Why Your Digital Marketing Analytics Should Start with Mapping the Customer Journey

Customer-Driven Strategy
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Digital Marketing analytics has evolved remarkably over the years. What began as simple measures of hits and clicks has become a sophisticated system of integrated metrics. Today, a wide set of measures can be captured from a visitor’s digital activity that can be incorporated into a more complete view of the customer experience with your organization.

Many leading companies employ advanced analytics that go well beyond website measurements to tie in enormous sets of data from other company online touchpoints—such as company micro-sites, specific marketing campaign sites, and customer social media sites—as well as large sets of personal demographic data and online activity.

Some successful firms have been able to orchestrate the online data with contact center activity and feedback as well as in-store operational data and customer feedback.

With access to such phenomenal sets of data, firms easily miss the forests for the trees. Instead of pursuing unending data slicing and exploration, the most advanced companies pull together this data into a robust integrated data set organized around the most important workflow of all: the customer journey. By mapping the customer journey, key metrics that you really need to attend to become clear.

Mapping the customer journey involves three important ideas: touchpoints, stages, and portfolios.


Customers interact with companies through a variety of touchpoints. These touchpoints generally fall into four broad categories: Online Presence, Contact Center, Physical Location, and Indirect.

Online Presence touchpoints include the website, social media pages, and any other special sites managed by the firm. Contact Center touchpoints include toll free calls, email, online chat help, and even calls to the local company locations.

Physical Location touchpoints include the variety of ways customers experience an in-person visit. For a retailer, as an example, these touchpoints may include experiences such as the store layout, store associates interactions, or the checkout process.

Finally, Indirect touchpoints include the myriad of ways that current and potential customers experience the brand outside of direct contact with the company. These Indirect touchpoints include online review sites and blogs, advertising, word of mouth, and even experience with competitor stores.


Customers follow a growth path that may involve different touchpoints at each stage. The purchasing path can be thought of in four stages: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, and Loyalty. Awareness is when the customer learns about a company and becomes acquainted with its offerings.

Consideration involves a potential purchase and the customer evaluates the company as an option for that purchase. Purchase involves the decision to purchase, the process of purchasing the product, and the potential process of returns and exchanges. Loyalty is the behavior that the customer will demonstrate in the future, such as purchasing again, shopping with the company more frequently, and recommending the company to others.


Customers often can be grouped into distinct customer types who progress similarly through the purchase stages and connect with the company via relatively common touchpoints.

Each customer is unique, of course, but the oftregaled mantra of “customer segments of one” is not easily translated into an effective management tool. Instead, many businesses have settled on the idea of 5-10 customer archetypes, or segments, on which the company can focus to optimize the customer experience for the vast majority of its customers

The idea of organizing your digital marketing analytics around touchpoints, stages, and portfolios is not new. What is new is mapping the customer journey with a deliberate and systematic effort to measure and track specific customer portfolios as they journey through the purchase stages and connect with the company through the breadth of available touchpoints.

The goal of Customer Journey Mapping is to help move your company away from individual channel metrics and, instead, view the entire system of touchpoints through the eyes of the customer journey.

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