Journey Analytics: A Toolkit for Customer Journey Success

We’ve discussed how marketers can impact the customer journey by providing them with the next best experience, through personalization, and more. But how can you know that your customer journey efforts have been successful? For marketers, journey analytics is a new way of thinking about the same kind of analysis that they’ve done for years. Instead of focusing on individual campaigns, singular-channel attribution, or on the performance of a specific asset,  journey analytics shifts the focus from the content to the consumer. While click-through-rate, cost-per-click, and other key marketing metrics are still important,  journey analytics drives more value by providing a complete view to understand consumer behavior across time and mapping that behavior to key business metrics.

How Can Marketers Use Journey Analytics?

Businesses tend to approach Journey Analytics through asking questions such as “how are my customers traversing through my touchpoints cross-channel?” to “Show me how my journey orchestration has performed against business metrics.” down to “Let me orchestrate and help me discover again”. Here at Kitewheel, we see journey analytics as exactly that – from discovery to optimization back to discovery. To gain an understanding of your journey analytics, there are some best practices you can follow so that you too can be on a continuous discovery and optimization path.

Determine Which Metrics Matter

Marketers often have a wealth of data. 62% of them say that they have too much. Rather than increasing the amount of data marketers have to look at, journey analytics cuts through the noise, allowing marketers to pinpoint inflection points in the customer journey. Determining the key metrics to measure in real-time can help businesses monitor a specific journey behavior. When marketers know which areas in the journey need to be fixed, they can more quickly prove value, and impact future interactions, driving new and repeat business. Looking at the entire journey also lets marketers see how success in one part of the journey impacts success in another. One example of this is how some businesses can enrich their targeting with location data, or combine weather and location data to make even more relevant offers based on people’s previous preferences.

Journey Discovery

Sometimes, customers take paths through the customer journey that marketers don’t expect. That’s where Journey Discovery Analytics comes in. A Sankey as shown in the picture above provides a quick view of the customer journey. Each journey step and links in-between shows how the customers are flowing from journey step to journey step. With Journey Discovery Analytics, marketers can see, with a marketing campaign, which email began a set of activities, which then lead to future engagement on social media, and which web pages lead to eventual in-store visits. The most important thing to strive for here is uncovering which journey steps will bring the most value.

Using Journey Discovery Analytics, Kitewheel helped Gerber undertake a journey discovery project. We discovered that Gerber’s audience differed from what they expected. These customers took different paths than the ones Gerber had originally planned. Because they used journey discovery analytics to perform a journey discovery process, they were able to influence customers using Kitewheel’s real-time decisioning more effectively than ever before.

A modified sankey diagram, a powerful tool for journey analytics

Sometimes, that involves finding what isn’t working and fixing it. The most efficient way to achieve this is to leverage available filters to quickly filter out any potential noise from the data and hone in on the key sets of journey steps the businesses would be interested in understanding. 

In the sample journey flow shown above, an e-commerce business will see that Resources seem to be a key journey step that might need to be accounted for in the “My Account” journey design. Furthermore, they can see that “My Orders” as a journey step is one in which various journeys overlap. From this, the businesses could infer that customers who are in the “Product Views” journey are generally just as interested in their orders as a straightforward product page view.

Omni-channel Real-time Attribution: A Holy Grail for Digital Attribution

Text is enriched with live data synching for journey marketing automation and journey analyticsFor marketers, it can be difficult to pinpoint the impact of different marketing activities. With marketing journey analytics, marketers can see which email began a set of activities, which then lead to future engagement on social media, and which web pages lead to eventual in-store visits. By looking at all parts of the customer journey and stitching together data from across time, marketers gain powerful insight into their impacts on the business and can finally see what happens before and after ad interactions. When a customer clicks on a retargeting ad, then navigates on the website, clicks on a link in an email, or engages with the brand social media page, both of those interactions are part of the journey. Seeing which order of interactions converts best is one great way marketers can see value from journey analytics.

Performance Measurement 

Often, having journey discovery analytics isn’t sufficient. Businesses usually have key performance indicators (KPIs) that are critical to map journey analytics against, to understand if journeys are helping to reduce churn, increasing revenue, etc. 

This is where journey steps, interactions, and metrics definition are key to a journey performance measurement success. Understanding where and what you want to track will allow data analysts to compile reports in a much simpler and easier fashion. 

As a sample use case, consider a cruise line company wanting to understand the number of bookings in a given timeframe and how much revenue they generate. Data Analytics teams can grab the journey data, that’s been collected through orchestration, and push the data into a Business Intelligence tool to then build out customized reports for benchmark measurement. 

A cruiseline use case visualization

Kitewheel seamlessly integrates such capability into our platform so that at first glance of a project overview, businesses can see how each journey is performing. Businesses can pinpoint which journey is performing poorly against benchmarks and which steps seem to be causing the highest drop-off. These insights can arm the businesses with the necessary information to understand where to optimize an existing journey orchestration. 

The power of analytics for customer journey success is enormous, but only if you take the right steps for your business. If you are interested in learning more about Kitewheel Analytics or seeing a live demonstration of the Kitewheel product, we encourage you to get in touch.