I was recently asked to take part in an external research project, during which I was asked to define a few of the industry buzzwords and offer an explanation for what they really mean in context. Here are a couple of ones I tried to pin down…

What is Customer Insight?

Customer insight isn’t just about knowing who your customers are, it’s knowing how they behave. Demographic and transactional data will create a picture of who they are and what they like, but it’s a combination of the above which really offers greater eCommerce intelligence.

How can I enrich customer insight across the various channels?

Here are a few examples of the data collected from multichannel customer touch points, it’s the consolidating of customer data from multiple channels into a single database that enables marketing automation to deliver a relevant, personalized customer experience.

What is behavioral targeting?

In short, behavioral targeting is a technique used by marketers to collect information from an individual’s online behavior. This includes the pages they have visited, the emails they have opened or the searches they have made; from this tracking marketers are able to select which products to display to that individual, with the overall aim of increasing the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. In the right hands, online behavioral data can be used not only to predict future purchase patterns but also, with some thorough analysis, can give marketers the opportunity to design personalized lifecycle campaigns. Unfortunately, only 45% of marketers are currently capturing and consolidating customer behavioral data from multiple channels into a single database (Forrester, 2013), a statistic that I find hard to believe.

How does behavioral targeting improve customer engagement?

The underlying theory is that a more personalized experience is more stimulating as relevant content improves the visitor experience. From an organisational perspective this increases customer satisfaction and can improve customer retention, and from a campaign perspective, personalization improves click-through-rates and higher levels of interaction, with the end results that customer engagement soars.

Why is behavioral targeting important in 2013?

For this question, I took a large step back (into history) with the aim of creating an image of how things have changed over time. Psychology – the study of the human mind and behavior, dates back to the Ancient Greeks and traditionally used field observations to profile people. Now, web analytics offer comprehensive insights into the online decisions and behavior of the modern customer, based on many highly complex algorithms.

Profiling a customer by interpreting their online behavior can determine where they are in the customer lifecycle, even before they have entered the transactional phase. With research suggesting that 57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer contacts the supplier (CEB, 2012) it’s clear that monitoring pre-purchase behavior is vital. With the technology that is available today, marketing is no longer an art, it’s a science.


This has been a brief attempt to add some clarity to a couple of the latest buzzwords that are bouncing around the marketing forums. And I did enjoy reading Alex Timlin’s blog last week ‘Omni-channel versus multi-channel marketing’, where he discussed how irrelevant/infuriating buzzwords are. So I think what really matters is that your strategy ensures you utilise all communication channels to create a comprehensive and cohesive customer experience, and you can call this whatever you like, as long as it works!