Understanding the customer journey is vital

Marketers often talk about “the customer journey”. This is a bit more complex than people walking to the tills or strolling over to their laptop to make an online purchase. The customer journey encompasses every moment from the second when someone has a need for a certain product or service through the purchase and even onto aftercare or repurchase.

Kraft is the latest company to invest in this area. Daryl Fielding, vice president, marketing at Kraft tells Marketing Week that her business has been developing a bespoke customer journey tool that will help it create marketing over the lifecycle of each consumer’s possible interaction with the brand’s products.

“This tool and thinking will enable you to understand where is the priority for the brand at that particular point in its cycle and where you should most readily deploy your investment,” says Fielding.

The tool takes sales data and information about in-store marketing, on pack messaging and brand awareness and the consumers’ path to purchase. It has already been used on products within the Kraft portfolio such as Tassimo coffee.

But while Fielding isn’t giving away too much yet about how exactly the tool gathers its data, Kev McFadyen at mobile business 02 recently told me about how the telecoms brand is stretching its definition of the customer journey all the time and putting a sophisticated data infrastructure in place to better understand it.

McFadyen talks about the “purchase funnel” which is roughly a 32-day period (you can read about it here, but registration is required). This covers every moment from when someone first thinks “hm, I need a mobile. Which handset shall I get? And which network shall I choose?” right through to which 02 should serve them on communications once they become a customer. And then how the telecoms brand can offer them value-added services – such as 02 Guru – further down the line.

While every customer journey is different to the next (after all, human beings do things in a variety of ways), the news that Kraft and 02 are investing heavily in managing this data is good news for customers. Only through better understanding the data and offering the right communications at the right time can marketing become more useful for both brands and consumers.

Nobody wants to receive loads of adverts about new mobiles just after they forked out £299 for a new iPhone. But they might be interested in a service that helps them solve any teething problems working their new device. And similarly, nobody wants to see lots of adverts about coffee machines once they’ve invested in one, but they might be interested in upgrading to premium coffee in their enthusiasm for their shiny new machine.

New customer journey tools can be expensive. Managing data in such complex ways can be daunting. But if it means pleasing your customers, then ultimately that will make your financial director very happy too.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here