3 items tagged "customer journey"

  • Marketing attribution in B2B: What's going on?

    Marketing attribution in B2B: What's going on?

    It’s no surprise to see more and more marketers explore and invest in attribution modeling in 2019 and beyond. After all, the B2B buyer’s journey has become increasingly complex, as each prospect engages with a number of digital touchpoints on their path to becoming a customer. It’s imperative for marketers to understand their customers’ journey and the role that each touchpoint plays in an eventual purchase, and marketing attribution is the one tactic that helps them do so.

    In today’s blog post we take a look at the current state of marketing attribution, and the latest marketing attribution trends you should be aware of. Let’s get into it!

    What is marketing attribution?

    Before we get into the latest attribution trends, let’s review the definition and main objectives of marketing attribution.

    Marketing attribution refers to a system used to determine how each touchpoint in a customer’s journey contributes to an eventual conversion. From there, a marketing attribution model will assign a specific percentage of attribution to each touchpoint. By assigning credit to each touchpoint, marketers are able to better assess and optimize the various campaigns and channels they use to engage their target audience.

    Here’s where it gets a little more complicated. There’s no singular model for successful marketing attribution. In fact, there are more than a handful of attribution models marketers use to track their customer journeys. 

    The three main types of marketing attribution are as follows: First-touch attribution, last-touch attribution, and multitouch attribution. First-touch attribution assigns 100% of the credit to the first touchpoint in a prospect’s path to conversion. Last-touch assigns all the credit to the last touchpoint. Multi-touch attribution models disperse credit among the many touchpoints in a prospect’s journey to converting.

    Trend 1: Multi-touch has become the most common form of attribution model

    As we stated above, there’s some debate over which marketing attribution model is best. Given the variety of options, it’s easy to see why only 22% of marketers believe they’re using the right attribution model (LeadsRX).

    Many businesses have stuck with a first-touch or last-touch attribution model, but they’re no longer in the majority. Over the past year, multi-touch attribution has become the predominant form of attribution modeling (eMarketer):

    • Of B2B marketers who have adopted marketing attribution, 45.3% use a multi-touch attribution model. Comparatively,  43.2% use first-click attribution and 24.% use last-click attribution.
    • 44% of marketers say they plan to implement multichannel attribution within the next year or two. 

    Make no mistake about it, the increasing reliance on multi-touch attribution is a good sign for the future of B2B marketing. One-touch models (first-touch and last-touch) have certain benefits, but they don’t paint a wholly accurate picture of a multi-faceted buyer’s journey. Multi-touch attribution models are much more realistic. They recognize every channel and piece of marketing content a prospect interacts with. 

    Compared to first- or last-touch, the only drawback to multi-touch attribution is its complexity. In other words, it’s easy to assign 100% attribution to a blog post that started a customer’s journey. It’s also easy to credit the webinar they attended right before conversion. But, assigning credit to each touchpoint in between is a more complicated process.

    The good news is, modern technology has simplified the process of implementing a multi-touch attribution model. Free tools like Google Analytics enable marketers to track multiple touchpoints and even create custom attribution models that let users assign attribution to individual channels. Considering that 41% of marketers say custom attribution modeling is very effective (Econsultancy), we’re likely to see more and more marketers embrace a multi-touch attribution strategy.   

    Trend 2: Attribution technology has impacted marketing budgets

    In a recent survey, marketing leaders were asked how attribution technology has affected their marketing spend across the channels they use. While responses varied, the survey results showed a general increase in spending on channels like content marketing, paid search, and organic search. Conversely, paid social and display advertising saw a general decrease in spending (Clickz).

    What do these results mean? For one, they show that attribution modeling has helped marketers develop a better understanding of SEO/SEM and content marketing ROI. But on a broader level, surveys like this one point to a trend in how marketers will allocate their budgets moving forward. 

    Marketing attribution is paving the way for more strategic allocation of money and resources. By optimizing their spending based on attribution metrics, marketers are able to ensure that every dollar they spend is actively driving conversions. 

    Trend 3: Cross-device attribution moves into the spotlight

    While the rise of multi-touch attribution is promising, there’s much more progress to be made. Modern customers don’t just use multiple channels to engage with a brand before the point of conversion. They also use multiple devices. In fact, Google reports that a majority of online consumers who use multiple devices start their purchase on a smartphone and complete it on a PC or tablet (Clearcode).  

    Marketers who implement an attribution model are beginning to recognize the importance of tracking customer behavior across multiple devices. To illustrate the value of cross-device attribution, let’s look at a hypothetical scenario:

    A person clicks on a paid advertisement for a security software on their smartphone. They’re intrigued, and later they visit the company’s blog and social media feeds while using their tablet. The next day, they use their laptop to visit the company’s website and submit a free trial form.

    In the above scenario, a standard attribution model may only recognize the final touchpoint of the prospect’s journey: they went to a website and filled out a form. Meanwhile, cross-device attribution would recognize the prospect’s previous actions on their smartphone and tablet, which led them to the point of conversion.

    The question is: How does one identify and track users across different devices? As you might expect, there’s no easy answer. But, there’s been a strong push among marketing software providers and data management platforms to solve this cross-channel conundrum. As technology becomes more adept at tracking users across devices, we should expect to see cross-channel attribution become the norm in the coming years.

    Trend 4: Attribution has driven more businesses to consolidate their sales and marketing technology stacks  

    Attribution modeling provides more insight into the buyer’s journey and allows for more accurate, comprehensive reporting. But, marketers fail to fully realize these benefits when their technologies do not integrate with those used by their sales department.

    For example, let’s say your marketing team uses a specific tool to track your various channels and assign attribution. If that tool does not integrate with your CRM, important prospect and customer data become siloed, making it more difficult to analyze and create comprehensive, accurate reports.

    Consolidating your sales and marketing technology stacks yields a number of benefits that contribute to better marketing and sales alignment. As marketing attribution becomes more ubiquitous, fully integrative technology stacks will become even more prominent among sales and marketing organizations. 

    Trend 5: More job titles include 'attribution'  

    Marketing attribution is not a minor undertaking, nor is it a simple set-it-and-forget-it tactic. In fact, it’s on its way to becoming one of the most essential components of a data-driven marketing strategy. As businesses recognize this development, the demand for employees with specific expertise in the realm of marketing attribution rises.

    Unsurprisingly, there’s been a recent surge in job titles related to marketing attribution. Search any online job board, and you’re likely to find a number of open positions calling for a 'Marketing Attribution Analyst' or 'Attribution Specialist'. It’s likely that over the next decade, marketing departments across all industries will include entire teams dedicated to marketing attribution. 

    Final thoughts on marketing attribution trends

    Marketing attribution is far from a fully-realized concept. It’s a tactic that continues to develop and improve, as marketing technology advances towards the idea of a 'perfect' attribution model. But, the trends we discussed today prove that the buzz around marketing attribution is much more than flash-in-the-pan industry hype. 

    If you have yet to explore the value of marketing attribution, now’s the time to start. A word to the wise: The benefits of marketing attribution aren’t always immediate. It’s likely that you’ll experiment with a number of attribution models before you find the one that works for your organization. Work out the kinks now and you’ll stay ahead of the curve as marketing attribution continues to evolve into a vital business strategy

    Author: Sam Holzman

    Source: Zoominfo

  • The benefits of analyzing the customer journey of your users

    The benefits of analyzing the customer journey of your users

    Skills related to User Experience (UX) design are high in demand. They are among the top 10 most demanded skills in 2019. ranked by a recent LinkedIn study. Finding qualified UX designers is tied with finding software engineers in terms of hiring priorities, according to a recent Adobe study. Within that UX bucket, designers who have skills related to data analytics and research are particularly sought after, with those qualities being named as a must-have.

    But the ability to analyze the user journey to create delightful experiences for end-users isn’t just a skill that is exclusive to (nor required only by) UX professionals. For stakeholders across the spectrum of software development and delivery, access to interactive data visualizations on how the user is moving through a task can help each group more successfully deliver on their own goals. From engineering, to product management, to marketing. And while access to this data may be expected in a cloud-based application, it’s equally (if not more) important for on-premise software publishers to enable this type of analysis in their products.

    By looking at data related to user flow (also known as ´path analytics´), product stakeholders begin to identify the series of steps it takes users to reach their goals. With a deep view into the steps surrounding a key task, several helpful pieces of information that may have been difficult or impossible to visualize now become readily apparent. Things like unanticipated actions, broken workflows, or shortcuts that power users have discovered that could be promoted or productized. 

    Having this knowledge has benefits that extend beyond streamlining and optimizing the user interface. This insight can help better determine training requirements and guide users, and also provide points for comparison between old and new user interfaces that inform product development.

    How does user flow analysis work?

    It starts with choosing a ´hotspot´ event to analyze. This can range from launching the application, to launching any event within it such as using a wizard, opening a menu, or accessing a particular feature. Next, pick a path direction within the hotspot to drill further into. This can be the start, the end, or somewhere in between. This is where it is crucial to understand the question you’re trying to answer. For instance, the hotspot would be the starting point if the goal is to understand where users go from a particular point, the steps taken, and whether that meets expectations. The hotspot would be the endpoint if you’re trying to answer a broader question about the value of the experience, such as the steps leading up to the user clicking on a link to explore upgraded functionality.

    Choose the number of steps to analyze, and the number of events within each step, as well as any paths that you don’t want to look atAs you audit the events you have tagged, there are a couple of best practices you can follow.

    First, make sure to have a naming convention for events that makes interpreting them easier in user flow reports and visualizations. Secondly, make sure that all of the high value events are tagged, to get data on them as soon as possible or before a specific marketing campaign or product roadmap decision.

    Having a window into these user flows has several key benefits, as it enables the organization to:

    Validate design: Confirm that users are taking the path designed for them or identify if different workflows may produce a better result.

    Visualize the journey: Quickly navigate through path reports to see traffic patterns through events and relative popularity of next/previous steps with a single click. This includes the ability to filter reports to view paths of specific sets of users based on their properties, and exclude noise events such as system generated events that are not user-initiated for clean user paths. The best tools will enable chart-based analysis, and provide the ability to export the data to CSV for offline analysis.

    Verify campaign effectiveness: User flow analysis can also be applied to measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns being pushed out through in-application messaging, with the ability to see the path a user took after seeing that message. User flow analysis lends the ability not only to see click-throughs, but also drill down within that to see the exact path users took.

    Author: Victor DeMarines

    Source: Dataversity

  • The different levels of a CX strategy and how to level up

    The different levels of a CX strategy and how to level up

    Customer experience (CX) needs to be an essential part of your business plan to stay competitive.

    About seven in 10 customer experience management professionals (67%) say their organizations are already competing mostly or entirely on CX, according to a recent Gartner survey. By two years from now, nearly nine in 10 CX managers (86%) expect to mostly or entirely compete on the basis of CX.

    If you want your business to beat the competition, you need to create a robust CX strategy.

    In this article, we’ll cover the current state of CX marketing strategies and popular CX initiatives at other organizations. Use this information to identify gaps in your organization’s initiatives and to propose investing in improvements.

    Where organizations are now in their CX strategy

    Most organizations are still in the early stages of customer experience maturity, according to Gartner’s CX maturity model. This model is a tool to help organizations assess where they are and where they want to be in their CX strategy and initiatives. The model consists of five levels, ranging from an ad hoc approach to a fully embedded, organization-wide approach.

    About two-thirds of B2C organizations are in the earliest two stages of CX maturity, representing an initial ad hoc approach (32%) or an early established CX road map (33%). In comparison, just 5% of organizations are in the upper two levels, which are characterized by optimizing and fully embedding CX considerations across all levels of the organization.

    What a CX strategy looks like at different levels of maturity

    To get a stronger sense of what CX maturity looks like, take a look at the following table, which lays out key characteristics of what an organization’s customer experience program looks like across the five maturity levels.

    Ask yourself where your organization is now and where you want the organization to be.

    From there, you can begin building a strategy to close the gap between your current level and goal level.

    Customer experience maturity levels

    1. Ad hoc

    • Purpose and strategy:Reacting, fighting fires
    • Customer insight: No research team or budget
    • Personas and journeys: None exist
    • Voice of the Customer: Irregular surveys

    2. Establishing

    • Purpose and strategy: Reducing complaints, developing strategy
    • Customer insight: Dedicated researcher
    • Personas and journeys: Developed
    • Voice of the Customer: Standardized surveys

    3. Performing

    • Purpose and strategy: Implementing a unified CX strategy
    • Customer insight: Dedicated research team
    • Personas and journeys: Used to identify and prioritize efforts
    • Voice of the Customer: Limited, closed-loop feedback process

    4. Optimizing

    • Purpose and strategy: Optimizing to meet CX goals
    • Customer insight: Continuous
    • Personas and journeys: Detailed, represent full journey
    • Voice of the Customer: Fully operationalized across organization

    5. Embedded

    • Purpose and strategy: Pursuing innovation, whole organization buy-in
    • Customer insight: Insights widely distributed, used daily
    • Personas and journeys: Used throughout the organization
    • Voice of the Customer: Continuous monitoring

    The maturity model is not prescriptive. It’s important to note that not all organizations will even want to reach level 5, which involves continuously monitoring customer feedback to make real-time decisions. The technological and financial requirements for this approach are likely prohibitive for small and midsize businesses, not to mention the time and staffing it would require.

    Take your customer experience strategy to the next level with these 3 popular CX initiatives

    As you can see from the maturity model table, personas, journey maps, and a Voice of the Customer program are key characteristics that can help define where you are in the development of your CX program. Here are some tips for implementing or optimizing these initiatives.

    1. Develop customer personas to better identify CX needs

    A customer persona is a finely honed profile of your best or target customer and should be as specific as possible to help you visualize their wants, needs, behaviors, and motivations.

    Think beyond demographic information such as age, gender, income, or geography type. Psychographic (e.g., values, opinions, aspirations), transactional (e.g., purchase histories, service records), and behavioral (e.g., engagement on your website or social media profiles) information are key components of a richly-built persona.

    Where to start:

    If you don’t already have a customer persona, start by working on a persona for your most valuable customer type.

    Level up:

    If you already have a customer persona, consider creating additional personas to acknowledge other valuable customer types. Validate your existing persona by checking back in on the data you used when you created it and updating it as needed. Use your customer personas to identify CX needs.

    2. Build customer journey maps to better prioritize CX efforts

    A customer journey map is an externally focused map of your customer’s experience through the full cycle of a particular journey. For example, the journey could start at the customer’s own awareness of a need and end with a product purchase, with steps for every interaction and impression in between.

    The process of building a customer journey map is an act of empathy; you should put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine their actions and feelings along the way. By the end of the process, you should have a deeper understanding of gaps or flaws in the customer experience and your customer’s motivations, desires, and feelings throughout.

    Where to start:

    If you don’t already have a journey map, have a workshop with key stakeholders involved in any customer-facing touchpoint.

    Level up:

    If you have a journey map already, validate that it’s still accurate every year or so. Use your journey maps to identify pain points within your customer’s journey and brainstorm solutions.

    3. Create a Voice of the Customer program to improve CX efforts

    A VoC program helps measure customer experience (CX) by capturing and analyzing multiple types of customer feedback to identify customer experience areas that need improvement. As one of the core ways to better understand your customers, VoC programs enable organizations to follow one of the foundational pillars of strong CX.

    Data sources for a VoC program can include customer complaints, customer surveys, employee feedback, company reviews, interviews, and social media. Through rich, diversified sources of customer feedback, VoC programs help companies better understand customer experience and sentiment.

    Where to start:

    If you don’t have a VoC program in place, start by improving your customer survey program: Standardize surveys and make timing regular and consistent.

    Level up:

    If you already have a VoC program in place, consider adding other forms of feedback to enrich your VoC. Use this data to track progress on your CX efforts.

    Envision your long-term CX strategy goals

    Using the customer experience maturity table above, ask yourself where your organization’s CX program is now, where you want it to be, and how you can get there.

    Starting or improving your efforts in one or all of the popular CX initiatives laid out here (personas, journey maps, and VoC programs) is a great place to start in leveling up your CX maturity.

    Auhtor: Kristen Bialik

    Source: Capterra

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