May 9, 2015
A key question to ask your marketing team is: Do we truly know our Customer’s Journey? And even more important: why is knowing the Customer Journey more essential to marketers and businesses today than ever?
The answer lies squarely in this quickly changing and rapidly evolving customer environment. More physical and digital channels are coming together, becoming more connected and more integrated, truly like a web, each and every day.
Take a moment to think about the last time you bought something for yourself or your business. Maybe you bought your favorite brew at Starbucks, or software to enhance your work productivity. How did that process start, and how did it end? Then ask your friend or co-worker how the process occurred for them.
Begin to think about true personalization
Likely, one big difference in your process was the amount of information available, and the ease of engagement you experienced along the journey. Truly best-in-class journeys (and where the future is going) include the amount of true personalization a customer receives.
There is no doubt that providing a meaningful one-to-one personalized customer experience is the ultimate nirvana for marketing, sales, and service organizations. The question is how to reach that goal. With many thousands, if not millions, of customers, how does providing meaningful one-to-one personalization become possible?
Provide relevant, contextualized content
One step towards that nirvana is providing a highly consistent, extremely relevant, and ultra-contextualized message. You also need to be providing timely, related, and useful content across the entire range of channels from which your customers engage.
Although data and technology are bringing brands closer to providing relevant and contextual content, most organizations face one core challenge in achieving this goal. No single organization deploys the same set of customer-focused systems, tools, platforms, or roadmaps for success, so there is no ‘golden packaged solution for all.’ This is because the marketing technology landscape is changing so rapidly, and the specific set of business requirements varies so much.
Therefore, marketing technology solutions need to be specifically tailored, designed, architected, and integrated based on the type of business, industry, resources, existing technologies, level of budget, willingness to invest, and ability to adapt to change.
In the meantime, customers are increasingly becoming more powerful. They are given more options and more information. They have easier access to solving their specific wants and needs—all on their own terms.
These truths require a company’s thorough understanding, and even calculated engineering, of its customers’ journey. The effective customer journey must include the right fit of technologies bringing together the digital and the physical across multiple channels and touch points. Ideally, the technologies bridging the steps of the journey can be managed from a single platform for ‘a single source of truth.’
The key for today’s organizations is to seamlessly integrate all of the customer data, systems, platforms, devices, and related emerging technologies in a manner that enables them to treat each customer as truly unique. Having the ideal custom marketing technology stack enables your business to deliver the most relevant, valuable, and useful customer experience possible.