Customer Journey Explorer

Customer: Marketing Attribution Tech Company
Task: Customer and User Journey Reporting
Date: 2013

Every single customer journey at a glance – I never thought it would be such a great success.

It was initially intended as a visualization experiment, as no typical statistical methods such as grouping, summarizing or averaging were used. But it was only then that astonishing findings came to light.

Each chain of these colored boxes corresponds exactly to one customer journey. Advertisers can follow a user’s online journey through all stages from viewing the first ad to buying their product. Each box displays an event such as impression, click, search, promotional email, website visit.

It was truly groundbreaking for my client to see a user or customer journey across all channels in a single view. By filtering by channel and length of trip, it is possible to break down to subsets of customer journeys. Cost drivers and inefficiencies became visible for the first time.

There are quite different journeys, and the users of this tool discovered patterns that they would not have expected. There have been some very long journeys with an unusually high number of costly advertising contact points such as display ads (online ads) or affiliates. This was not intended, the system was supposed to ensure that there was a maximum number of such contact points per customer. Other aggregated visualizations did not make the problem visible. Ultimately, the customer journey explorer enabled the advertiser to significantly increase the cost efficiency of his/her online marketing expenditures.

Typically you show customer journeys in a very abstract data visualization like this channel migration analysis. Here you can see stacked bars, which compare the start and end channels of customer journeys. In this aggregated view, however, no individual customer journeys can be identified. The aggregation makes it very abstract and thus difficult to understand, especially if the reader has not yet understood the principle of a customer journey. In my experience, after seeing the customer journey explorer, readers were able to understand this chart much better.