Articles Overview
5 October 2019
Renout van Hove

Obsessed: The ten rules of the principle abiding marketer - Rule #4


Rule #4: Recognize that your customers do not always fit in your magically and beautifully crafted (but sometimes theoretical) customer journeys.

The challenge for brands

The problem for many organizations is that they are not built in a sense that they can understand or view the customer through the lens of their omnichannel journey, let alone perform connected and seamless dialogue with those customers. Many times companies still work in 19th-century methods, in siloed departments dedicated to one channel, whether it's for the website, the call center, mobile app, or e-commerce. (you probably have seen that team, actually physically in the corner of the building, with the flag above their head 'social media team'). 

Sometimes they even focus on micro-tasks, like online check-in. These organizations often struggle to have a consistent and orchestrated conversation across the many channels they serve - or being pushed to serve - and they have a hard time considering an individual's context and intentions. They also struggle to have a dialogue that is genuine, authentic, human, and relevant. Automating anything you do in this scenario will feel awkward to the consumer and is just not the right way forward. 

The impact is customer frustrations, and the brands are exposed to sagging customer satisfaction, decreasing cross- and / or upsells and loss of customer loyalty above all - thus directly impacting revenue performance. Convenience beats trust, but without trust, you don't get to sit around the table nowadays. 

Thunderhead ( - a platform for journey orchestration and Analytics - refers to this issue as the Engagement Gap. It's the gap between what consumers expect and want to achieve with the least effort possible vs. what brands and organizations often can deliver.

This blogpost is based upon the new book of Marc Bresseel and Renout van Hove: OBSESSED: Decode the data landscape. Reboot your sales and marketing. Discover the other rules on