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The Importance of Activation in Implementing Customer Journey Research for Brands

Gennifer Jackson, Radius Insights, Radius Global Market Research 2021/10/gennifer-jackson-bio.jpg

by Gennifer Jackson

Vice President

Categories and products thrive or suffer in a situation where there are varying levels of uncertainty. Customer Journey research helps brands gain a better understanding of customer experiences and perceptions as they interact with a brand or category over time. With this information, brands can pivot when market shifts change consumer needs or desires, or new products threaten the balance. Activation planning and strategy play a key role in helping brand teams and product managers understand the insights so they can effectively implement them across key business units.

Activation planning moves the research in the right direction.

Research insights influence a complex ecosystem of steps brands must take throughout their organization, or with outside partners such as retailers or media, to adjust to new customer pathways. To meet the needs of a wide audience and deliver the insights they’ll need to make critical brand decisions, we embed activation in all stages of our process, beginning with the proposal phase.

Maintaining a focus on activation ensures that the research insights will meet the team’s core goals, and that we’ll be able to provide actionable implications and recommendations. Interviewing stakeholders and hosting discovery kickoff or immersion sessions helps us build overall business strategy into the scope of our work.

Uncovering insights about the customer journey.

Decision Pathway Analysis is designed to break down the decision process at the consumer level for precise action-planning. The analysis looks at the Holistic Customer Journey to quantify the importance of the steps customers take when making choices. The process helps us identify the most meaningful touchpoints in the journey so that brand teams can build optimized pathways for their customers from the pre-decision through post-purchase phases. Clarity on moments of truth customers experience on their journey helps brand teams develop approaches to deepen their connection with customers and implement accurate and measurable programs. The result is better alignment with customer behavior to infuse innovation and position products at the best advantage.


Radius Holistic Customer Journey - 4 steps inforgraphic


Designing strategies to help brand teams make the most of the research.

To ensure customer journey insights will resonate, we work with each business unit that will play a role in using the output from our Holistic Journey and Decision Pathways analysis to create action plans. We do this through interactive, highly collaborative work sessions with teams across the organization, sharing key research, learnings, and themes. Sessions include:

  • Facilitated workshops that bring teams together to review the research insights and build actionable alignment as a group.
  • Tailored reporting for each stakeholder group with the insights and implications that are most important to them. For example, the report we create for the digital marketing team, and the meetings we have with them, will focus on the specific insights that influence their workflow.
  • Customer input in the form of consumer panel sessions, video vignettes from customer interviews, or detailed customer profiles, help teams connect with customers and better understand their motivations.
  • Target assessments where teams can explore customer attributes that influence messaging and CRM optimization.

In these sessions, we’ll help teams develop a clear understanding of the purchase journey, build new approaches to influence decision pathways for all categories, and implement fresh merchandizing and marketing tactics, including guidance on working with retail partners. We also develop key performance indicators so each team can track short- and long-term goals and measure the overall success of their activation plan.

A wide lens helps brand teams see the path to brand growth.

In shifting markets, the stakes are high for brands. We collaborate with teams to develop a firm understanding of current shopper sentiment through the insights we’ve uncovered. Workshops, visualizations, and other tools help stakeholders make sense of the complex research data so they can act against the insights with confidence. Helping brand teams connect customer needs with business goals puts them in a strong position to successfully activate growth strategies.

Want to learn how Customer Journey research can impact your brand?

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