We need to shift to a realisation that every purchase journey that a prospect goes on is unique; it's our job to enable them to pursue that journey in their own way and provide them with the information that helps them make informed buying decisions.

In addition to helping buyers make informed decisions, it's our role to help them make decisions quicker. In realising that clients don't follow a linear process, we need to understand that they access and engage with content that resonates with them at that particular point in time — even if this means that it is from an earlier stage of a different funnel.

We, therefore, need to look at ways to facilitate this cross-navigation between stages and funnels in a unified experience, as opposed to us trying to control what they see, at what time and at what stage.

This is a programme approach, which — in simple terms — is not defined by time. This is opposed to the more common campaign approach, which has a defined start and end date.

A programme view may be made up of several marketing funnels, with varying content themes and objectives; however, with the programme view, users are able to access this content at any time, allowing them to self-navigate through the buying journey.

In order to enable a programme view, the marketing technology types and the architecture informing their build need to be aligned with this approach. For example, the lead scoring model, which scores a lead informing the ideal moment for sales to get involved, should be developed across multiple funnels and not on a per funnel level.

This will allow the lead score to reflect a comprehensive view of the prospect rather than on a per campaign or funnel level.

One marketing technology type that can play a major role here is website personalisation, such as Personyze. Personyze provides the ability to provide users with content recommendations using a combination of predefined recommendations and which is overlaid with machine learning.

The beauty with using this type of technology is that it takes into account the interests and behaviors of the audience, learning which content combinations best result in reaching the organisations goals. This allows users to define their own journey, as opposed to the journey being defined based on assumptions.

It is important to note that for this approach and technology types to be effective, users need to be provided with a wide variety of content at a single point in time. This will increase the chances of:
  • providing content that resonates with a specific user
  • increasing the rate at which uses will move through the journey, and
  • providing the machine with more information from which to learn — ultimately making better and more relevant content recommendations.
This approach is often developed over time, but what is very important is to have this approach in mind from the beginning so that the content, the user experience and the technology architecture are developed with this lens.

With this approach, we can help users make informed buying decisions, faster and more freely, rather than sending them down a path that we think is best for them.

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