by Swati Sahai
The use of marketing technology has now proven to give companies an edge over others by allowing them to collect data, glean insights, target the right audience and deliver personalized content to drive higher ROI.
No wonder marketing technology(martech) forms a big chunk of CMOs budgets – 21% of B2C marketing budgets as per Forrester, and 33% of B2B marketing budgets, according to Gartner.
Thanks to this growing share of CMOs budgets, the multi-billion-dollar marketing technology industry has seen explosive growth, with thousands of solutions now available to perform different marketing functions.
Due to the sheer number of tools available and the ever-growing availability of customer data, integrating different technologies into a unified platform has become both an imperative and a big challenge.
As per Forrester Research, “The sheer number of tech options available, integration struggles both across solutions and within suites themselves, poorly defined and overlapping categories, the tendency of vendors toward walled gardens, substandard user experience design, and unclear market messaging by vendors force marketers to make purchase tradeoffs with more cons than pros.”
Today, analyzing the interactions within a specific touchpoint is insufficient to truly understand how your customers are interacting with your company. To better understand and engage with customers in real-time, marketing teams need a customer-centric view of the myriad interactions customers have with each of the touchpoints in their marketing technology stack.
How Customer Journey Analytics Improves Your Marketing Technology Capabilities
Customer journey analytics enables marketers to discover individual and aggregate customer journeys and gives them the ability to enhance customer experience, maximize revenue and reduce cost to serve.
A customer journey analytics platform sits as a relatively light layer above your existing martech systems without the need for re-platforming or throwing out any existing component of the stack.
Here are 4 reasons that illustrate why customer journey analytics makes your existing marketing technology stack better.
1. Quickly Brings Together Data Residing In Separate Marketing Technology Platforms
From your website and email system to your mobile app, every touchpoint system collects and analyzes its own data in isolation. Often this data produces information that is already obsolete and in some cases, it even produces inaccurate results. This has a detrimental effect on segmentation, targeting, customer experience and marketing attribution.
Journey analytics platforms are designed to quickly integrate data across a variety of systems and channels to create a unified customer view. A customer journey analytics platform can bring together data from websites, CRM systems, email marketing tools, marketing automation tools, data warehouses, social media tools, point-of-sale-systems, call center logs and even IoT devices. This allows marketers to analyze millions of data points in real-time and produce actionable analytics in a timeframe when it is still relevant and actionable.
2. Provides The Breadth To Discover The Full Customer Journey
Marketers today try to satisfy unforgiving customers and meet revenue expectations in a chaotic marketing technology landscape with new vendors and categories emerging every day. The need to see and service the entire customer journey end-to-end is well documented. But despite spending millions on technology, marketers are forced to stitch together their own martech stack or deliver a sub-par customer experience.
Marketing technology solutions typically capture a subset of customer interactions, e.g. website visits, and are limited to reporting on these, e.g. sessions, visits, clicks. This makes the discovery of cross-channel insights extremely difficult. More importantly, analyzing data separately within each silo prevents marketers from understanding and acting on omnichannel customer behavior, which is becoming the norm these days.
Customer journey analytics platforms enable you to get a single, unified view of the customer as she interacts with your brand across multiple channels, by quickly integrating and matching data from your existing martech systems and tools.
In this way, customer journey analytics tools help you discover and optimize the breadth of the customer journey with lightning speed, making the analysis of important journeys dynamic and accessible.
3. Makes Data Available To Other Technologies In Real-Time And Gets More Value Out Of Them
Customer journey analytics tools not only integrate data from other platforms, but they also analyze, enrich this data and make it available to other technologies for use in real-time.
Customer journey analytics platforms therefore act as an intelligence layer that integrates with your existing martech stack and even gets more value out of your existing tools.
Travel Company Dramatically Improves Email Campaigns
A travel company wanted to reduce the number of calls received in their help center. Using a customer journey analytics platform, they realized that a large number of calls were coming from customers who were worried that the travel company had lost or canceled their booking. Further analysis revealed that the root cause of those calls were email campaigns that were mistakenly promoting similar, comparable offers to customers who had already booked a tour or stay.
Armed with this insight, they carried over the data to their email marketing platform, so that customers who had recently booked a trip would not receive new promotions. This improved the results of their email campaigns, reduced the number of calls coming to the help center and therefore the cost to serve, and provided a much better customer experience.
Shoe Retailer Optimizes In-Store And Online Experience
A shoe retailer used a customer journey analytics platform to integrate in-store data(such as display and staffing methods) with social sentiment from social monitoring tools, merchandise data and customer feedback. To this mix, they added online behavior data like abandoned carts and product reviews. This enabled them for the first time ever to get a complete journey view. It helped them understand how in-store customer experience was driving online interaction and sales. Using this insight, they were able to improve not only online sales but also in-store experience.
4. Aligns Marketing, Sales, CX And Other Teams
The marketing technology stack often spans across different teams. Sales operations, for example, could own the CRM system, IT could own the data warehouse and marketing typically owns the website and email platform. Each element in the martech stack produces information that can be useful to other teams and is often necessary. This is where customer journey analytics steps in and integrates information from other tools and easily shares it across teams so sales, customer experience, design and user insights teams can benefit from it.
How a Customer Journey Analytics Platform Fits Into Your B2C Marketing Technology Stack
The B2C Buying Process
B2C companies with huge volumes, low price points and fast moving sales rely on technology to connect, engage and transact with customers. The B2C buying process is about consumers, transaction events, impulse purchases, and coupons.
B2C Marketing Technology Stack
B2C martech platforms mostly focus on point-in-time transactions across a giant prospect universe. They ingest a lot of demographic data through search patterns and purchase history. But much of that information is anonymous. This makes it a big challenge for B2C marketers to understand and analyze this data and make relevant connections.
How Customer Journey Analytics Improves The B2C Marketing Technology Stack
Customer journey analytics platforms are a valuable component of a B2C marketing technology system, as they integrate all the different data sources, match identities (even among anonymous visitors) and create identifiable patterns.
When it comes to automating customer journeys, customer journey analytics platforms help you discover behavioral segments, personalize content and offers, and orchestrate dynamic engagement through the best channel at the ideal point along each customer’s personal journey.
B2C marketers integrate customer journey analytics platforms into their martech stacks to become more precise, agile, consumer-led and connected. They leverage journey analytics tools to identify important journeys, fix pain points, optimize engagement and predict behavior across the end-to-end journey.
How a Customer Journey Analytics Platform Fits Into Your B2B Marketing Technology Stack
The B2B Buying Process
B2B companies typically have fewer customers than B2C, with a longer, more consultative buying process that involves multiple interactions. B2B is primarily about engaging with content, offers and/or communications that is appropriate for their current stage in their journey.
In contrast to B2C, the B2B ‘customer’ is typically comprised of more than one person and the sales cycle may stretch from weeks to months. This introduces additional complexity, as multiple people interact with your company at different stages of the customer journey. In the most complex enterprise B2B relationships, there will be interactions with dozens of individuals with roles ranging from purchasing, legal and security to buyers, influencers and users.
B2B Marketing Technology Stack
B2B marketing technology needs to track a complex web of detailed attributes and match events with purchases across each stage in the journey. B2B marketers need to segment the market precisely and deeply for a variety of custom behavior and signals. Customer data in a B2B martech stack exists at both the person and account level across CRM systems, data warehouses and market data tools. To best serve customer interest and get improved marketing outcomes, B2B companies use personalization to move high value sales and multi-stakeholder groups through unique, non-linear customer journeys.
How Customer Journey Analytics Improves the B2B Marketing Technology Stack
Customer journey analytics platforms are valuable for B2B companies as the intelligence layer they provide to the marketing technology stack elevates the segmentation, targeting and personalization process to optimize marketing campaigns.
They integrate data from CRM systems, data warehouses and market data systems. With this richer data, B2B marketers are able to conduct hyper-personalization through dynamic content. They enable B2B marketers to discover high-impact journeys and make the link from customer behavior to hard, quantitative metrics. Customer journey analytics tools also help better orchestrate dynamic automation across channels and segments by triggering engagement through existing martech tools like marketing automation and advertising technology platforms.
Across the B2B ecosystem, customer journey analytics platforms generate customer insights to cross-sell, offer a personalized experience, better manage content, facilitate lead nurturing, optimize post-purchase experience, and monitor quantitative metrics over a period of time.
Customer journey analytics platforms are a great, even necessary, addition to your marketing technology tools across both B2C and B2B companies. From segmentation, targeting and journey discovery to customer behavior monitoring and engagement, customer journey analytics tools enhance marketing campaigns every step of the way and deliver more value from your martech stack.
What marketing technologies make up part of your stack? What strategies do you adopt to improve the performance of your martech stack? Leave comments to share and discuss!