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Our new “State of Marketing Report” surveyed 428 marketing execs in the UK and found that, in our mobile, multi-channel world, the importance of getting the customer journey right is very much top of mind. With customers using endless combinations of channels – including mobile, social, physical and phone – to interact with a brand, achieving a single customer view really has become the “Holy Grail” for companies. 

In fact, 70% of those surveyed have adopted a customer journey approach as part of their overall business strategy. In addition, when asked about the importance of the customer journey:

  • 77% agree it improves customer engagement
  • 73% agree it impacts revenue growth in a positive way
  • 69% agree it keeps customers happy

However, many companies still have work ahead of them in terms of getting the customer journey right. When asked about their biggest pain points, ‘keeping pace with customers’ ranked in the top three.

It seems to me that the most fundamental step towards achieving a 360-degree view of customers is moving beyond legacy IT, and migrating to open, cloud-based solutions. Without taking this leap, understanding the customer journey simply isn’t possible. Cloud migration helps tear down the information silos that can cripple a company in a world where customer expectations are accelerating at a rate only matched by the pace of innovation. In addition, moving to the cloud provides the foundation for being able to quickly and efficiently share information across a business.

More important to note is that the survey also revealed that ‘predictive intelligence’ is the top area of growth among tech tools, with 49% of respondents saying they expect to expand those capabilities within the next  12 months.

Why the move to predictive intelligence?

As customers become more connected, the increased number of touch points with a company opens up the opportunity to get to know customers in a way that’s unprecedented. Not only can companies capture massive amounts of data about their customers, but sophisticated data analytics tools are letting them extract timely, actionable insights.  

These insights are so rich, organisations can move beyond just responding to changing customer needs. They can actually start predicting them. Engaging with customers in a pre-emptive way like this will be what separates the leaders of tomorrow from the rest of the pack. 

But, for companies to successfully adopt the customer journey, it’s more than just achieving a single view and getting rich customer insights. It’s about ensuring you’re using that knowledge to your advantage and consistently leveraging it to deliver personalised 1-to-1 experiences.

And while the CMO might be the orchestrator in terms of implementing a customer journey strategy, it is the shared responsibility of every person within an organisation to ensure the customer experience is front and centre. There needs to be a shared commitment at all levels - from the CEO to service agents to sales - to use technology to provide a truly personalised customer experience. 

Customers continue to connect via different channels to communicate, research and buy. Now is the time to act first. It’s not just about bolstering revenue in the short-term, it’s about fostering the long-term customer loyalty that will allow an organisation to continue to succeed in the future. 

For more insights in to the latest trends affecting marketers around the global, download a copy of the State of Marketing 2016 report