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Marketing is the ultimate business function for buzz words. We’ve put together 10 common terms used in marketing and digital and how they relate to one another to keep you one step ahead.

1. Customer Lifecycle

The progression of steps/stages a customer goes through when considering, purchasing, using and maintaining loyalty to a product or service.”

A customer lifecycle is not a detailed view of every customer’s engagement with your organisation but a way of easily understanding where a customer stands with respect to your organisation.

2. Persona

This is a way of classifying your different types of customers by a common set of attributes to avoid creating an “elastic” customer. It is a technique that was introduced in the book “The inmates are running the asylum”, which was about product development in 1999.

3. Customer Journey

The steps that a person takes from an entry point to a conversion event, which may or may not be a purchase. They predate the digital world and help visualise, understand, and optimise how people discover, purchase and/or use your products and services.

4. Digital Customer Journey

A digital journey is similar to a physical journey, but all of its steps occur online. It is a concept that predates digital work, maybe not as formally defined as it is now, but the idea of mapping the steps that a customer takes to discover and purchase your products is not new.
However, with the rise of eCommerce and the democratisation of measurement tools, it was no longer the domain of businesses with many resources. It was now possible for virtually anyone to accurately monitor their customers’ journeys through their touchpoints and make changes to improve them.

5. Channel

In the digital world, a channel is a medium over which interactions can occur. Some support rich content (web and email), and some are very restrictive (push notifications and SMS). They can be direct (email and SMS), pseudo-direct (Web Personalisation) and indirect (remarketing and social advertising). Some can have multiple directionalities (i.e. Social and Web Personalisation).

6. Touchpoint

Any time that a person interacts directly or indirectly with your company. In a digital sense, touchpoints include (but are not limited to) Emails, Social Media Posts, Website content, Paid media.
Each journey will have multiple touchpoints, and they may not be the same for everyone on the journey. Therefore, tone and content must be channel appropriate.
All journey touchpoints must be identified and optimised for the lifecycle and journey stage that they occur in.
Channel is the Medium while Touchpoint is the message.

7. Contact Framework

Contact frameworks are more than just an opt-out. They should ensure that your customers receive: the right message, right channel, right time and at the right stage. With GDPR, this has become even more important, especially the centralisation and management of contact preferences.

8. Decisioning

In digital marketing, it is the process of deciding which message/touchpoint should be presented over a given channel to an individual at any given time. When implemented, contact frameworks and journeys become manifestations of decisioning.
Decisioning doesn’t mean AI; it can be a set of simple rules.

9. Personalisation

“The action of designing or producing something to meet someone’s individual requirements.”
In this context, it means tailoring and/or addressing a touchpoint to a specific customer’s needs and requirements. If done well, it makes a customer feel as though a brand/organisation really understands their wants and needs while respecting their privacy and boundaries.
When poorly done, it makes customers feel like their privacy is being invaded, and an unequal value exchange occurs.

10. Sentiment

Sentiment plays an important role both in lifecycles and journeys. It is how you measure your customer’s emotional disposition to your brand/organisation. It can be measured by NPS or similar rating systems. Even thumbs up and down widgets are effective.
In a complex organisation, sentiment can be product or service-specific and may have a limited impact on overall brand sentiment. For example, people may dislike a specific Apple product, but their overall attitude to the brand is unaffected.


n3 Hub aims to deliver a marketing and CX utopia by bringing customer data, point of sale, offers, sentiment, and product information together to easily access and share a single customer view. It generates, segments and delivers relevant, consistent and personalised content for each customer, which can be shared over various channels using existing marketing platforms – delivering the right message at the perfect moment.


For more information on a Customer Data Platform built by marketers, for marketers, click here.


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