Messy marketing funnel?
Updated: Feb 23
Evolving customer journey analytics passed the web of workflows.
In my previous roles in product management building mobile purchasing experiences, the practice of mapping customer journeys is used in a variety of ways. It can be confused with workflow creation that defines a specific process the customer goes through. But real-life experiences are more akin to playing the kids game, Chutes and Ladders where players can move back and forth, start over many times, can get side-tracked after every turn. The differences between what really happens and what was intended to happen can turn building analytics into a nightmare that erodes your data and reports' trust.
Journeys don't replace workflows.
Workflows and process mappings are still the best way to set a baseline experience for customers. I have seen many teams seize in disagreement on even this first step. Enterprise systems and business applications were designed and built on the premise of process maps and workflows. But once you get started and become more-savvy, managing workflows and viewing your customers across the various applications become fragmented. Imagine engaging with a brand online, on your smartphone, and in-store. Marketers face the problem of bringing in information from websites, email applications, and order systems. The marketer then struggles with making sense of data in reports that don't gel. This is why customer journey analytics is difficult and still evolving.
Marketers need more insight than what's on digital.
Good marketers can get a baseline experience to turn into sales. The best marketers begin to measure and use other strategies to grow. And further, digital marketing today is abundant with metrics that inform the customer journey, especially in terms of opens, abandons and click-throughs, even on-line conversions. Workflows have worked well to inform tactics and optimize channels. But for the CEOs and CMOs, the complete picture from on-line and off-line sales to drive strategy and go after new markets still relies on biased sampling and partial information. Deeper insights from data like meaningful product offers and multi-channel strategies are in demand from leadership and product roles.
New technologies such as customer data platforms have helped close the journey versus workflow gap. Although not a silver bullet in itself, CDPs help by first bringing in the data (data connection) into a single place and persist information at the customer profile level. At VIEWN, we established the profile as the base unit and could unlock what’s needed to build journey analytics. Aligning the different workflows, like your email nurturing campaigns to your webinar flows, leads to insights across the different channels. Analyzing the metrics for campaigns yields results in target segments. Validating previous assumptions against real data, shed light on what really works in your customer journey, and uncovers areas needing improvement. Live data mapped back to the personas you initially baselined begins to inform the strategic level and drive campaign effectiveness. Customer journey analytics also informs KPIs like customer retention, churn, and CLV- the real value of workflow activity.
All the foundational workflows that marketers have built are validated and then turbo-charged with the right expertise behind a CDP. Workflows are not necessarily meant to be untangled but rather understood as performing or not in the business's full context. That is why marketers have looked to technologies that can build a 360-degree customer view. Marketers look for more context beyond simply how many responded to the email but which kinds of customers responded. Lead scores and engagement scores by the different personas, more advanced customer journey analytics, can make workflows more efficient by uncovering what’s meaningful to that persona. This is why analytics built on uncovering your real customer journeys begin to move the marketer past the web workflows towards something more productive.
Key Takeaways from the article:
Workflows are a natural progression of processes and systems.
Marketers can see get workflow metrics like opens and conversions.
Seeing across different workflows and multiple apps takes visibility of true customer journeys.
Customer data platforms applied to customer journeys can be used to build back insights.
Customer journey analytics built from a CDP can inform retention and valued-personas