Tracking the customer journey
In the digital age, marketing has become ever more complex as customers now interact with brands across a variety of media, devices, and locations. It has become more important than ever to look at the big picture of a customer’s experience: the customer journey.
A customer’s journey is their total experience with a brand, from first learning about the company, to all of the various points of engagement, to the decision to purchase, and, hopefully, become a loyal, repeat customer. Naturally, it makes sense for marketers to understand the customer journey, and to tailor marketing content to the specific landmarks of that journey.
However, a new report by Adobe and Econsultancy, a website providing research and advice for digital marketing, reveals that very few companies are able to fully understand the entire customer journey.
Survey says: Most can’t track
In fact, in a survey of nearly 2,000 digital marketers and ecommerce executives, only 17% said that they were able to fully analyze the customer journey, from first contact to purchase. Some companies were working hard to integrate their various marketing channels to gain a clearer picture of the customer journey, while some were barely touching the issue.
Less than half, or 42 percent, of respondents reported that they were actively working to be able to analyze the customer journey, while 30 percent said they were only in the planning stages of customer journey mapping, and another 11 percent had no plans at all to address the customer journey.
Next steps for mapping the customer journey
If a company can fully map the consumer journey, the next step is optimizing marketing content for different touchpoints in that journey. Unfortunately, because so few companies can fully map the customer journey in the first place, even fewer can use that information to create tailored marketing content.
Only 10 percent of companies surveyed reported that they were able to match marketing content to a “well-mapped customer journey,” while 64 percent described their understanding of the customer journey as being only “roughly mapped.”
Most companies who were not currently mapping the consumer journey, or 67 percent, said that they lacked the appropriate technologies and systems to be able to do so, while another 64 percent said they didn’t have the time or resources. Companies also cited lack of data and lack of analysis skills as barriers to mapping the customer journey.
Experts at Econsultancy warn against “focusing on single touchpoints” to the detriment of understanding the full customer journey, and encourages marketers to take on an “integrated approach to marketing across different channels.”