Analytical Customer Journey Mapping – Weaving Together The Strand
Before the advent of vertical integration, retail shop keepers fulfilled many roles: marketer, sales person, distributor and often product developer. Standing behind a counter face to face with customers, this professional listened to and answered customer questions. They learnt which products were popular with whom. They watched returns, revenue and profitability. Opportunities for cross-selling were across the counter. Problems with customer services were gossiped about in the community (some things never change). Products that performed poorly were returned, and our shop keeper asked where the product failed to meet need. There were no frayed edges: the feedback loop was complete.
This is the opportunity of customer journey mapping and analytics: to think holistically and understand the business impact of market and marketing decisions, like our well-grounded shop keeper, but at scale.
Customer journey mapping provides an accessible customer centric framework for considering prospects’ needs. As a prospect’s understanding of a problem develops, as they consider alternatives, and choose solutions, there are a myriad of ways they ‘touch’ your organization. Perhaps they start with a search, or come across you on social channels. Then as your remarketing, paid search, paid social and email campaigns kick in, your prospects download whitepapers, read reviews and learn from industry thought leaders. Add in ‘person to person’ interactions, as sales and support teams get involved, and that’s a great many ‘touches’. The data gets big quickly.
Customer journey mapping provides a strategic anchor for cross department and cross channel collaboration. It provides a framework for bringing the various marketing strands together and identifies process gaps. (Often the worst gaps are early journey questions, such as comparing different technological approaches). Teams working with journey maps gain a shared language, an understanding of how their individual roles fit into the customer experience and, ideally, with shared goals. There is nothing like a team pulling together.
Coupling customer journey mapping with analytics enables digital feedback loops, and focusing on what matter most: business results. Marketing metrics should cover the entire journey; acquisition, behaviour and business results. There are many sources of data. Social media marketing analytics, email analytics, paid search, CRM analysis, and the experience of your team creates a rich understanding of customers. In particular, website analytics draw together your individual digital touchpoints (content, channels, and campaigns) into a cohesive picture of what works. And unlike our shop keeper, analytics operate at scale.
Analytics is the core of fact-based decision making. Cross-departmental collaboration is the core of customer centricity. Customer journey mapping weaves these wonderful strands together. It’s accessible and a strategic tool to guide your organization.