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How marketers can use data throughout the customer journey

As marketers, we’re all familiar with the concept of the sales funnel. That is, how a potential customer gains awareness of a product or service, gradually learns more about the offering, and ultimately makes a purchase. As the prospective customer moves through the sales funnel during their path to purchase, how they interact with your brand changes. The key to success is measuring the right actions so you’re ready to respond when the prospective customer is.

How can you provide an optimal customer experience throughout the buying process? With end-to-end analytics that measure data from various touchpoints along the way. These insights can help you identify, understand, and amplify the channels and messaging that are driving sales.

Bottom-of-funnel data: Is the prospect ready to purchase?

Intent to purchase becomes clearer the further down the funnel a prospect travels. Requesting product trials or demos and sharing product information with their internal buying team are good indicators the customer is nearing a purchase decision.

If your marketing automation platform scores prospects as they move along the customer journey and this information is integrated with your CRM, the customer’s lead score will also confirm readiness.

Mid-funnel insights: Are they considering our offering?

The middle stage of the sales funnel includes prospects who are interested in what your brand offers but are not yet seriously considering purchasing from your business. The following data can inform when mid-funnel prospects move toward the decision process.

Take, for example, a prospect that has attended your webinar where you shared high-level insights. You, then, followed up with nurture emails to help clarify the challenges and showcase how they can be solved. Now what?

When a prospect realizes they face a solvable challenge and is ready to solve it, the next step they often take is to learn more about existing solutions. Content downloads from gated landing pages, attending use-case webinars or requesting a demo are good indicators that your prospect wants to learn more – from you. Your marketing automation and webinar platforms along with your “Contact Us” form can inform when customers are considering your product or service.

Top-of-funnel analytics: Are we reaching our target customer?

Prospects at the top of the funnel include your target audience who may not yet know your business exists! You’re likely engaged in tactics such as PR, blogging, social amplification and digital advertising as you drive traffic to your web properties. The good news: brand awareness tactics are measurable.

Digital metrics

At the top of the funnel, analytics are typically obtained by channel, so you can understand how prospects interact with your brand. For digital channels like your website, landing pages, blog and social properties, analytics are part of most applications.

Google Analytics and other website traffic applications help you track a multitude of factors to help you understand how prospects interact with your website. Social media platforms provide metrics and other tools to help you build your online brand presence, understand engagement, and find your audience. Gated landing page programs also provide analytics to measure the number of visitors and content downloads.

Offline metrics

With so much focus on digital channels, marketers forget that there’s a wealth of data waiting in the calls they receive from prospective customers. In addition to the number of calls and from which channel, you can also learn who called, why they called, and what happened during the call.

Understanding what’s happening at every stage of the sales funnel is critical to optimizing the customer path to purchase. While implementing a holistic analytics strategy can be daunting, the key to building a successful marketing plan begins by identifying channels with high engagement and optimizing them. If calls are part of your marketing strategy, learn how you can get a 360-degree view of all your channels: Download our eBook, The Offline Blind Spot and the Modern Marketer.