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How to Influence the Customer Journey for Better Business Outcomes
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Carter is a chief marketing officer for a major IT company in Nevada. As valuable as he is to his company his efforts do not appear to be bringing the right results. He knows he is measured by three standards — increased share of wallet, improved customer loyalty, and campaign profitability. But he is sure he does not reach the mark for these goals. What is he doing wrong?

Achieving marketing goals involves reaching appropriate levels on each of the three scales involving cost, customer loyalty, and profitability. However, what Carter is missing out on is the most important thing — understanding his customers. Carter has to ensure his company brand is relevant and available for customer engagement through a variety of channels.

This begins with knowing who his customers are, where they are, what they want, and when they want it. With an ever-widening landscape of channels to track and demanding customer expectations, Carter must use data to offer the right message and connect the dots to each touchpoint to influence customer decisions.

According to a recent report, marketers must consciously make the shift from customer journey mapping to actually influencing each step of the buyer. Here are 5 findings that help marketers get there:

#1 Marketers need access to both real-time and historical customer interaction data to understand customers’ buying journey and unique needs.

#2 Integrating online and offline data across all channels and sources is critical for brands to create a 360-degree view of customers.

#3 Data analytics is key to deriving deeper insights from massive amounts of customer data, in time, to support real-time decisions.

#4 Analytic models must be continuously tested and refreshed with the latest data for the most impactful insights.

#5 By interacting with customers at the right time, with a personalized message, through the right channel, brands can influence customers’ decisions and shape their buying journey.

When it comes to effectively analyzing the customer journey, marketers must take the extra step to align budgets with objectives and create campaigns that are both personalized and relevant. That path is three-fold:

#1 Integrating online and offline data to gain a better understanding of where the customer is in his or her journey.

#2 Using data analytics to glean insights to influence a customer’s next steps.

#3 Interacting with the customer at the right time, with the right message, to spur the right action.