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Driving Growth

Shaping digital strategy around the customer journey

By: Tim Foster

We look at how to turn ‘likes’ into loyalty by taking a deeper, more digital look at your customer journey.

So we are all familiar with digital? It is part of everyday life, from Facebook to phone-based payment services to a-million-and-one apps. How does a business reach out to its customer base, encourage them to maintain that brand loyalty and make money from just being ‘liked’?

Digital age brings data advantage

The ability to use digital tools to build a greater understanding of what customers like and enjoy doing is an opportunity not to be missed. By gathering data and using it in a way that tailors your services or products to them, businesses make them feel connected and engaged.

Big data, for example – the large volumes of data that a business generates on a day-to-day basis – is real and can be used to either focus services to customers who are more interested in enjoying them or remind customers of their past experience to enhance loyalty.

Personalising for customer loyalty

To bring this value to your customer, you need to map your customer journey through the digital lens. Take a look at how the key parts of your online engagement interact with the customer. It is then about refocusing your efforts to personalise the customer journey through digital apps and services engaging with the customer before, during and after they have received the service or product experience.

What doesn’t work is constant bombardment or aimless digital adverts selling related experiences. It just not personal enough and for brand loyalty to be maintained of even enhanced, you have to work smarter.

A case study in improving returns through digital engagement

By critically examining the digital experience of the customer journey you can work out where your services need to be enhanced, completely changed or, in some cases, stopped to be replaced by a third-party service through working in partnership.

For example, let us talk about a recent case study in which a world-class event centre wanted to stay ahead of its competition and make a better return on the vendors that hosted the events as well as their attending customers. Together, we worked to understand their customer journey and shape their digital strategy.

With feedback of a better experience through a greater number of personal connections and more engagement from delegates and purchases on the day coming from increased attendance, we wanted to determine how to increase the rate of conversions from those who signed up to attend and those who actually attended. This meant working closely with event vendors in sharing customer data, combined with the data they collected at the event, and using this to develop an enhanced customer journey experience that meant they would want to come back again and also encourage others to do so. Our approach enabled the event centre to communicate with attendees both in advance and on the day through digital mechanisms so people knew who they could meet at the event and see the value of these connections.

The author is a Technology Risk Services Director at Grant Thornton UK. Grant Thornton International Ltd. is a leading global business adviser that helps dynamic organizations unlock their potential for growth. Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A) is the Philippine member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd. For inquiries, you may direct them to 988-2288 ext. 760 or visit our website at


As published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, dated 20 June 2016