Recently I received a request from B2B Marketing to fill in a survey and it was titled "Does marketing own the customer journey?" It was a provocative header (I'm a marketing geek if you didn't notice) that made me take action, fill in the survey and then write this post.
My strong view and answer to this question is:
Absolutely! Marketing definitely owns the customer journey. If they don't, they're just not doing their job.
Marketers are submerged in a never ending sea of sameness, too busy executing, manually undertaking tasks that are so time consuming that prevents them from doing the creative and interesting things, let alone owning the customer journey.
Don't get me wrong, time and resources are the biggest pains marketing departments have, and my intention is not to slag off my fellow kind, but to offer a friendly and honest "get real" message to the leaders of your business and to you if you are a marketer, as you have a chance of getting the respect of your boss.
The context of the question is directed at marketing, however let's flip it:
Who owns the customer journey in your business?
These questions will give you an indication if you have a handle of the customer journey in your organisation. Sorry there are quite a few that I'm going to rattle off, but if you're patient with me it will definitely get you thinking about some of the things that could be responsible for your current challenges (and maybe even keeping you awake at night).
Does your company and all stakeholders have a full understanding of who your customer is and what their key objectives, challenges and issues are and how your product/service/event help solve them?
Is your CRM integrated with your email marketing / marketing automation system?
Can you tell at any given point what has been the behaviour and interaction of any lead on your database with your website, emails, sales teams etc?
Do you know how many leads your website generates on a monthly basis?
What percentage of the total leads you generate, meets the profile of the people you want to do business with?
How many of your "good leads" are potentially ready to have a conversation with your sales team?
Do you know how many of the existing leads in the sales pipeline has been aided/influenced/generated by marketing?
Do you know how many leads you need to generate in order to convert a sale?
Do you know how long it takes for a lead to convert to a sale?
The most important question of all is:
Is your team able to answer these questions whenever you need, say with 30 minutes notice? (let's be a little fair)
If the answer is "NO" your team does not have a handle of the customer journey. You'll need to shift gears with your team soon and empower them to own and provide you with this critical information.
What does empowerment mean?
Give them the tools and the budget they require to exert the change that is needed. Yes this might mean hiring that extra person or getting the two interns that they have been talking about for ages (although be careful with interns). Or god forbid... hire an agency to do it for you.
Well that's my two pence worth. Who do you think should own the customer journey?
Photo credit: Land Rover Mena