While anything related to the customer journey is a hot topic, marketers are struggling to embrace and quantify the results of any customer journey initiative. There are challenges to successfully operationalizing and measuring results:
- The Wrong View
- The Wrong Martech Stack
- The Wrong Scorecard
The Wrong View
The traditional view of the B2B marketing universe is the funnel – whether you render it horizontally or vertically. When marketers first adopted the funnel approach, it was revolutionary and much needed. Helping marketers transform from the “make it pretty” department to a group with financial responsibility represented a major turning point in marketing. The downside of a funnel-centric view of the B2B marketing universe is that it is a limited view. The funnel represents the marketing and sales view, not the customer’s view. The funnel represents part of the customer journey, not the entire customer journey. In other words, the funnel is no longer sufficient in a customer engagement economy.
The customer engagement economy is one in which the customer/consumer is in firm control with a few clicks or swipes on their device. Through the internet, they have unparalleled access to information that allows them to take their journey at their pace. Their information access is forcing vendors to pivot from a product centric approach to a customer centric approach.
Once you consider this shift, you will then need to evaluate a set of new metrics and a set of new Martech technologies.
To successfully operationalize and measure your customer journey work, you need to expand your view so that you now have models for net new acquisition and customer expansion. This requires improving your current models for net new acquisition, adding models for customer expansion and creating overall models that include the full customer journey view, not just pieces. As you are now working across the entire customer journey, you will become a customer advocate and ambassador with all the customer-facing parts of your company. It is your responsibility to create consistent and cohesive messaging and engagement actions that knit together flawless customer experiences. It is your responsibility to re-engineer your internal processes – in and out of marketing – to support this new level of customer engagement. Clearly, marketing is leading this pivot to customer centricity, and as this leader, you must communicate, influence and collaborate at a whole new level.
The Wrong MarTech Stack
As marketing organizations embrace the realities of the customer engagement economy, dealing with legacy marketing ops systems presents its own set of challenges. First, most MarTech stacks represent an accumulation of point solutions bought over time by different owners with different needs. So the first order of business to align your MarTech stack to the customer engagement economy is to do an audit. What systems do you have, how are they used, who uses them and for what? Once you have the audit complete, it is now time to review your customer engagement goals – both for marketing and the company – and architect a systems ecosystem that will support these goals. What is interesting about this effort is that this goes beyond marketing. The customer journey happens across many parts of your organization. Architecting solutions for the customer journey across all customer facing parts of your company will require your very best knitting skills! For example, if marketing is looking at buying a particular piece of technology, start with finding out if any other group has something you can use or if any other group might use something like this as well. Developing a customer-centric MarTech stack is a big job but one that is absolutely necessary for success.
The Wrong Metrics
Given this monumental shift in the B2B marketing universe, creating a new metrics scorecard becomes a business imperative. First, you have to consider “engagement” metrics. These are metrics associated to when, why, how and how often the customer is engaging with any part of your company. You might begin by adding engagement metrics to your traditional funnel related to net new acquisitions. In some cases, this is a tweaking of current metrics you might track such as frequency of engagement, time on site, number of type of content reviewed, etc. It’s what we used to call “digital body language”). Next, you’ll need to track engagement metrics in other parts of the company. This might include customer success or customer service or services. You might work with other business groups to define and capture the right metrics and then work as a team to analyze and diagnose the data. Creating a new scorecard that everyone in the company has responsibility to is a great way for everyone to have skin in the game to ensure optimal customer experiences.
There is no way a short blog like this can capture all the nuances of quantifying the customer journey. So join us on July 17that 2:00PM (EDT) as we discuss these concepts in more detail. We’ll provide practical advice and practical steps based on years of experience in working with B2B customers as they map, operationalize and quantify their customer journeys.