The term “customer journey” has been making the rounds in the marketing community for the better part of a decade. For the uninitiated, the customer journey refers to the steps a person takes on their path to purchase. It’s essentially the “conversion funnel” for B2C companies. Historically (we’re talking late 90s, early 2000s), the customer journey was relatively predictable. Customers learned about your products through traditional advertising such as TV, radio, magazine, or newspapers, and were enticed to visit your store.
As we all know, today, the customer journey is a lot more complex and fragmented. The term journey implies a linear process: the customer learns about the product at Point A and purchases the product at Point B. But the path to purchase in 2020 is far from linear. There are so many different communication channels that you may have a difficult time making sense of where your customers are engaged, where you should be allocating more time and budget, and where your purchases are coming from.
And here we come to the crux of the matter. To connect the seemingly random dots of the modern customer journey, you need data. But just having data isn’t enough—all marketers have data. We have so much data, sometimes we have no idea what to do with it or how to make sense of it. To put all the pieces together you can rely on technology platforms to help take some of the heavy lifting off of your plate. In this post we’re going to explore how you can connect the pieces of your customer journey by making sense of the technology and data available to you.
Social and Paid Media
Many customer journeys begin with social media or a Google search. These tools have become ubiquitous in our daily lives and we have come to lean heavily on them when making decisions. Marketers have embraced both social and paid media as they’re proven to be extremely useful tools for generating leads. But to understand what to post, when to post it, and how engagement and intent relate to the remainder of your conversion funnel—that’s the real challenge.
Platforms like Pattern89 use AI to analyze billions of data points to optimize your advertisements. These platforms also collect tons of useful engagement data that can be used to inform future campaigns and other areas of your funnel. Tracking customer actions and engagement on social media can tell you a lot about their intent, propensity to purchase, and other interests. You can, of course, use this data to increase top-of-funnel advertising ROI, lead generation, and revenue, but you can also use it throughout the remainder of the customer journey.
Once your customer has opted in, whether it’s through a paid advertisement or website form, you can use the data you’ve collected from your social campaigns to craft informative, engaging email content to either re-engage, or push them forward on the path to purchase. Even after three decades, email remains the most profitable tool in the marketing tool chest, delivering as much as $44 for every $1 invested. However, the key to driving revenue with email is to create personal experiences for each individual customer, by using data.
Next-generation messaging platforms like Cordial use all available customer and business data in real-time to build a unique message for each recipient. Instead of relying on broad customer segments and personalization tokens (for example, “first_name”), these platforms allow you to build a message that feels personal to every individual. The message content draws from an unlimited number of attributes, such as social engagement, to create content that advances the customer further through their journey to purchase. This personal communication is crucial for brands to remain competitive and builds consistency as you connect the customer journey dots.
Many ESPs also have integrations with platforms like Facebook Business and Google Adwords, allowing you to leverage your existing audience and engagement data. With Cordial, for example, you can easily transfer lists of high-converting customers to your ad platforms to create lookalike audiences.
Mobile Push and In-App Messages
“Front door to store” is a phrase coined by Target after they learned that 75% of in-store visits began with a mobile search. This is a staggering statistic that reinforces the importance of a rock-solid multi-channel strategy. Casey Carl, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer for Target says it best:
“There’s no longer a delineation between how our guests live life and how they shop; they just shop whenever they have time. They want to flow seamlessly across all of our channels … and we’ve got to make that happen by having the right underlying architecture.”
The key phrase in that quote is “they just shop whenever they have time.” Your customers interact with your brand on their schedule, not yours. If you send an email on a Wednesday morning and they aren’t in the mood to engage, they hit “delete” and don’t think about you again. Your brand now needs to be always-on, available, and top-of-mind when your customers are ready. Engaging with users via email, push notifications, and in-app messages is critical to compete in a saturated market and drive both online and in-store purchase.
Using customer data to inform your mobile push and in-app messages is crucial because your goal should be to create continuity throughout your communications. Your mobile messages should build on your social campaigns and your email marketing. It helps to think of your marketing as an ongoing conversation rather than as a series of touchpoints.
If your company has brick-and-mortar locations, you can also leverage data to personalize in-store experiences. Empowering in-store employees with customer profile data can create lasting impressions and brand loyalty. A TimeTrade study indicated that 85% of shoppers like to shop in-store instead of online, and 90% of consumers are more likely to buy when helped by a knowledgeable staff member.
Forward-thinking retailers are now providing employees with tablets which can be used to pull up past purchases and product preferences right on the showroom floor. Not only does this give the employee a much better idea of how to approach the sale, it also provides the customer with a superior shopping experience.
If you are looking for creative ways to increase engagement and drive more revenue, consider how you can better leverage your customer data. Using data to understand the customer journey and connect brand touchpoints will enable you to create memorable, personal, experiences that stand out in a crowded marketplace. Platforms like Pattern89 leverage AI to crunch massive amounts of data to drive top-funnel leads and conversions, while platforms like Cordial can use that data to re-engage and help your brand build lasting relationships with your customers.
This Blog Post Was Written by Cordial.
Send a better message. Founded in 2014, Cordial is a real-time messaging platform for companies to deliver personal, relevant, and emotionally intelligent messages across any channel. Cordial’s vision is to empower marketers to create personal relationships with every customer. For more information, visit cordial.com.