The other day Steve Dille, our CMO, was on a webinar with Mike Gualtieri, Principal Analyst with Forrester, covering the ‘Do’s and Don’ts of Data-Driven Marketing’ (you can see the replay here). As I’m wont to do, I spent my time listening and live tweeting events (come to think of it, is there any other form of tweeting other than live?) Once in a while the fingers move faster than the brain, and are possessed of a preternatural insightfulness that gives one pause. Earlier this week I sent the following tweet:
It’s ok that I’m being self-referential here, right? I mean I just cited myself so I beg your pardon for the slight bit of ego but I think it’s important we think about a very basic concept: an event vs. a series of events.
The holiday season has become a black bag, a singularity, that’s often referred to as an event, or maybe two events: Black Friday & Cyber Monday. The title places an immense amount of importance on these two days—brands and their marketing teams work toward turning impressions into conversions knowing full well the amount of money at stake. All of this is well and good but the problem arises when you consider these as isolated events and all of your actions as driving toward this end goal. That’s just not the case.
I once heard a speaker describe the customer journey as a series of micro-decisions that lead to a desired outcome. Most times we think of an offer as being the point in the customer journey where a decision to buy is made. When you look at the customer journey as a series of decisions, to open an email, to click a link, to like a brand, follow it on Facebook, visit a brick and mortar store, check in on Yelp or Four Square, these small actions are each, in their own right, a micro decision that leads to a conversion. More importantly, each of these decisions is an endorsement of the brand’s approach.
Now, let’s think about the holidays, they are a series of micro-decisions that have to be measured, interpreted, analyzed and turned into personalized, data driven marketing campaigns. The holidays are points on a very long continuum that we call the customer Journey—don’t focus on them unless you have the tools, data and methodologies to analyze previous performance, behaviors and make a solid plan that takes you through the holidays and into the next year. It’s the only way you’ll actually start off on the right foot for 2015 while successfully closing out 2014.