The Non-Linear Customer Journey
The customer journey has changed forever. Once thought of as a linear progression – from awareness to research to purchase to experience – it has been transformed by today’s digitally-driven, device-enabled environment. Customers now interact with brands in a decidedly non-linear fashion. A new technology, called Identity Resolution, has emerged to help businesses adapt to this new non-linear customer journey and thrive.
To illustrate, a customer journey may start with a social media exchange, where one party asks another for advice about a product or service, or perhaps responds to a positive review. This may be followed by a Google search from an office computer, resulting in a visit to a company’s website. This in turn may lead to a map search for a store location, followed by a store visit. In the end, a purchase may be made online via a tablet or smartphone.
Or not. A non-linear customer journey can start anywhere: off-line (in person, in-store or with a sales representative), or online, on any device or application. It can move from channel to channel, and back and forth, in any sequence. All the while the customer is encountering not only your brand, but your competitors. To win, your company must be the one that most consistently delivers the most compelling message at each touchpoint along the way.
This is where Identity Resolution comes in. Success in this environment requires:
- Visibility to the customer at each stage of their journey
- Ability to identify him or her as a real person
- Insight into all online or offline engagements with your brand
Identity Resolution makes it possible to capture both online and off-line customer data, de-anonymize it where necessary, and integrate it into holistic, omni-channel customer profiles. These profiles can, in turn, be used to craft customized marketing messages reflecting each individual’s channel preferences, purchase history and additional insights gleaned from other interactions across both digital and non-digital landscapes.
Achieving this requires planning, commitment, and a structured approach. It must consider legacy capabilities, readiness to adopt and integrate new technologies, and willingness to embrace new ways of engaging with customers. Since 1985, ISM has helped best-in-class companies with comprehensive solutions that integrate people, process and technology to increase customer engagement, enhance the customer experience, and maximize customer acquisition, retention and growth. Identity Resolution is new and exciting and provides capabilities never possible before, but it is only one piece of the whole.
Integrate off-line and online customer data to create seamless, holistic customer profiles. In this in-depth video, Barton Goldenberg discusses a new technology called Identity Resolution that makes this possible.