It can be a difficult process for a brand to move from focusing on channels to experience but it is happening. McKinsey put it best in their 2013 presentation, Transforming Customer Experience: From Moments to Journeys.

Customer journeys are paramount. So,how does McKinsey define the customer journey?

  • Anchored in how customers think about the journey with your brand.
  • An event that marks the defining experience of key life-cycles of a customer.
  • Typically multi-touch, multi-channel, and cross-functional.
  • An evolution in thinking over traditional touchpoint approaches (channels and moments).

The customer journey is filled with small moments in time that represents interactions with your brand over a multitude of different channels and technologies. It matters if the customer is using a mobile phone, tablet, lives within a zip code, and is within a specific age. It also matters that brands understand the nuances of the customer's buying behavior. Behavioral data is almost more important than demographic when building the future of marketing and strategic direction of any business.

Technology + Channel + Demographic + Behavior = Customer Journey

Any paradigm shift has its challenges and McKinsey correctly assumes that marketers are facing a very large challenge when focusing on the customer journey.

  1. More than one person of business unit is responsible for the customer experience.
  2. Most companies are organized functionally and hard-wired to think channel and touchpoints.
  3. At the frontline, limited visibility into customer outcomes and cross-functional hand-offs.
  4. Metrics and incentives are touchpoint- and channel-based.
  5. Performance data is often stored within disparate business unit which is a challenge when assessing marketing performance.

Simply put, we must disrupt the organizational model of business to deliver a seamless experience for the customer. Disparate systems and data sources are slowing down marketing's ability to shift and change.

Transforming Customer Experience: From Moments to Journeys from McKinsey on Marketing & Sales