI tools for marketing has exploded.

While there’s no official count of new AI applications since the beginning of the year, if you monitor websites like, you’ll find dozens to hundreds of new applications being added every day, with the current list including 4,600+ apps covering over 1,300 tasks.

Further, the investment in new AI companies has rapidly expanded. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), investments in AI software, hardware, and software for AI-centric systems will increase 26.9% to $154 billion in 2023 over 2022, with $300 billion expected by 2026 (SOURCE).

In 2021, the investment in AI doubled globally from less than $40 billion to almost $80 billion (SOURCE), and look what has come from that!

Needless to say, there are many, many choices when it comes to AI applications, and it can be difficult to nail down which ones to use, much less which ones you should focus on.

After discussing the topic for dozens of marketing professionals and AI experts, I’ve come to a simple conclusion: marketers should master ChatGPT BEFORE anything else.

Here I’ll explain why.

Why Marketers Need to Focus on AI Skill Development

Marketers are notorious for falling prey to “shiny object syndrome.” It’s no surprise why… the easiest person to get sold is a salesman after all!

There are always new methods, platforms, techniques, tricks, tips, and tools to make your marketing faster, better, and more effective. Every company needs marketing to succeed, and the impact of good marketing can make or break your organization.

AI is the shiniest object of all for marketers…

Here’s why AI is such a vital development in the marketing industry:

Ideation: Marketers and marketing agencies may have to create multiple concepts for content and advertising for each client every day. This need for volumes of creativity was time consuming and tiring, but with AI the process has become 10 times easier. No more lag time between needing to brainstorm and creating new concepts… AI makes it almost instant.

Volume Creation: In addition to massive amounts of new concepts and ideas, AI also provides the ability to create brand-specific content whenever necessary. By “training your AI” to create content based on a particular style, marketers can create new advertising copy, landing page headlines and text, email drip campaigns, social media descriptions, lead magnet materials, and much more 10 times faster than before.

Personalization: With AI, marketers unlock the…

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The Most Toxic Relationship Pattern Can Change

This toxic pattern can change as relationships mature.

The most toxic relationship pattern is the demand/withdraw pattern, research finds.

One partner — often, but not always the woman — makes demands, trying to pressure the other to change.

The other partner — often, but not always the man — wants to avoid discussing the issue, so withdraws.

In other words, the women nags while the man gives her the silent treatment.

Naturally, both behaviours are bad for the relationship.

The pattern is dangerous because it automatically escalates and self-perpetuates.

Since the demanding partner is still dissatisfied, they increase their demands.

The increased demands make the other person retreat even more into their shell.

Dr Sarah Holley, the study’s first author, said:

“This can lead to a polarization between the two partners which can be very difficult to resolve and can take a major toll on relationship satisfaction.”

Indeed, couples who display the demand-withdraw pattern have the worst relationship satisfaction, along with lower intimacy and poor communication.

Which person makes the demands tends to be down to who wants change.

Dr Holley explained that there is…

“…strong support for the idea that the partner who desires more change … will be much more likely to occupy the demanding role, whereas the partner who desires less change — and therefore may benefit from maintaining the status quo — will be more likely to occupy the withdrawing role.”

Changing the toxic pattern

This toxic pattern, though, can change as relationships mature.

Couples who have been together longer learn to avoid these sorts of demand-withdraw interactions.

The conclusions come from a study of 127 middle-aged and older couples who were followed over 13 years.

The results showed that more established couples learned to steer conversations away from toxic areas and towards more pleasant, or at least neutral topics.

Avoidance is sometimes seen as a problem, but in this context it may be better for couples who know each other very well to simply avoid pressure points.

Age tends to make people seek more positive experiences and reduce the importance of arguments.

Couples may also learn to deal better with certain issues, Dr Holley things:

“It may not be an either-or question.

It may be that both age and marital duration play a role in increased avoidance.”

The study was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family (Holley et al., 2013).

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How to Drive Customer Success With Interactive Content

What if I say your company’s success relies on someone else’s success? 

Yes… you read it right!

Growing your business is possible if your products or services are good enough and help users reach their goals. 

Today’s market is customer-centric, and the top-performing organizations are those that focus on customer success more than their competitors do.

Believe it or not, customer success is the best strategy to boost customer happiness. And as we all know, happy customers always lead to growing business. 

Considering the significance of customer success, today we’ll discuss how to drive customer success with interactive content. So, let’s get started from the basics and understand more about it. 

What is Customer Success?

Customer success is meeting customers’ requirements when using your products or services. 

This may imply deploying your team as strategists, thought associates, and the customer’s advocate internally to meet those demands. 

However, customer success is more than just fulfilling customer needs. It’s also about focusing on customer relationships. 

Customer success management includes proactively predicting customer questions or challenges and actively providing resolutions.

Customer Success vs. Customer Support 

Customer success and customer support- are both essential functions within a business that aim to provide excellent customer experiences, but they have different objectives and methods of achieving them.

Let’s break them down further in a definitive list: 

  • Approach: Customer success proactively examines and strategizes, while customer support acquires and replies. 
  • Goal: Customer success operates to acquire preferred business results with the customer journey. On the other hand, customer support concentrates on problem resolution and prevention. 
  • Talents & Disciplines: Customer success is consultative and can expand to various disciplines and industry expertise. Customer support experts have skills corresponding with marketing, engineering, and operational teams. 

Both roles demand practitioners be resourceful issue solvers, empathetic, and thoroughly familiar with customers. 

  • Metrics: Customer success concentrates on metrics associated with business impacts, like customer retention, growth, and lifetime value.

Customer support metrics estimate the quality of the service delivered, solution times, and overall customer satisfaction

  • Business Impact: Customer success is usually a value-added business process, driving revenue and development.

On the other hand, customer support is vital to operating a business since customer questions always need to be answered. 

Why Is Customer Success Important?

The worldwide customer success platform market will grow from $850M in 2020 to $3417.5M by 2026, expanding at a CAGR of 26.10% within 2023-2028.

There is a reason why the demand for customer success platforms is increasing gradually. 

Customer success allows organizations to unlock the value of their resolutions and get an exciting ROI. With customer success, companies can help achieve their business goals, and it: 

  • Develops trust
  • Amplifies the relationship
  • Brings higher satisfaction

Moreover, customer success interactions assist firms in collecting valuable consumer insights that are advantageous…

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3 Personality Traits Linked To High IQ

The results come from research on many thousands of people in 86 different countries.

People rated by others as competent, dutiful and self-disciplined have a higher IQ, research finds.

So, higher IQ is linked to people seen as having a strong sense of responsibility, being self-disciplined and confident in their own abilities.

All three are facets of the major personality trait of conscientiousness.

The general link between being conscientious and intelligence makes sense, the authors write, since…

“…conscientiousness and cognitive ability are positive
correlates of several real life outcomes.

It was proved that both variables are especially important predictors of job performance, school achievements, and health-related behavior.

Interestingly, in most studies the effects of conscientiousness and intelligence on life outcomes appear to be independent.”

The results come from research on many thousands of people in 86 different countries.

All were given personality and IQ tests.

The study was interested in the difference between how people rated their own personality and how others reported their personality.

The results showed that people who were seen by others as more competent, dutiful and self-disciplined also had higher IQs.

However, people who were seen as ‘achievement strivers’ tended to be less intelligent, although this is also a facet of being conscientious.

The picture was different, though, when people rated their own personalities.

Then, lower conscientiousness was linked to higher IQ.

The difference could be explained by the fact that people with higher IQs sometimes have to make less effort for the same result:

“Particularly, it has been suggested that less able individuals may compensate for their lower intellectual capacity by developing a high level of conscientiousness.

People with high intelligence do not need to be very conscientious as they can rely solely on their intellect to accomplish most tasks.”

The study was published in the journal Learning and Individual Differences (Zajenkowski & Stolarski,, 2015).

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