You've probably heard that phrase a lot: "the customer journey." It's been echoing around digital marketing event keynotes everywhere for the past few years. Now it even ranks as a search term right alongside "marketing automation."

But what is a customer journey, and what's it take to start mapping one out? If you're asking these questions, you're not alone - and we can help. We're going to point you in the right direction for some resources that you might find helpful. Mapping personalized journeys for every customer is very manageable - with the right tools.

Get familiar with customer journeys.

First things first. How do we actually define the customer journey? Here you go: A customer journey is a series of interactions in a customer's lifelong relationship with a product, brand, or company. Marketers can build interactions at various touchpoints in a customer's relationship with their brand. That's called customer journey mapping. Here's some good news: According to our 2016 State of Marketing report, 73% of top marketers say customer journeys increase engagement.

A customer journey map helps marketers strengthen customer relationships.

Personalization is key, and a customer journey map can help drive strategies that put each individual customer at the center of his or her experience with your brand. You can listen for customer cues, connect the customer experience, automate interactions, and analyze every step with a properly mapped customer journey - and we've built a place where you can find everything you need to do just that. Here's what we have for you:

1. Download a customer journey sample map.

We've designed a visual aid to demonstrate a well-planned customer journey. You'll see journeys for four customer lifecycle stages: customer acquisition, onboarding, engagement, and retention. Each journey displays several different channels to communicate your marketing message. Plus, we demonstrate how to interact based on a customer action in each stage.

2. Read the report on customer journey strategies from Digital Clarity Group.

This comprehensive report covers a lot of ground. See Digital Clarity Group's definition of the customer journey, then discover journey strategies and their benefits. Then, see how best to use this emerging practice to transform or fundamentally improve customer experiences. If you're looking for a one-stop shop to wrap your head around the principle of customer journeys, this is it.

3. Get interactive with customer journey mapping worksheets.

This is where you can really dig into your own marketing strategy. Use these worksheets to start a conversation with your team. Identify your brand's pain points, and unlock the potential of your customer relationships. Analyze your audience, data management, content, and your channels. You'll be turning prospects into customers into brand advocates in no time.

4. Watch on-demand webinars to hear directly from the experts.

We have several great webinars that address many factors that go into building and managing personalized customer journeys. Whether you want to specifically hear about data, content, or simply how to get started, our panel of experts has the real-world, no-fluff content that can help shape your marketing strategy.

You'll find everything you need to hit the trail running on customer journeys right here. Happy trailblazing!