Marketers Struggle to Map Multichannel Customers' Journeys - eMarketer
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Marketers Struggle to Map Multichannel Customers' Journeys

Marketers slow to 'connect the dots' to track customers across channels

How well do you understand the journey your customers take from awareness of your brand or products to conversion and beyond? Based on research by Econsultancy and ResponseTap, the answer may be, “not very.”

Data Sources Used by Client-Side Marketers vs. Agency Professionals Worldwide to Inform an Understanding of the Customer Journey, March 2015 (% of respondents)

The March 2015 survey, which was carried out among agency professionals and client-side marketers around the world (including a majority in the UK), found that only a minority of respondents were using some potentially key sources of data about the customer journey. While 80% of agency professionals and 76% of client-side marketers were using online analytics, for example, just 31% and 37%, respectively, were using call center data. And fewer than one in five overall were using mobile app analytics.

The customer journey has become more complex since, first, the advent and rise of digital shopping and buying, and, more recently, the same phenomenon on mobile devices. Customers who begin the research process in one place may use several channels before finally making a purchase—and may go on to use several more in the post-purchase phases of the customer journey, such as loyalty.

Ways in Which Client-Side Marketers and Agency Professionals Worldwide Connect the Dots to Map/Track Customers Who Are Engaging Both Digitally and Offline, March 2015 (% of respondents)

Another question, about whether marketers were trying to “connect the dots” and help track customers across digital and offline channels, pointed to even more missed opportunities. Fewer than four in 10 agency professionals and three in 10 client-side marketers were collecting data about the customer journey at the point of sale, and similar numbers were using online-generated tracking codes to track offline purchases (or vice versa).

According to research from Signal, this kind of fragmented data collection can seriously hinder marketing efforts. More than six in 10 marketers worldwide surveyed in March 2015 said it meant their marketing measurement was incomplete, and a similar number noted that it prevented them from doing the kind of personalization they hoped for. Meanwhile, 35% admitted it meant they simply did not understand the customer journey.

Failing to understand the customer journey means marketers can’t possibly be hitting their targets with the right message in the right place at the right time—unless they happen to do so through sheer luck.

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