What's happening data-driven customer journeys in APAC?
One of a brand marketer's many jobs is to create customer journeys. It involves imagining which touchpoints a consumer is going to encounter between becoming aware of a brand and making a purchase - and designing them so there is a smooth, seamless flow from start to finish.
Traditionally, this 'journey building' happened in a meeting room with a whiteboard (and plenty of coffee), but lately, marketers are being urged to use data to improve the customer journey - and marketing performance metrics, too.
But are marketers able to do this? Or is building data-driven customer journeys still just an aspiration for most brands?
To find out, ClickAcademy, in association with Amazon Web Services, held roundtable discussions with client-side marketers in Bangkok, Thailand. At the Data-driven Customer Journeys table, hosted by Anand Jain, CEO, Clevertap, attendees discussed how their brands were integrating data into the customer journey as well as reflecting on some of the challenges that they face when trying to do so. Below are highlights from the day's discussion.
1) Marketers have a lot of data, but they are not sure how to use it
The first point made by participants was that there was plenty of data. Brands have been diligently collecting data from all their digital touchpoints for many years and are now awash in customer data from ad platforms, web site logs, emails and ecommerce systems.
The problem that most marketers face, though, is that they are not sure about how to use the data that they already have for improving the customer journey.
One delegate mentioned that they had been successful using data to optimize touchpoints such as the click-through rate (CTR) of ads, but they weren't sure that doing so had necessarily improved the journey.
2) New data sources are being sought by marketers
Another issue which attendees have with customer data though is that they aren't entirely sure what additional data might be available for them.
The reason why is that, at many companies, the IT team, not marketers, are responsible for collecting data and so marketers are not always sure about what their options are.
Moreover, participants felt that there were still many untapped 3rd party data sources which could help improve the customer journey, but they just were not yet aware of them. Bank, telcos and other consumer-based companies all have data which could be used to help brands build customer profiles, but marketers were not yet sure how they could take advantage of these rich data sources.
3) Customer data is still stuck in silos...
Another obstacle marketers face when trying to create a data-driven customer journey is that, at many companies, customer data is typically 'owned' and managed by the department that collects it.
Marketing has full access to the data collected from the touchpoint that it controls, but product, sales, customer service and even regional offices have data which would be useful for building journeys.
There is, however, little motivation for other departments to share their data with marketing, said one participant.
So, for the time being, a lot of customer data is stuck in departmental 'silos' - ready to be used for improving the customer journey but being kept from the people who are trying to make that happen.
4)...but marketers are getting started with smaller, data-driven customer journey projects
Throughout the day, marketers admitted to facing many challenges when trying to build a data-driven customer journey but, overall, they were positive about the prospects of doing so.
The tables agreed that marketers should not wait for the issues they face to disappear and get 'perfect' customer data, but instead, they should start with what they have and build 'smaller', data-driven journeys.
The motivation for this is that management needs to see how the company will benefit by investing more in data-driven projects. Real examples of how data can improve customer experience - and improve business results - provides executives with the evidence they need to raise budgets in this area.
Attendees were, therefore, encouraged to do a data 'audit' as soon as they could, build a simple customer journey using the data that they have and when they achieve significant improvements they can seek support for the larger data-driven customer journey projects they know are now possible.
A word of thanks
Click Academy would like to thank Anand Jain, CEO, Clevertap for hosting the Data-driven Customer Journeys table and Abhinav Gupta, Head of Channels - Data Analytics | Machine Learning, ASEAN, Amazon Web Services for providing his subject matter expertise on the day.
We'd also like to thank all the brand marketers who took time out of their hectic schedules to attend and share their data-driven marketing experiences with other event delegates. We hope to see you all at future Click Academy events!