Toppling the Obstacles That Prevent Integration Across the Customer Journey

July 27, 2017

By Dina Shapiro, founder and CEO of Yorkville Consulting

Tithi Luadthong/


In the days of the old customer decision funnel, marketers led a one-way communication from the brand to the customer. Information was less accessible. Messaging was mostly mass targeted up until the point of purchase.

Thanks to the digital revolution and information age, those days are over.

Today's decision journey consists of two-way dialogues between both marketers and customers, and customers with other customers. Due to the increase of touchpoints, information is more accessible. This proliferation of information means marketers must engage customers earlier in their decision-making process and in a more personalized way.

All these changes have increased the need for marketers to integrate messaging across all touch points in the customer decision journey. Most marketers know they need to integrate, but many struggle to get there. Why? Here are some of the most common integration barriers:

  • Lack Customer Insights: Marketers have a ton of data, but they don't necessarily know how to leverage that data to determine insight-driven customer decision journey stages, touchpoints, and messaging.
  • Organizational Silos: This is the biggest barrier I hear about! Companies large and small struggle with siloed cultures and organizational structures. When colleagues don't collaborate, messaging is inconsistent across touch points.
  • Lack the Tools: Many companies lack the tools or systems to integrate properly. Based on your company's needs, this can range from things like new software to simpler asks, such as an Excel message calendar.
  • Lack Common Objectives and KPIs: Integration needs to be everybody's day job. All too often, integration is not included in team, individual, or external agency annual objectives or appraisals. Or, people are informally asked to integrate with no established process or way to measure performance.

Developing an insight-driven customer decision journey and a process to integrate efforts across internal disciplines and agencies is a proven way to grow your business. In the short run, you'll optimize your customer experience and improve spend efficiency. Longer term, you'll cultivate deeper relationships with your customers, nurture your brand, and build your business.

Ready to tackle this challenge? I invite you to take my new on-demand training course, Integrating Across the Customer Decision Journey. You'll learn how to develop an insight-driven customer decision journey and overcome internal integration barriers. And, you can download multiple tools and templates to help you get started.


Dina Shapiro has worked inside Fortune 125 companies and top global agencies building iconic, award-winning brands and high-performing teams. She has received two Gold Effies, a Cannes Lion, and an Honorary Webby. Her new course is complimentary and available to ANA Corporate Members only.

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