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Forrester Forum, Part 3: The New Customer Journey Lifecycle

This week, I have been recapping key content presented at the recent Forrester Forum for Marketing Leaders. In my first post, I highlighted the event’s focus on Mobile as the future for digital marketers and consumers. In  my second post, I discussed the importance of mobile measurement, going forward.  In this concluding post, I will recap Nate Elliott’s closing session on the Perpetually Connected Customer and provide key takeaways from the event.

In the closing keynote of the event, Forrester analyst Nate Elliott focused his session on explaining how the Perpetually Connected Customer (PCC) is changing everything for marketers.  He offered up the notion that the 100+ year old “purchase funnel” is no longer a relevant means for marketers to look at the relationship with their consumers.  In its place, he offered a new model that takes into consideration the reality that is the new digital world.   He calls it the Customer Journey Lifecycle – meaning that customers are generally in one of four key stages (Discovery, Exploration, Buy, Engage.) Nate also stressed that there are distinct channels that are most effective in reaching the consumer in each of these stages.

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For instance, when customers are in the discovery and buy phase, they use laptops and desktopsand are engaged with activities like search and exploring the brand’s website. Likewise, they may also be spending a good deal of time in a “bricks and mortar” retail store:

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When consumers are in the engagement phase they are typically interacting with the brand via email, Facebook, Twitter or perhaps via a branded mobile app:

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With this new marketing reality, Mr. Elliott encouraged marketers to embrace a new approach to their marketing programs that he described as ‘RaDaR’ (reach and depth and relationship) and he encouraged marketers to look at that in the following way:

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Mr. Elliot went on to recommend that marketers stop organizing around channels as they historically have.  It’s an increasingly obsolete model that looked like this:


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In lieu of that approach, he encouraged marketers to organize themselves around the RaDaR model:

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In summary, the Forrester Marketing Leadership forum offered marketers the following key takeaways:

  • Mobile has fundamentally transformed the landscape; going forward, marketers need to embrace this reality and stop treating mobile as a sideshow. As the picture from the Pope’s announcement  in my first post underscored, in the future, it’s all about mobile.
  • Measurement is mission critical to success in the new world order. Enlightened marketers understand that “omni-channel” measurement is the correct approach. Embracing point solutions perpetuates data silo-ing and gets the brand no closer to understanding it’s customer across all the digital touchpoints.
  • Big Data has become an obsession with marketers and most are paralyzed in their ability to think about how to begin to tackle this problem. The right approach is to think about using real time data to inform action systems and drive higher relevance, greater conversion and increased ROI.
  • The purchase funnel is irrelevant in the new digital world; instead, it’s time to look at the entire Customer Journey and appreciate that different tools are relevant for each stage of this journey.
  • Testing, targeting and site optimization are critical to success more than ever before. Marketers understand this in the web but they also must understand that it’s equally vital to success in the mobile arena where relevance and personalization are everything.

The content shared here is excerpted from many of the terrific presentations by some of the brightest minds at Forrester Research. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone who is interested in far more detail to reach out to Forrester and obtain copies of these key pieces of research. Likewise, if you haven’t attended one of their Marketing Leadership Forums then certainly make the time  – you’ll gain an invaluable education on how to look at the marketing world that is quickly unfolding.

As I  reflect on the learnings from the Forrester Forum, I am excited to see how Webtrends has aligned our development around these key drivers.  Last week we were awarded New Technology of the Year for 2013 by the Digital Analytics Association for our newest solution, Webtrends Streams.  Streams enables marketers to understand individual customer intent in-the-moment and allows them to take immediate action on that behavior – thereby driving the customer experience with relevant content and offers.  Effective Customer Journeys are not about Big Data, but understanding customer intent across touchpoints and  delivering the right message at the right time to maximize ROI.  And with the release of Action Center, marketers can now react in the moment to the intelligence provided by Webtrends Streams with personalized, relevant emails to drive conversion and build loyal relationships with customers.



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