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 conversations with those customers. A lot of companies are still using 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've probably seen that one team, physically sitting in the corner of the building, with a flag above their head saying '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 conversations that are 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 result is customer frustration 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 a seat 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 on Marc Bresseel and Renout van Hove's new book: OBSESSED: Decode the data landscape. Reboot your sales and marketing. Discover the other rules on