Three Musts to be a Dynamic Customer Journey "Maestro"

Math is hard. I’m glad I’m not using my calculus skills…because I don’t have any! Music is hard too. There are so many permutations of notes, sequencing, speed, pitch, and instrument choices. I made it to fourth grade saxophone, and I can play Yankee Doodle on the piano. In these pursuits I only made it so far.

Navigating the Dynamic Customer Journey, as outlined by Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter, is also hard. It’s getting harder with growth of information sources, new media forms, and new screens. As he says:

To understand the complexity, this model suggests 5 X 3 X 5, which is 75 different permutations. Next, the brand must understand this for every single phase: awareness, consideration, intent, purchase, support, loyalty, advocacy, (that’s 7 steps, resulting in 525 permutations per persona) then multiple times every product group and then geography, the math is staggering on the complexity.

There’s an Italian title of extreme respect given to the master or teacher of great music. To achieve this respect you have become a conductor, composer, director and master of the complex art of music, and perhaps other fine arts. That term is “maestro”.

I think that’s an appropriate term to become a master of the complex Dynamic Customer Journey. Thus, to become a Dynamic Customer Journey Maestro I believe we (not just marketers) need to develop several competencies.

1. Master a Left and Right Brain Culture

When things get complex, the tendency is to get match complexity with complexity. Analytics are becoming more important, but a left-brained organization will tie the organization up in knots and leave you looking at your company’s naval. Right brainers remember that customers are people, who buy on emotion. But then they can lose touch with fiscal reality avoid data-based decisions. For a company to adapt to the complexity of the customer journey they need to achieve a balance between the two. Most of that is achieved through hiring leaders who can relate to the art and science of running a business and empathizing with customers. These people are a rare breed.

2. Master the Flow & Display of Conversations

Shiv Singh from Pepsi was recently quoted in Mashable saying “social media is like air, a part of everything we touch.” This is a bulls-eye for our company vision and I couldn’t express our thesis better myself. In order to reach customers you have to not only listen and analyze the conversation, but also USE the conversation AS your communication to and with customers. Brands are the ones who create ‘everything we touch’, and thus brands should become masters to aggregate, curate and facilitate social conversations throughout any touch point. Customers should flow in and out of social networks, in and out of your owned experience, and find similar threads of relevant participation and conversations to reinforce a message. Trendwatching said, “participation is the new consumption” in 2007. That was 2007! Leaders in multiple functions need to learn how to ‘editorialize’ their message, communicate through others expressions, and understand how to facilitate participation and conversation. And then brands can achieve relevance and resonance on multiple surfaces.

3. Master the Flow of Technology

Ever see the Luma Landscape of marketing technologies?  It's crazy. As an investor, entrepreneur and mentor, I assert software invention is at a fever pitch. The growth of technology is far outpacing human and organizational ability to use it effectively. Consolidation will not solve the problem. Organizations need to build a competency to adopt, adapt, integrate and migrating through tools and platforms that allow them to accelerate their strategy vs. the competition. CIOs and CTOs should focus on how their teams can adapt and integrate outside technologies. Business leaders need to make there’s focus on the goals, message and target audiences, then invest in people and fail-fast culture to adopt new technology and integrate their use into their strategy.

Math, music and managing this customer journey are all complex. Yet in music and math we all learned them to some degree during our life. So, the real question is to what degree will your company mature in marketing within the growing complexity of the dynamic customer journey?

Sam Decker's picture

Sam Decker

Sam Decker is a current member of the Spredfast board. Sam most recently served as the CEO and co-founder of Mass Relevance (now Spredfast). Prior to Mass Relevance, Sam was founding Chief Marketing Officer at Bazaarvoice, a provider of SaaS social commerce technologies serving over 1,000 brands, where he was responsible for building the company’s brand, products and platform.