Customer Journey Taxonomy


Customer Journey Taxonomy is a structure of categories that organizes systems, content, and data around serving and measuring an omnichannel customer experience and is used in customer journey orchestration.

It is beneficial to have a common naming and labeling system when working across channels, internal marketing teams, platforms, and measurement tools. While this can be a challenge for an organization with a lot of existing infrastructure and siloed teams, the benefits of implementing a common taxonomy outweigh the drawbacks.

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Here is an example of a Customer Journey Taxonomy from House of the Customer (2023) by Greg Kihlström:

Figure 3.2.2, Customer Journey Taxonomy from the book House of the Customer by Greg Kihlström
Figure 3.2.2, Customer Journey Taxonomy

There are numerous data sets, internal and external systems and platforms, as well as people and processes that need to work together to create the optimal personalized experience across the customer journey.

This means that a common language must be established (Figure 3.2.2 above) to ensure that, for instance, when a piece of content is created, the teams doing so will be able to know:

  • Who is the customer?
  • What product or service do they already own, or are interested in buying?
  • What stage of the customer journey are they located?
  • What channel are they using, or which channel would they prefer?
  • What language do they speak?

…and so on…

Taxonomy, or the science of classification, has origins as far back as the advent of human language, though more recently created in its modern form by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 to classify species of plants and animals[i]. The Linnean system, in which each species of animal or plant receives a name of two terms of which the first identifies the genus to which it belongs and the second the species itself[ii], improved upon previous iterations that had evolved from the Greeks and Romans.

More recently than that, taxonomy is used in many areas, including technology, to classify all manner of things. This includes content to be served to customers via marketing technology platforms, amongst other things.


[ii] Knapp, SandraWhat’s in a name? A history of taxonomy : Linnaeus and the birth of modern taxonomyNatural History Museum, London, archived from the original on 18 October 2014, retrieved 17 June 2011



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