Data Based Storytelling And The Real Customer Journey – or: What To Learn From Data Journalism

Michael Reuter

15 April 2014

Know your customers and build an ongoing relationship between them and your brands by looking beyond a on-time meet-up caused by a marketing campaign! Highly engaged users become loyal customers, have higher LTVs and contribute more to your bottom line than the casual customer. Yes to that. But how to to build a stronger relationship with your customers? Do you know enough about them to accompany them on their journeys?

If you’re a reader of Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, you’re aware of his disdain for opinion journalism (e.g. op-ed columns), which “[…] doesn’t seem to abide by the standards of either journalistic or scientific objectivity. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to abide by any standard at all.”

So, if a (well researched, if good) op-ed column does not fit to a journalistic or scientific standard – does a customer journey description, which (typically) ends when the customer actually starts his real life journey because she leaves her desktop, fit to any marketing research standard? Won’t the customer act and express herself in a different way when on the road, when actually being shopping, when passing by out-of-home advertisements in a hurry – compared with relaxing with her iPad in her living room?

Those real life customer journeys show that in order to fully understand your customers, you have to follow them everywhere. You have to plug into your customer to learn from her, to learn about the places she visits, about her habits and about her needs to eventually optimize her daily routine. If you manage to be that near to hear you can tell her the right story – in this case a story based on her data. Coming back to our analogy with journalism: The plural of anecdote is data,  as political scientist Ray Wolfinger said in 1969.

Every user of a smartphone or any other wearable devices produces an enormous amount of data ever day. If you manage to collect that data, to analyze it correctly and to translate it into useful recommendations and appropriate user stories, you will build strong relationships with you customers. With our explore app, you can accompany your customers, ask the the right questions at the right times and learn a lot about their whereabouts, habits and attitudes.