Five trends in Customer Journey Analytics – Final Part 5 / 5

Whilst British Astronaut Tim Peake is pioneering journeys on the International Space Station and Virgin Galactic unveil their new spaceship Unity, we are celebrating Britain’s rich heritage in exploration and discussing five trends to help you explore a different type of journey, but one that’s no less complex or exciting: your customer’s journey.

Final Part 5 / 5 – Customer journey insights will become central to marketing activities

Dr David Livingstone is considered to be the all-time greatest European explorer of Africa. This year marks the 203rd anniversary of his birth. He was the first European to see “the smoke that thunders” waterfall, which he renamed Victoria Falls after his monarch Queen Victoria. He was one of the first Westerners to make a transcontinental journey across Africa. After Dr Livingstone disappeared for 6 years in Africa he was found by Henry Morton Stanley, a journalist for the New Yorker, who was famously quoted as saying “Dr Livingstone, I Presume?” upon finding the doctor. Good guess, Stanley!

Marketers today, despite all their best efforts, may sometimes feel that there is an element of (calculated) guesswork when it comes to trying to use traditional marketing tools and campaign planning. This isn’t due to any lack of skill or effort on their behalf. Traditional algorithm-based systems can only think as far as they’re pre-programmed to.

Pre-programmed marketing systems which don’t adequately consider customer journeys, journey context or customer behavior in real-time require marketers to predict what the majority customer behaviour will be, and execute the campaign hoping for the best result, measuring performance retrospectively. For many marketers when they’re building traditional campaigns the planning stages may have felt a bit like consulting horoscopes to predict the future.

As a result pre-programmed systems like automation, predictive analytics, marketing campaign management solutions and ‘Next-Best-Action’ systems can limit Marketers to an element of guess-work to calculate beyond the limits of what their tools can tell them.

Most ‘Next-Best-Action’ systems tend to keep the end-to-end customer journey shrouded in mystery. They can be a bit limited to only being able to recommend the next best thing in that moment without any consideration of the customer’s holistic end-end journey or multiple journeys. This means they only help marketers to anticipate the impact of a customer’s decision at one point on the end-to-end customer journey. This focus can only help a step at a time, which can feel a bit blinkered for marketers trying to really follow in all of their customers’ footsteps.

Torch-Bearer marketers however are leading the way with their growth brands. They’re the ones making news headlines and massive IPOs. They’re trying to reduce the guesswork by using cognitive computing instead, as opposed to conventional pre-programmed systems. Cognitive systems learn through experience and apply what they’ve learned to new inquiries or tasks. They can put content into context; provide confidence-weighted responses; and identify subtle patterns or insights.

Stanley will know for certain that he’s found his man when Marketing stops being the guessing game it can feel like to many frustrated marketers today. With more cognitive tools using journey-based insights the Torch-Bearer marketers will be far more confident, far more able to say “Dr Livingstone, I know it’s you.