Understanding the Customer Journey

Today’s marketers are able to influence consumer behavior through many channels. Direct, Social, Paid Search, Email, Display, and Organic Search are all just a piece of the framework that makes up available consumer touch points. This brings tech-savvy marketers closer to the customer than ever before. In fact, a recent study from Aberdeen Group showed that 70% of marketers are using at least seven channels to target their audience in 2014.

 But there is a problem.

Many of us have been led to believe that the channels we use to target our audience work separately from each other – in silos. In reality, the customer journey is far more complex than that. It’s time for marketers to begin to adopt a 360-degree view of their customers through cross-channel attribution: understanding the relationships across your marketing channels.

customer journey
image courtesy of thinkgoogle.com

Know the Purpose of Your Channels

Successful marketers understand how various channels affect the customer’s buying cycle. For example, Paid Media such as Display & PPC campaigns often lead to awareness of a particular brand, but don’t necessarily drive a purchase. And that is okay! The success of a particular channel isn’t always measured by sales or leads. Perhaps the purpose of these types of awareness campaigns is to capture an email or get the user to further engage with the website.

Marketers often fail to look at the various channels that assist in a conversion. This can have a profound impact on how we evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns. Web Analytics programs have provided marketers with tools to better understand how each specific channel is contributing to the customer journey.

Unify Your Data with a CRM

Bridging the data gap between online & offline channels is a challenge to every marketer. By implementing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform and utilizing it to its full potential, you will begin to be able to do just that. A CRM allows for a unified system of record, connecting various stakeholders (marketers, executives, sales team) to provide a cohesive picture of all interactions a consumer has had across multiple channels.

Automate Your Cross-Channel Digital Campaigns

Marketing Automation is equipping marketing teams to create more personalized campaigns (based on specific user behavior) across a variety of channels. Automation platforms such as HubSpot, Silverpop, Marketo, and Pardot are making it possible to coordinate channels to work together in the same campaign.

Better understanding the full journey of your customer by implementing these three strategies will help you make more insightful, data-driven decisions, which will ultimately allow you to create more effective campaigns for your brand.