Marketers have more data at their disposal than ever. But it still feel’s like a giant game of “Where’s Waldo” in determining where customers are in the customer journey. And deciding what messages to share at any point in time.
In many ways, we currently have the worst of both worlds. Customers know (and in some cases resent) that their behavior and online signals are being tracked so closely. And at the same time, they’re regularly served irrelevant offers and messaging by the same companies that are tracking them.
Being stalked by retargeting ads for a product you’ve already purchased is intrusive and annoying at the same time. Bad personalization is worse than no personalization at all.
We’re still in the awkward adolescent stage of digital marketing. Marketers have increasingly more powerful tools and customer expectations have never been higher. But it’s still really hard to get right. Factoring in multiple channels, devices, and functional areas at a company can make the customer journey picture murky.
And marketers still need to evolve the common marketing mindset from optimizing one touchpoint at a time to thinking about the customer journey as a whole.
I liked this related HBR article from a few years ago about the whole customer experience:
“Companies have long emphasized touchpoints—the many critical moments when customers interact with the organization and its offerings on their way to purchase and after. But the narrow focus on maximizing satisfaction at those moments can create a distorted picture, suggesting that customers are happier with the company than they actually are. It also diverts attention from the bigger—and more important—picture: the customer’s end-to-end journey.”
In the near term, marketers will continue to play “Where’s Waldo” with the customer’s end-to-end journey. There’s a real opportunity for brands that can get this right.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.