Merkle (www.merkle.com), a leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, today released The Complete Customer Journey Analytics Handbook. The handbook outlines the key components of this proven strategy for customer journey optimization and breaks down the best approaches for implementation.
Delivering relevant customer experiences has always been critical to attracting customers, building loyalty and advocacy, and driving interactions and revenue. Customer centricity has never been more relevant than today, as consumer behavior accelerated digital transformation during the pandemic. At the same time, concerns about trust and privacy are driving increased scrutiny on the safe and ethical treatment of customer data. The discipline of customer journey development has been growing in importance for many organizations – especially with the rise of first-party customer data and the deprecation of third-party cookies. This handbook emphasizes that designing customer journeys should no longer start with subjective customer views, but rather be rooted in data.
The utilization of first-party customer data is crucial in allowing businesses to better understand and then deliver real-time and privacy-safe experiences for consumers across channels. The Complete Customer Journey Analytics Handbook shares six crucial steps in the cycle that businesses must focus on within their CXM practice:
- Connect and enhance data: The most foundational aspect of customer journey design lies in the ability to identify, collect, synthesize, and act upon multiple dimensions of data attributes.
- Define the data-driven journey: CX analysts and designers should translate the data into insights that are forged into actionable business strategies and tactics.
- Devise a test design and contact strategy: This allows an understanding of the measurement framework, strategy, and KPIs used to explore theories that yield an optimal combination of messaging, creative, and tactics to drive desired customer actions.
- Operationalize: Operationalizing analytics brings data across the customer journey to life.
- Apply real-time decisioning and optimization: Decisioning technologies are at the core of the intelligent layer that allows brands to orchestrate all customer interactions across touchpoints and over time.
- Measure: There is a difference between “reporting” and “incrementality,” and learning how to adequately implement both will help avoid a wasteful path.
“The idea of creating a phenomenal customer experience has continued to be top of mind for marketers across industries. However, many marketers miss the powerful opportunity of developing data-driven, actionable customer journeys,” said Shirli Zelcer, head of analytics and data, Merkle Americas. “Merkle was recently recognized by Forrester Research as a leader among the top customer database and engagement agencies and received the highest vendor score in the analytics services criteria. We’re proud to have written the Customer Journey Analytics handbook to provide marketers guidance on how to leverage next generation analytics and actionable steps for building and planning their customer journeys.”
The guide also outlines several first steps for organizations looking to kickstart a customer journey analytics program. To learn more about these tactics and key takeaways, click here.
 The Forrester Wave™: Customer Database and Engagement Agencies, Q1 2021.