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Why is Customer Journey Tracking So Difficult?

Today, the average person will interact with up to seven screens on any given day.
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CommPRO.biz is provided by CommPRO Global, Inc. (CommPRO) to give visitors the opportunity to read about events and share opinions for those interested in the integrated communications business sectors.

Email, social media and eCommerce. Smartphone, tablet, laptop and addressable TV. Today, the average person will interact with up to seven screens on any given day.

For marketers and businesses trying to reach customers, that means seven opportunities for a message to get lost in translation, seven windows for the customer to see a redundant message and lose interest, and seven screens for the marketer to lose track of their customer.

Each of these interactions is crucial for marketers to understand in order to forge connections with their customers and present relevant marketing offers. Unfortunately, they are getting increasingly difficult to follow. A recent study identified that only nine percent of marketers are currently able to recognize customers across media channels on a consistent basis.

Based on this finding, it is clear that cross-device identification and attribution must be prioritized in order to help marketers to create seamless experiences for their customers.

Cross-Device Excellence and Customer Identification

For most marketers, effective partnerships with third party martech solution providers are key to cross-device excellence. But those relationships can be fraught with miscommunications and challenges in accurately defining expectations for advertising and marketing campaigns. Compound these challenges with explosive growth in the marketing technology landscape from 1,000 companies in 2014 to 5,000 in 2017.

When looking to establish more effective partnerships with cross-device technology providers, marketers should look for resources provided through various industry associations. For example, last year the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) released its Cross-Device Identification (XDID) RFI Template, which includes key definitions, real word use cases for cross-device technology and critical questions that buyers should ask technology sellers when evaluating products. This allows buyers and sellers to more easily align cross-device needs and solutions, making for stronger business partnerships and better outcomes.

But aligning cross-device needs is only one piece of the puzzle. Customer identity is becoming the most critical capability to delivering seamless, personalized experiences that generate brand affinity and results. Without it, marketers cannot recognize their customers responsibly, immediately, and consistently. And identity is key to creating seamless cross-channel relationships based on trust.

Tracking the customer journey is one of the biggest challenges for marketers today, and as technology advances, will only increase in complexity. This makes the race for the consumer’s attention a matter of mastering their retail experience through their devices.

Building on the popularity of structured innovation and the XDID RFI template and to continue DMA’s goal of developing tools to advance the capabilities of modern marketers, DMA launched the Structured Innovation Identity Council to connect member companies for the purpose of devising the means to better identify customers from contemplation to purchase. This year, more than 15 companies representing the leading edge of technology providers and innovative brand-side marketers are collaborating on new educational tools for the marketing community.

Dynamic conversations have resulted simply by removing the sales pressure barriers that normally impede discussions between buyers and sellers. As an executive marketer it is imperative to seek out these conversations. And as an advocate for the marketing community, it is the responsibility of associations like DMA to provide in-person conferences or online forums, to enable you to connect with your colleagues and partners to elevate your expertise. Only by connecting and educating each other can we continue to improve and not just expand marketing technology.

Neil O’Keefe, SVP of Content & Marketing, Data & Marketing Association (DMA).

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