Mapping the customer journey has been pulled in two directions simultaneously. On the one hand, with more data available than ever before, it has never been easier to craft detailed insights about your customers. The implications this has on mapping the customer journey are obvious, as more detailed information allows brands to better feed their marketing strategy and generate interaction at the relevant touchpoints.
And yet with this exponential increase in availability has come the difficulty of mining this plethora of insights for the most relevant information. Combine this with the fact that, as multi-platforming continues to grow and younger generations connect with brands across multiple devices, often simultaneously, the customer journey is no longer the fairly linear experience that it once was.
Against this context, the world of customer journey optimisation is constantly evolving, and this week we have the lowdown on 3 things you should know.
1) Cross-journey communication is key
With the customer journey no longer a single journey, communicating with your customers across multiple journeys is key to sustaining brand-client relationships. In a recent whitepaper distributed by Marketing Week, analytics agency BlueVenn argued that in order to optimise the customer journey, ‘marketers require the ability to conduct a single, holistic journey conversation.’
Reminding marketers that it is easy for customers to fall through the gaps between touchpoints, BlueVenn suggests that marketers should recognise that ‘one important behavioural action can alter the rest of their journey appropriately.’ Minimising the gaps and delivering the right message at the right time is an important goal for strategists if the journey is ever to be fully optimised.
2) IoT can improve the customer journey
Intrinsically linked to, and in many ways a driver of, the growth in customer data is the Internet of Things (IoT). Forbes contributor Daniel Newman argues that IoT should be seen as a source of potential for customer experience management, but suggests that rather than the volume of data IoT supplies, it is in fact what marketers do with this data which is important.
By being capable of engaging consumers 24/7 and bringing coherence to an omni-channel strategy, the next few years will be an interesting time for IoT. From personalised coffee orders waiting for you as you step off the train, to mobile offers based on your most-ordered dish in a specific restaurant, the possibilities currently being explored for IoT are only the tip of a very large iceberg.
3) Paid search can work for mobile
Smartphones now make up the largest proportion of time spent online, outperforming other devices by a significant distance. As another element in the purchasing journey that further complicates matters, marketers are always looking for ways to optimise their mobile strategy.
Marketing Week quotes Google insights which suggest that 88% of local searches are carried out on mobile, and argues that therefore ‘it’s a good idea to set up location extensions on your PPC ads to promote your business locally.’
Google offers a range of paid-for ad format options to make the most of this mobile-based engagement, giving brands the chance to promote their apps directly through the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) with app extensions. Other options include message extensions, which enable customers to book an appointment or request information via text, all of which can hold specific value depending on the customer you wish to engage with. Exploring the most relevant option is crucial, and those brands whose customer journeys are not optimised for mobile will quickly find themselves lagging behind the competition.
Whatever the nature of your brand and the aims of your marketing strategy, there is a value to be found in customer journey optimisation and making use of the technology and strategies available to break down the challenges of omni-channel marketing.