What marketers should know about customer journey analytics

Customer journey analytics tell you how customers are engaging with you at each touchpoint.

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Data analysis goes hand in hand with customer experience in the modern marketing landscape. Marketers should examine audience data from each touchpoint in the sales cycle, a process professionals call “customer journey analytics.”

“As marketers, we know that nothing happens in a silo,” said Amber Toro-Keech, Marketing Data Scientist at Disruptive Advertising, a recent MarTech session. “Customer journey analytics helps us look at how everything is working together.”

What is customer journey analytics?

Customer journey analytics is a method of data analysis showing how customers engage with a business across a digital journey. It’s a useful tool for marketers and business owners who are finding increases in customer drop-off and want relevant actionable data.

Toro-Keech says that starting your analytics project off correctly is one of the most important things marketers can do to begin analyzing customer journeys, especially when 85% of big data projects fail. And this requires a thorough analysis of your properties.

Watch the full presentation from MarTech here (free registration required)

Business owners need to communicate their customer retention issues and ideal solutions with their marketing analysts. Marketers should then review the current data collection process and determine what ideas are feasible. This will help you determine if there are any problems, such as data gaps, tracking issues, or poor user experience.

Collecting customer data

After getting a good idea of what the customer journey looks like, marketers should focus on gathering and organizing clean customer data. Many helpful tools specialize in data storage, tracking, and analytics. According to the presentation, these include applications such as Adobe Launch, Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, and Databricks.

Customer data visualization and analysis

Seasoned marketers know data collection is only part of the story. You need to present your findings to business owners and shareholders so they can see the value in your efforts. Tools like Tableau, Google Data Studio, Domo, and Qlick were described in the presentation as great choices for presenting customer data.

Testing and analyzing customer data

Once the customer data collection, tracking, and visualization are set up and functioning, marketers should begin testing their hypotheses and analyzing the findings. Helpful applications like Hotjar and Optimizely let data analysts perform A/B tests with your customer journey touchpoints to see what needs improvement.

Having access to so much customer data never guarantees success. Steve Petersen, Marketing Technology Operations Manager at Zuora, pointed out the need for a holistic approach to customer journey analysis in the same MarTech presentation: “These days we have access to so much data and we can be very granular with it. And our stakeholders know it. They know that we can gather this, so they expect us to make important decisions.”

Customer journey orchestration: A snapshot

What it is. Customer journey orchestration 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 orchestration 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.

Dig Deeper: What is customer journey orchestration and how are these tools helping marketers?

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Corey Patterson
Corey Patterson is an Editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC to help marketers improve their campaigns.

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