‘An experience renaissance’ and how customer journey analytics tools fit in
As customers expect better, more unified experiences on multiple devices, these solutions help marketers meet the challenge.
Businesses today understand they must be customer-focused in their marketing as well as in all of their other operations. It’s the “year of the customer,” after all. (Hint: it’s always the year of the customer.)
To ensure that customers and prospects have ideal interactions with their brands at every touchpoint, marketers first need in-depth information about the journey that buyers currently navigate on their way to making a purchase, as well as how they interact post-purchase. In addition, businesses must understand what customers and prospects are trying to achieve and how existing touchpoints are falling short.
“Right now, an experience renaissance is afoot,” says Accenture Interactive, declaring that entire businesses should be organized around the delivery of exceptional experiences that respond to customers’ “new, often unmet and frequently changing needs and enable them to achieve their desired outcomes.”
Great customer experiences are easier to imagine than to actually understand and deliver, however, which is why tools that help marketers analyze the customer journey — customer journey analytics (CJA) software — are finding a spot in businesses’ technology stacks. That’s also why we’ve just unveiled an all-new MarTech Intelligence Report exploring the sector on marketers’ behalf. We found interest in these solutions driven by the complexity of the customer journey, a result of the proliferation of devices and customer touchpoints, as well as evolving consumer behavior.
Meanwhile, marketers struggle to meet customers’ expectations of a unified brand presence and experience across all of those touchpoints. More broadly, businesses are recognizing that adequate customer experiences are becoming table stakes, making it more difficult to achieve differentiation that drives business success.
For more on customer journey analytics platforms, including the current landscape and in-depth vendor profiles, check out our all-new MarTech Intelligence Report, Enterprise Customer Journey Analytics Tools: A Marketer’s Guide.
Customer journey analytics: A snapshot
What it is. Customer journey analytics software lets marketers connect real-time data points from across channels, touchpoints and systems, allowing users to gain insights into the customer journey over time. This allows marketers to explore the customer journey using data.
Why it’s hot today. Businesses know they need to be customer-focused in each aspect of their marketing operations. As a first step, brands need to understand how consumers are finding them. Whether it be via search, advertisement, or word of mouth, the medium used will set the trajectory for the rest of their journey.
Meanwhile, the average person uses many devices to access the internet, and Cisco forecasts that the number of devices connected to IP networks will increase to more than three times the global population by 2023. With so many devices, people shift back and forth depending on the task at hand and their current environment. Consumers and business buyers turn to an average of nine channels to browse product inventory, look for advice, and make purchases.
Capturing their interactions post-discovery, such as communication with a call center or visit to a retail outlet, helps brands see which of their assets are helping them along their path. What’s more, brands need to know what those who convert do post-purchase–this information helps companies win repeat business and encourage customer advocacy. Customer journey analytics tools do just that.
What the tools do. The majority of vendors offer one or more of the following capabilities to give marketers an understanding of the customer journey: data gathering from a wide variety of channels and touchpoints; analysis using artificial intelligence and machine learning, and customer journey visualization.
Many vendors also offer customer journey orchestration (CJO) capabilities, which allow users to act upon the insights and actually deliver the next step in the customer journey in real-time.
Why we care. Customers expect to have consistent experiences at each of these touchpoints. They want personalization, a trend that continues to grow. Tools like customer journey analytics software give brands the ability to gain insights from their audience and act on them.