Leading Digital Transformation

Empowering consumers through a data-driven customer-led journey

Meet the expert
Bob Hale, CEO of Alterian
Bob Hale
CEO, Alterian

Bob is a customer-focused technology executive with over 30 years’ experience in cross-channel marketing and real-time customer experience (CX) solutions. His title is CEO, but he likes to think of it more as, Customer Experience Obsessed. He is passionate about helping businesses better understand and engage with their customers. His motto? Embrace it as change is the only constant!

Do you place your customer at the heart of everything you do? If you aren’t you might want to reconsider your approach. Our Sal Pecoraro sat down with Bob Hale, CEO at Alterian, to discuss the importance of the customer-led journey and the role that evolving technology has played in transforming the way we market.


Alterian has placed a lot of emphasis on the customer-led journey. Can you tell us what this phrase means?

The goal of a customer-led journey is to enable all channels to coordinate a next-best experience approach that fits with each customer’s unique journey or interaction with a business. This ensures customers experience an optimized, individualized experience at each step of their journey helping them effortlessly achieve their goals.

The journey typically includes multiple touchpoints, such as online research, social media engagement, email marketing, and customer service interactions. The goal of a customer-led journey is to enable a personalized and seamless experience that addresses the customer’s needs at every stage of the journey, and no matter what channel, customers think in goals and experiences.

To implement a customer-led journey in marketing, companies must use data and analytics to gain insights into their customers’ behavior and preferences. They can then create targeted content and messaging that resonates with their audience and delivers value at each touchpoint.

By focusing on the customer-led journey, companies can build stronger relationships with their customers and increase customer loyalty and advocacy. Additionally, a customer-led journey can help companies improve their marketing ROI by reducing customer acquisition costs and increasing customer lifetime value.


In our modern world, the customer has the power to curate their buying journey and choose how they interact with the brands and businesses they want to buy from. How can businesses use data to optimize the path prospects go down?

In order to center the customer, it’s crucial to give them the power to choose their path. The role of the brand is to enable and optimize that pathway.

Customers expect an individualized experience that is relevant to them, and it should occur in the moment they want it to happen and, in the channels, where they prefer to engage with a business. For example, some customers prefer to receive emails and others prefer to interact over social. Brands need to speak to their customers where they want to hear from them – not where the brand wants to talk to them.

In order to get to that level of personalization, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the individual, including their identity, past activities, demographic and psychographic data, among other attributes.

Customer Journey Orchestration and Customer Journey Analytics systems rely on data to deliver the best individualized experience possible in real-time. Additional data, such as that provided by Data Axle, can enhance the potential of real-time platforms to provide an exceptional customer experience. The improvement in ROI and KPIs resulting from this enhancement benefits both the customer experience and will help the company achieve their business goals.


The general public interest in artificial intelligence has exploded recently – especially as ChatGPT has continued to make headlines. Can you tell us about the role AI plays in optimizing customer experience?

At Alterian, our main use for AI is focused on helping the Customer Experience (CX) teams in businesses. These teams are working with vast amounts of data and we need to help them wade through oceans of data in a short period of time. We don’t want these teams to get lost in the amount of data they have – the key is making your data actionable and that’s where AI comes into play. Once brands are able to distill their data, they can pull insights from it to better understand customer journeys, friction points, and ultimately provide the experience the customer wants to see from them.

Much of the hype around AI is often looked at as customer-facing. People are talking about building better chatbots and things like that. But in reality, AI is a mix of terms and needs. Brands shouldn’t limit their use to customer-facing tools – there are a plethora of use cases that will help marketers meet their KPIs and businesses smash their goals.

One of the biggest benefits of AI comes from what it does behind the scenes to drive ROI and reduce operational and resource waste. Its ability to analyze and draw actionable insights out of large quantities of data and real-time interactions helps internal teams do their jobs better, faster and more efficiently. This means businesses adopting customer-led practices become more effective, saving time and using fewer resources to achieve better results. Furthermore, those that leverage AI to enable their customer-led journeys benefit from its unique ability to deliver real-time individualized journeys that help customers achieve their goals more efficiently and are optimized to deliver on business objectives.


Are there any specific industries you believe can benefit from this type of technology more than others?

All industries can benefit from better customer experience, but some industries will see results more readily. I believe that banking, finance, insurance, telco, utilities, retail, travel & hospitality and automotive are all in line to see results.

Typically, B2C companies have higher amounts of interaction volumes and will see better metrics, faster from Customer Journey Orchestration. But even within B2C there are striations. Industries that tend to have higher frequency of interaction with customers tend to adopt emerging technologies sooner and see value quicker.

That being said, both B2B and B2C and even businesses in low frequency verticals (meaning industries where there’s a very low rate of customer interaction) all gain value from Customer Journey Orchestration improved customer experiences. There’s something to be said for playing the long game – we all know about the tortoise and the hare. Businesses in low frequency verticals should consider investing in Customer Journey Orchestration tools now, if they have big goals for 2024 and beyond.


Do you have any tips on how brands can use Customer Experience and Customer Journey Orchestration to recession-proof themselves, acquire new customers and keep current customers engaged?

Yes! Brands often prioritize improving revenue, reducing costs, and enhancing customer satisfaction through their customer experience (CX) initiatives. However, during a recession, the focus tends to shift towards customer retention and lifetime value (LTV), as well as cost reduction. It’s essential to ensure that all initiatives ultimately result in improved customer satisfaction and experience, considering the empowered customer’s importance. To achieve these goals, brands can leverage Customer Journey Orchestration platforms, which are ideal for such needs.

Some examples of use cases that we’ve observed include leveraging current systems rather than replacing everything with a big budget, achieving measurable ROI at each stage of implementation, and focusing on growth through use-case-specific approaches aligned with the company’s top initiatives.

About Alterian:
At Alterian, we’re passionate about powering customer-led transformation that helps businesses achieve extraordinary results. Our expert team goes above and beyond to understand the needs of our clients, working closely with them every step of the way to ensure they thrive.

For more than two decades, we have expertly guided hundreds of businesses on their customer transformation journey and empowered them with next-generation technology solutions.

Our team’s experience, backed by our technology and industry know-how, has seen us named a Forrester leader in multiple years. We unlock new opportunities and evolve in a way that ensures our clients stay ahead of the game.

Want to learn more? Download the eBook, “Using Cost-Effective Journey Orchestration to Gain the Competitive Advantage ,” or get in touch.