The Messy Reality of Customer Journeys: Why You Should Embrace the Chaos

by | Jun 16, 2023

As data-driven marketers, we often think of customer journeys as neatly structured pathways leading to purchase. We obsess over the perfect funnel and the proper sequence of touchpoints to move buyers from awareness to sale. However, the reality of customer journeys is far more chaotic and unpredictable than we might like to admit. Customers don’t always behave according to our expectations, and external factors can disrupt even the smoothest paths to purchase. In this blog post, we’ll explore why you should embrace the messy reality of customer journeys in the post-omnichannel era and how to adapt your marketing strategies accordingly.


The Myth of Linear Customer Journeys

The traditional marketing model assumes that customers go through a predictable sequence of stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. However, this linear model is only sometimes accurate, especially in today’s complex digital landscape. Customers are exposed to multiple touchpoints from different channels and devices, often jumping between stages or skipping steps entirely. For example, a customer may become aware of a product but then do further research before purchasing. Or, a customer may have already made a purchase but then revisit the awareness stage to find similar products for future purchases. Moreover, psychological factors such as trust, emotion, and social influence can heavily influence purchase decisions, causing customers to reconsider or change their minds at any point in the journey.


The Impact of External Factors

Besides the internal variables that affect customer behavior, external factors can create chaos and unpredictability in customer journeys. For instance, a sudden economic downturn might force customers to postpone or cancel purchases. At the same time, a negative online review or a data breach could damage a brand’s reputation and deter customers from engaging. Similarly, a poor in-store experience or a lack of personalized recommendations could frustrate customers and lead to abandonment or churn.

Examining the New Customer Journey - Infillion eBook

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Embracing Chaos Through Post-Omnichannel Marketing

Post-omnichannel marketing is an approach that embraces uncertainty and adapts quickly to changing customer needs and market conditions. It focuses on consumer behavior across online and offline channels, iterative testing and learning, and collaboration across teams and departments. Adopting an agile mindset can create a marketing culture that anticipates and embraces customer journey chaos. You can prioritize speed, flexibility, and experimentation over perfection and control, allowing you to pivot and adjust your strategies as needed.


Seeing Chaos as an Opportunity

Rather than seeing customer journey chaos as a threat, you can embrace it as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and create value for your customers. By recognizing that customer behavior is complex and multifaceted, you can adopt a more flexible and adaptive approach to marketing. For example, instead of pushing a one-size-fits-all messaging strategy, you can use data and analytics to personalize messaging based on customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, regardless of what stage they are in. Our new full-funnel product InfillionX was purpose-built to connect with our client’s ideal audiences and retarget them with smart messaging everywhere—mobile, in-store, on CTV, in stadiums, on desktop—with a single media buy.


Infillion’s Insight: Examining the New Customer Journey

In today’s ever-evolving customer landscape, marketers must prepare for unexpected changes and navigate the messy reality of customer journeys. By embracing this chaos and recognizing that customer behavior is complex, you can adopt data-driven approaches and agile methods to make strategic decisions that create value for customers and ensure long-term loyalty. 

To become a more effective marketer in our post-omnichannel era, download Infillion’s definitive guide, “Examining the New Customer Journey: Creative Connections for Post-Omnichannel Marketing.” With actionable tips and strategies, it will give you a deeper understanding of how creative connections can enhance each touchpoint within your marketing campaigns – no matter how chaotic it may seem. Download the ebook now!

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