In the advertising world, customer journeys are all the rage.
"They are so hot right now," says Anne Hunter, exec VP of strategy and growth at Kantar. "Marketers want to know all the things a customer did before they took action, or what motivated them to go from point A to point B to point C? What was the need they had and what did they learn to make that decision?"
Yet while the data certainly exists to map out so-called consumer journeys, analytics tools are often lacking, and instead simply provide insights into how many people visited a specific website, or opened an email.
That is why companies such as Salesforce are working on giving marketers analytics tools that deliver insights into what motivated a customer to take an action.
Back in July, Salesforce purchased cloud-based AI analytics outfit Datorama for a reported $800 million. Today, Salesforce announced that it's connecting Datorama with Marketing Cloud, which it says will allow marketers to visualize how areas such as social media, mobile and email marketing are performing alongside other channels, such as those owned and operated by a brand.
The move is significant, as capturing insights from social media, for example, and seeing how it stacks up against the overall performance of other channels, has proved challenging, says Gary Kamikawa, cross-channel marketing leader at Amazon Music.
"Social has historically operated in a silo for Salesforce," Kamikawa says. "If I'm a brand and I'm communicating with you on social, do you talk about us more and, if you do, is it in a good or bad way?"
"There's a ton of value for marketers to see and understand the impact social is having," he adds. "It also strengthens Salesforce's play of being a one-stop-shop for sales, marketing and analytics, which makes people more hyper-dependent on Salesforce being the system of record."
Datorama's sales pitch is that it has the platform where marketers can capture insights across all of their marketing in one place, allowing them to take control and improve campaign performance. Although promising, the company has its skeptics.
Jon Suarez-Davis, senior VP and chief strategy officer at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, says the company's customers have been clamoring for better marketing analytics tools for some time.
Marketers want "insights to improve campaign performance and drive growth," he says. "That's why we are innovating organically through our own product development, through partnerships with Google and our integration with Google Analytics 360 and through our acquisition [of] Datorama."