Optimizing the Customer Journey using Microsegments and Cross-Journey Communication


There’s no doubting that customers have more control over the buying process than ever before. Meandering through seemingly unlimited online and offline channels, perhaps even someone browsing on a mobile device or placing an order whilst physically in your store or premises, the journeys that our customers take are more complex, more varied and, plain and simply, different from the old days of linear marketing campaigns.

But how do you execute or measure a customer journey? How do you practically track a customer that could meander in any direction and lead them towards a conversion? Do campaigns still have a role to play?

Here we look at three important concepts that marketers need to consider when evolving from a multi-channel campaign mindset to an always-on, omnichannel customer journey approach to marketing:

1. Measuring Intention

Measuring campaigns in the old way is perhaps easy when compared to a customer journey. Marketer's still cling onto campaign metrics like clicks, opens, responses or conversions. Although these are clearly important, the way that the modern marketer is starting to evaluate the journey that a customer undertakes is by evaluating the progression through the journey at each customer touchpoint. At BlueVenn we define this as 'Progression' or 'Aversion':

  • Progression: The metric used to measure the impact of a step in a customer journey on customers that did what you wanted. 
  • Aversion: The metric used to measure the impact of a step in a customer journey on customers that did not do what you wanted.

To measure intention in this way, marketers can look at engagement, timing and value metrics to understand the journey success and the value of customers as they move through it.

2. Building Microsegments

Marketers have long used sociodemographic factors (such as age, gender, location and income) to segment their customers and create personas to shape their marketing strategies. The explosion of big data has provided them with access to huge volumes of behavioral data, too.

This behavioral data, such a purchase history, website viewing history, cart abandonment habits, and so on, has enabled the creation of far more specific microsegments for precision targeted messaging.

Customers might be placed in a microsegment depending on what device they use, what time they visit your site or open their emails, or what channel they prefer. These microsegments allow you to understand not just a customer from their persona, but how you can treat each one differently based on the way they act.

You can measure engagement, timing and value metrics for all your microsegments, comparing the performance of their progression or aversion against the average for each microsegment.

From here, you can learn whether you are outperforming the average, or perhaps under-performing with your aversives. Is what the customers are doing without your help earning more money than when marketing intervenes, for example?

It gives you the knowledge to:

  • Create optimization tactics for your progressive customers.
  • Intervene in the negative experiences that your aversives have experienced, and then improve those experiences measurably over time.

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Using a CDP & Analytics for Customer Journey Optimization

3. Cross-Journey Communication

For an optimized customer journey, marketers require the ability to conduct a single, holistic journey conversation. Take, for example, a customer who has just received a positive communication from a brand because they were in what appeared to be a loyalty behavior part of their journey.

However, they received this message shortly after emailing the company to complain about a recent purchase. The customer, understandably, is confused to the point where any positive intent from the original message was negated, and could even lead to a second complaint through the perceived ignorance of the customer’s negative feelings towards the brand.

This is an incident where a customer has ‘fallen through the gaps’ between touchpoints, and one that could have been avoided with cross-journey communication, where one important behavioral action can alter the rest of their journey appropriately.

Cross-journey communication is like applying a metaphorical sticky note to a customer who falls within a microsegment. As they progress through their customer journey (or journeys), a record can be made at any touchpoint, at any channel, to monitor their behavior, and shape future communications.

This can lead to them receiving a specific piece of creative, being delivered personalized content next time they visit your website, decide what time of day they receive an email, or even dictate they receive fewer, or no communications at all.

Adopting B2B Marketing Principles in B2C Marketing

The three concepts discussed in this blog are just a taste of how B2C marketers can start to change the way they measure the customer journey, and alter the customer experience to one that the modern consumer demands.

In many ways, B2B marketers have been doing this for years by using lead scoring, nurturing and content marketing to move leads between sales stages, and then monitoring the time that those leads move between them. B2C marketers could do worse than take a leaf from the B2B marketing handbook of lead nurturing and apply the same mindset to the consumer journey. Unfortunately, many however are still striving to hit their click, open and like KPIs!

Want to know more? Download the Customer Journey Optimization eBook where we expand on this topic.

Customer Journey Optimization eBook

Evolving from a campaign mindset to an omnichannel customer journey culture requires a transformation of technology, data, people, processes and measurement. BlueVenn, as well as being an omnichannel marketing automation and Customer Data Platform vendor, works closely with clients, using state-of-the-art expertise to transform culture, data and your approach to direct marketing.

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Topics: customer journey