Accelerate Your Customer Journey: Five Data-driven Techniques for Growth and Success
With so many options to choose from when buying products and services, loyalty to any one brand is becoming less common. Brands are responding to this challenge by creating seamless and personalized experiences—connected customer experiences across channels—for each individual customer throughout their entire journey. This means collecting and analyzing data about the customer’s behavior, preferences, and needs at each stage of the journey, and then using that information to provide relevant and timely interactions and content.
By linking your journey solution with a Customer Data Platform (CDP), you can gain immediate insights into the various touchpoints and interactions that customers have with your brand. This better understanding of customers and improved targeting leads to more engagement and drives the cost per lead, conversation, and engagement down (something marketers need to do as brands look hard at marketing spend and its corresponding results).
So how exactly should you leverage and map data across the customer journey to create these connected customer experiences? Here are five data-driven techniques to ensure you are gaining the most value from your customer data.
1. Collect All the Right Data
The right data is critical to understanding your customers and where they are in their purchase journey. However, that data is spread across your channels and systems, so you need to bring it together in a central location. A CDP that can integrate with your website, social networks, advertising systems, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, and other key systems allows you to continually gather customer data into the unified profile you need to inform your marketing strategy.
Not all data sources are equal in importance, so it’s important to prioritize the ones that provide the most useful information and get that into your unified profile first.
Something else to consider is that all this data is not in the same format. Every system stores and manages data differently, making it challenging to bring it all together in a central location for analysis. A schemaless datastore (like Treasure Data CDP) provides more flexibility in terms of the types of data you integrate and the speed at which that integration is done.
2. Analyze the Data to Improve Customer Understanding
Now that you have your customer data in a central location, you need tools to help you analyze it to better understand your customers and how they engage across the purchase journey. The benefits of customer journey analytics include bolstering customer centricity and getting real-time optics into the customer experience. Machine learning (ML) as part of artificial intelligence (AI) allows you to quickly analyze data and create segments of customers with similar attributes and behaviors. You can also create segments based on your specific actions and targeting requirements, leveraging these tools to find and build your segments quickly and accurately.
The ability to create or update segments in real time means you are always targeting customers based on their most recent engagement and interactions with your brand. CDPs like Treasure Data Customer Data Cloud can create segments across all your customer data, updating them in real time.
Predictive analytics is another important capability. Analyzing patterns within segments allows you to predict their behavior and optimize how you engage with them.
3. Create Personalized Journeys
Once you have identified your segments, you next need to create a personalized journey that matches the segment’s current needs and stage in the purchase process. For example, you can develop a personalized journey for a segment of new users. Or you can develop a journey for people who signed up for a trial that you want to convert to a paid version. Other segments might include retargeting, cart abandonment, repeat purchase campaigns, and onboarding.
Each journey is a unique combination of channels, messages, and content designed to move a customer along the purchase path. As the customer engages with the content or messaging or completes an action, they move forward. When a specific event or action happens, the customer can continue their journey or be moved into another journey stage where a new set of content, messages, or channels is delivered to develop the relationship further.
…Personalized customer journeys help marketers get a better return on investment (ROI) and ad spend (ROAS)…
From a marketing strategy perspective, personalized customer journeys help marketers get a better return on investment (ROI) and ad spend (ROAS) because they help marketers engage with customers and prospects who are truly interested—no “spray and pray.” Marketers can optimize journeys by using data to better understand which content and messages resonate across which channels with which customers.
4. Track and Measure Campaign
Data not only informs how to do marketing, but it also informs how well your campaigns are doing. It’s essential to track and measure the performance of campaigns to understand what’s working and how the campaign is contributing to revenue and increasing marketing efficiency.
For example, the Treasure Data Customer Journey Dashboard (Figure 1) provides metrics and insights on a specific campaign or journey.
Figure 1. Treasure Data Customer Journey Dashboard
You can see how many profiles are included in the campaign and how they progress through the stages. You can also view the growth rate of the overall journey and each stage. There is also the ability to drill down into specific profiles to view attributes and behaviors, giving you an in-depth understanding of what is and isn’t driving the profile through the journey.
5. Update and Adjust Campaigns as Necessary
A marketing campaign based on customer journeys isn’t a one-and-done type of deal. Marketers can dive deep into the performance data to understand how to update or change campaigns in real time. A campaign can be modified or stopped if it isn’t generating the expected results. For example, messaging may need to be updated or new content introduced. In other cases, a marketer might find a particular channel more effective at one stage and adjust the campaign to leverage that channel better.
Equally important, the data can identify use cases for new campaigns or additional stages to apply to an existing journey. Reviewing the data will help you understand what changes to make and why.
Data Drives Great Customer Journeys
Customer journeys are a critical component of the marketer’s toolkit. Understanding the right time to engage with a customer, with the right message or content, in the right place makes a journey successful and provides a competitive edge. Data and tools like AI and ML inform those decisions through proper segmentation and decisioning. With the help of a CDP, you have the data integrations and tools needed to create and manage the journeys that make up connected customer experiences.
You can learn more about creating great customer journeys in our newly published Customer Journey Orchestration white paper.