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Salesforce sees future of marketing in customer journey mapping

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31st Jul 2014
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There’s a growing consensus that journey mapping is becoming pivotal to businesses understanding and improving their customers’ buying processes.

Tools for mapping customer journeys are out there, but often cast as niche or embedded within broader marketing software solutions.   

In this respect, Salesforce’s latest announcement about the Journey Builder product on its $2.5bn acquired ExactTarget Marketing Cloud appears significant, especially given that Scott McCorkle, ExactTarget’s CEO has also proclaimed that “the future of marketing is the customer journey”.

The announcement is a relaunch of sorts, as Journey Builder is already used by brands including Microsoft, Sony and SkyMall. However, it appears Salesforce’s aim is to now give the tool, and the process of customer journey mapping, a more prominent role within the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.

Journey Builder allows businesses to map individual customer journeys to their digital marketing interactions across email, mobile, social, web, connected products and “to power personalised customer journeys that are dynamically optimised based on customer engagement”.

It also aims to give marketers automatic responding tools to fix issues (such as abandoned shopping carts online) that might occur at various touchpoints within their customers’ journeys.  

This, Salesforce states, is now a vital component for nearly all businesses as “more than 50% of customer interactions happen during a multi-event, multi-channel journey, and journey led transformations deliver impact across customer satisfaction and revenue growth.”

More understanding

Gaining more knowledge about customers is undeniably the zeitgeist for the marketing industry, however according to McKinsey, 66% of companies feel they lack “an in-depth understanding of their customers”.

Salesforce evidently sees journey mapping as a big part of the solution. The process has traditionally been most common in the retail sector, however as other sectors being more and more service-led, and the complexity of being able to understand exactly how individual customers interact differently with an increasing number of channels becomes more prevalent, so journey mapping appears to be getting placed higher up the task list for all industries:   

“It is important to learn who the customer is and what they are saying and thinking, but it is also important that everybody in the business, even those who do not necessarily think of themselves as being connected to the customer, feel like they have a part to play,” David Metcalf, head of customer experience and customer strategy at Porsche recently told MyCustomer, in explaining the significance journey mapping now had on automotive sector.  

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