Executive Q&A: Gaining Visibility into Consumers’ Online Journeys with Data Analytics | Transforming Data with Intelligence

Executive Q&A: Gaining Visibility into Consumers’ Online Journeys with Data Analytics | Transforming Data with Intelligence

Marketers have been using data analytics to help increase the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Learning about its customers’ journey to purchase is critical. Here’s how Danielle Michaely, co-founder and CRO of Konnecto, recommends you put analytics to work to learn more about those journeys.

Upside: What barriers do brands face when it comes to creating a successful online customer journey that drives engagement and conversions?

Danielle Michaely: I believe there are four main barriers.

First, enterprises suffer from a lack of competitor insight that matters. Brands don’t have a clear understanding of what leads consumers to purchase directly from competitors online or purchase competing products on e-commerce sites. This is a missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to consumers’ online journeys -- and it causes brands to have to guess where to effectively reach these potential customers before they convert with competitors.

Second, data privacy requirements are escalating. Data privacy and changing regulations limit an enterprise’s ability to gain a complete picture of consumer online behavior and restrict the capability to clearly know consumer segments. This impedes the potential effectiveness of personalization in messaging, placement, and creative -- all of which are critical in building brand trust and loyalty in a highly competitive landscape.

Third, enterprises are missing consumer motivators to action. Today, brands often lack visibility into what motivates a consumer to take action online and the enablers that reduce the time from intent to conversion.

Finally, marketing budgets are shrinking. With budget cuts taking place across the board, even brands that in the past had higher budgets can’t afford to just spread their marketing messages everywhere. Brands that don’t know the most effective place to focus their limited marketing resources are effectively throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what may stick.

How can brands gain insights into consumers’ needs and digital behaviors while meeting privacy regulations, including GDPR and the California Privacy Act?

Gaining this visibility is critical for brands to encourage conversions with their business versus competitors. However, in recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for marketers to determine which touchpoints influence consumers’ purchase decisions along their path-to-purchase. This challenge has escalated significantly with the ever-changing landscape of data privacy and the sunset of third-party cookies.

There are a few ways that brands can evaluate consumers’ digital actions that also maintain consumers’ privacy. For example, brands need to obtain insights into what’s happening online with consumers beyond their own data to determine where opportunities lie. They can do this by leveraging solutions that reverse engineer consumer purchase journeys on competitors' assets. It’s particularly valuable to understand the early stages of consumer journeys with competitors and which types of consumers are following the same specific patterns. This allows brands to then uncover the motivations that led each consumer group to take those initial actions and to determine where they can then influence consumer actions in their favor.

In addition to understanding consumers’ path-to-purchase with competitors, it’s essential to be aware of where else consumers go when seeking information early in their shopping process. With certain data science models, brands can discover hidden opportunity gaps by mapping out the entire landscape of the customer journey.

For example, when consumers are shopping for home appliances, they visit different affiliate review websites, but not all of these actually impact their decision. Now imagine that as a brand you were able to know which of these are worth investing in because they are attributed to the end conversions with competitors versus those that are part of the journey but not worth your marketing dollars because they won’t generate ROI.

It's critical for brands to identify vulnerability points in the journeys that have the highest impact on losing consumers with high purchase intent.

It’s particularly important to gain a live analysis of purchase attribution gaps brands have against their competitors, based on a variety of angles (journey stage, segments, purchase behaviors, topics, etc.). These kinds of insights can help brands determine where targeted marketing efforts will drive customer acquisition and conversion.

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