Forrester’s first Waves on journey analytics show the growing importance of customers’ steps toward purchase
In this new field, the surveyed tools offer different approaches to understanding customers’ incentives and problems.
In marketing — as in life — it’s not about the destination as much as it’s about the journey.
Which is why research firm Forrester recently released not one, but two Wave reports on Customer Journey Analytics — one on visioning platforms and the other on orchestration. [Subscription or report fees required.] These are the research firm’s first Waves on these topics, in which customer journey analytics is defined as:
An analytics practice that combines quantitative and qualitative data to analyze customer behaviors and motivations across touchpoints and over time to optimize customer interactions and predict future behavior.
Visioning platforms, co-author and principal analyst Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha told me via email, are about designing and planning journeys through such tasks as creating and sharing customer journey maps, or discovering customer segments and personas in those journeys.
The report points to the leaders of visioning tools (NICE, Kitewheel, Thunderhead and Teradata), while ClickFox, Touchpoint Dashboard, SuiteCX, TandemSeven, Adobe, Usermind, ENGAGEcx and Verint provide “competitive options.” Lagging behind is Pointillist. There are brief profiles of the leading product offerings in each report, which only focused on vendors with standalone products.
Orchestration platforms, on the other hand, are about automating and managing customer journeys through workflow and customer interaction, testing and optimization.
In that report, Kitewheel, Thunderhead, NICE and Teradata are leaders, while ClickFox, Usermind, Adobe and ENGAGEcx have competitive options. Lagging: Verint and Pointillist.
The biggest surprise, van den Brink-Quintanilha said, is that, since there is no one-size-fits-all solution in this emerging field, solutions come from a range of tech segments, including big data analytics, customer relationship management, voice-of-customer, journey mapping software and testing/optimization.
But, she added, tools that “take a technology-agnostic approach, deliver insights at speed, measure business impact and take a pragmatic and co-creative stance — do well in the two Waves.”
The whole customer journey analytics segment is growing, the reports say, because customer experience pros want to go beyond a channel-by-channel approach and deal with customer problems across “touchpoints, channels, policies and procedures.” A key driver is the fact that many marketers face competitors who similarly want to shape customer journeys.
It’s not completely clear why these are two separate reports, since they share similar descriptions, definitions and other sections.
Not to mention the fact that tools to orchestrate processes often have — or eventually develop — the means to plan that orchestration, as complementary steps for figuring out what customers are doing and how to help them.