After Riemersma’s talk, the event pivoted to a panel discussion with Frans Riemersma, Darren Loveday, SVP Customer Engagement at Thunderhead, and Marco Wyler, Director Consulting at gateB. Here, questions aimed to give companies actionable ways to move toward journey-driven marketing.
The panelists were asked how companies can get started with this approach. Loveday responded, saying, “Journey-first has to be predicated on the fact that every journey is unique to the customer. Then, it’s just about listening. Listening to customer behaviors and their signals, and deriving intent from that. Every action indicates the customer’s need or intent. Start understanding your actual customer interactions. That is the place to get started.”
Wyler echoed that, saying, “Customers are already telling brands so much about what they want, indirectly through their interactions. We need to capture that. Listen to your customers across channels. Analyze that. Then, you need to get into the operative business.”
When asked about the maturity of the marketing in terms of journey orchestration, Riemersma said, “I see many clients and companies struggling because they should listen, analyze, and talk back. I don’t see many companies doing all three things.”
As far as which tools to implement to move towards journey-based marketing, Riemersma had a word of caution: “The most important part is to make sure the team is not confused by technology. I often get the question, ‘What is the best tool?’ And I ask, ‘What is the problem you’re trying to solve?’ Determine what problem of the customer you’re trying to solve, and only then look at tools and technology.”
Loveday agrees, saying, “What is the problem you’re trying to solve? If you’re trying to orchestrate the journey properly, then look at solutions that are designed to do that easily.” And if marketers are looking to add the human element to better connect with their customers, Thunderhead can deliver. “If you’ve got the right data and the right indicators, harnessing those soft skills is actually really easy,” Loveday says.