This post is by Brian Taylor, Digital MD at Jaywing.

What is the tipping point in the customer purchase decision journey? While marketers can use data and analysis to target customers with relevant products and services, sometimes it can take a little more to tip them over the edge into clicking the buy button.

Along the path to purchase there are specific points where a customer is more likely to buy. By marrying behavioural economics with the expertise of both data and creative specialists, brands can pinpoint the perfect moment to deliver the right creative that drives the customer to make that purchase.

The challenge of influencing purchase decisions today is not purely a creative one; it's one that needs to be underpinned by science. Encouraging customers to make that leap in the online world requires greater integration between creative specialists and data experts. Only when these two parts come together in the marketing process can brands create great customer communications that are built and delivered with both the customer and the brand in mind.

As we're all aware, the importance of customer experience as a discipline is growing. Enriching data insight with behavioural analysis from user-experience architects to build an even more detailed picture of how customers engage is crucial. As is the need to understand how the experience can be optimised to increase the likelihood of the desired response being achieved. Marketers must understand the way a customer behaves, but also why they act the way they do.

This understanding is built from identifying specific traits and underlying motivations that form part of customer's journey and decision-making. For example, if a customer is looking to book a flight to Ibiza, a travel company may assume they are young and looking for an experience that involves plenty of partying. However, by analysing the customer's individual traits in more detail, such as their income or whether they have children, it's possible to gain an understanding of their underlying motivations and develop a user experience that creates the right environment to encourage purchase. /p>

Understanding these motivations is key in helping identify how to construct and deliver the right customer experience. This understanding also enables you to present products that are of interest at a point in the customer journey when they are likely to be most receptive, while employing the right creative to get the message across and make these products more desirable. Together, these factors are what will encourage that step to purchase.

To effectively pinpoint that moment or tipping point, the first step is to delve deeper into the data held about a customer's past interaction and behaviour. By doing this, it's possible to build a detailed picture of each individual, how they prefer to interact with a brand and at what point along they journey they are most receptive. For example are they likely to research online, but purchase offline?

Sales purchase data is often the first port of call when looking to develop a more sophisticated acquisition and customer development strategy and can help marketers gain a more rounded view of individuals and their behaviours. For instance, if we take our travel scenario from earlier, an individual may book this trip every year, so when would be the right time to discount the trip? Before they normally book, when they book, after the period that they normally book or not at all? By understanding previous behaviours, you can make an accurate decision and incentivise those that need it, not those that would have booked anyway.

When developing a holistic customer view one barrier marketers need to overcome is the pulling together of the disparate data sets so the true customer journey across all touch points can be identified and understood. Such as, what online behaviour is more likely to lead to offline purchase? Or, what offline sales data can be used to drive better online acquisition? This information can then be used to drive PPC or display strategies to drive long-term customer value, rather than focusing purely on online conversion metrics. By analysing and applying these learnings, brands can begin to place customer experience at the heart of its marketing activity.

The opportunity to develop deeper customer understanding is growing all the time, as the data footprints individuals they leave behind along their various journeys are increasing. Only by delving deeper into the behaviours and motivations that sit behind purchase decisions can marketers deliver a user experience convincing and engaging enough to tip a customer into action. By applying the science behind customer behaviour, brands can improve the purchase experience and drive better results – whether that's click-through rate, purchase or long-term brand advocacy.