Customer Journey Orchestration: Moments that Matter
The pandemic made us more reliant than ever before on digital transactions and interactions, we have turned to digital for our social needs and for workplace solutions, and where in person we would once spend our money, we have seen a huge increase in online commerce. Think of those friends and family who have needed to adopt technology like video calling, and devices to maintain communication, where before they would have had real life, in person interactions. The vast majority of clothing and technology retail closed their physical stores during the lockdowns, so online purchases were necessary for people who might otherwise have only felt comfortable purchasing these items in person. These interactions weren’t and continue to not be one way. The customer experience received from brands needs to be just as good if not better than what the customer expects in a physical store, and technology now allows it to exceed beyond basic transactional interactions, in order to achieve brand loyalty, and gain return custom. As we start to see some semblance of normality returning to our lives, it is interesting to see the change in expectations of customers, now that they have become used to a more heavily digitised experience. What we see from this is that brand experience for the customer is going to be a huge factor in deciding whether or not they return for future purchases, the reviews they leave, and the inclination to recommend the brand, to become an advocate. To accomplish an amazing brand experience, you need customer data to understand what customers want and expect from you. To access and download the customer research report that informed this article and to learn to learn more fascinating insights on this topic, click here. What makes a good customer experience, and is good, good enough anymore? This is not just retail experience, transactions and interactions go beyond the monetary. I’m reminded of the saying, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel” – Carl W. Buehner. Communications that customers receive must be contextually relevant. Customers like the personalised approach if it helps them through the purchase process, so brands should be treating their prospects as if they know them, anticipate their needs, and reward them to make them feel as though their company actually cares about them. Like the title says, touchpoints are moments that matter. A good experience is not disjointed, and if these touchpoints are handled poorly, it can be devastating to retention. Imagine a customer waiting for a response to an issue with a product, they probably won’t appreciate an email with new product releases or discount codes shortly after their full price, previous model has just broken and they’re struggling to navigate an automated phone system. And a customer waiting for a delayed flight likely won’t be thrilled to receive a flight sale push notification while their phone battery slowly drains in the airport with mysteriously few electrical sockets. The overriding message here is that personalisation is key to keeping customer loyalty. What investments can be made to implement these positive changes? Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 CJO can help avoid these mishaps and enable your brand to personalise to each customer’s journey using machine learning, to give a customer focused experience. “By strategically using event triggers you can break down silos between business functions. Gone are the days of tone-deaf, disconnected communications from different departments, now you can deliver a congruous end-to-end experience for each of your customers.” – Alex Holt, Strategic Consulting Director, Edit. We must attempt to understand our customers, we recommend that brands audit their customer touchpoints to see what data they are gathering. Using this information Edit can target business outcomes into data “asks” – identifying the key data that is needed to either allow a customer journey to happen or a KPI to be measured. Next, exploring the customer journey allows us to define touchpoints, the key triggers, expected responses, and content requirements. We can then orchestrate how we can approach it, for example, rather than responding to customer interactions on a one-to-one basis, changes could be made to the team structure – are teams structured around specific products, or specific marketing channels, or specific customer segments? In order to fully engage with the customer, brands need to consider how to integrate with systems that may be controlling the delivery of a communication – e.g., social media sites, advertising networks, websites, emails etc. We want to deliver tailored content to people in the channels that matter to them, this means that content must be optimised to channels. We need to consider how interactions can be detected, to increase customer understanding (by understanding what communications they engage with and do not, what channels they operate in etc.) and to support being able to plot customer journeys across interactions. Then we can begin to understand the overall journey and the impact individual channels, experiences and marketing have on conversion and goals. In summary, the technology used is just one part of the solution, the challenge remains in organising around the customer, mapping journeys, changing ways of working and business processes. To access and download the customer research report that informed this article and to learn to learn more fascinating insights on this topic, click here. If you think your brand could benefit from Edit solving your data, marketing, or technology challenges, please reach out to us here.
How marketers can create a CX that respects consumer privacy
“The mobile phone is quickly becoming the source of our identity,” said George Corugedo, CTO of customer data platform Redpoint Global, in his session at our MarTech presentation. “In a few years, your driver’s license, your passport — all these documents of identity — are going to be digitized to be displayed when necessary.”With so much personal data going digital, consumers are now aware of gaps in their online privacy. Large organizations have long captured this information to improve their marketing efforts. But the issues arising from private data use have forced many brands to develop new strategies centered on consent.“The bottom line is that the exchange of value for data is going to be fundamentally different,” he said.Image: Redpoint GlobalAdhere to consumer privacy legislation“The California Privacy Rights Act is legislation that is going to come into effect in 2023 — it further changes the way data is acquired by companies who want it,” Corugedo said. “Today companies can just buy your data. But in the future, only you can make a determination about who gets your data.”He added, “That’s a sensible thing when you think about it. It is your data you should be able to control it and give it to whoever you want in exchange for something.”The advent of digital privacy laws emphasis the need for brands to adopt customer-centric strategies. Qualified consent — the process in which brands must ask customers for their data — is here to stay.Here are some ways Corugedo recommends marketers improve customer experience in the wake of these consumer privacy changes.Without the ability to both organize customer data and gain actionable insights, marketers will have a hard time improving CX.“It’s all about data management — managing the customer’s data,” said Corugedo. “That means every channel every contact point needs to be brought into the CDP.”He added, “That means you’ve got to unify, harmonize, and get all your data records in the same format.”Whether you use a CDP depends upon your brand’s goals and strategy, one thing is clear: Data management tools are vital to good CX.Looking to take control of your data? Learn about trends and capabilities of customer data platforms in the latest edition of this MarTech Intelligence Report.Click here to download!Combine identity resolution technologyIf you’re using a CDP or another management platform, you want to be sure no data is wasted. But many of these platforms fail to give marketers a complete view of their customers, focusing primarily on data collection. Identity resolution can fill this gap.“Customer data platforms or other systems make sure that the first-party data that you use for the identity resolution is clean,” said Hugo Loriot of fifty-five in a separate MarTech session. “So you collect information about your users’ website behavior, point of sales behavior, loyalty information — a customer data platform will make sure that all that is properly maintained.”It’s important to note that many vendors that claim to offer identity resolution (IR) with data management capabilities fail to follow these new privacy laws. That’s why marketers should choose a compliant IR solution that can help marketers build audience trust.“You’ve got to pay close attention to those IR partnerships,” said Corugedo. “They have a big impact on whether you’re adhering to privacy.”Build an omnichannel stack“If you want to get the best customer experience, you have to be omnichannel across the entire enterprise,” Corugedo said.Successful brands use these data management and IR technologies to power omnichannel experiences. These organizations provide consumers with high-quality CX because they respect their privacy while offering unique interactions tailored to them.Image: Redpoint Global“You need to focus on getting every dimension of your business on this fundamental enterprise messaging platform,” he said. “And then you make sure you’ve got one brain with which you’re communicating across all the channels.”He added, “You have to have cross-channel awareness to give customers the very best experience possible. They’re going to have a single customer experience across the enterprise.”Watch the full presentation from our MarTech conference here (free registration required).Snapshot: Identity resolution platformsThe most successful digital marketing strategies rely on knowing your potential customer. Knowing what they’re interested in, what they’ve purchased before—even what demographic group they belong to—is essential. The foundational technologies that help marketers target these segments are called identity resolution platforms.Identity resolution technology connects a growing number of identifiers to one individual. It draws this valuable data from the various channels and devices they interact with, such as connected speakers, home management solutions, smart TVs, and wearable devices. And these consumer adoptions continue to rise. The number of devices connected to IP networks is expected to climb to more than three times the global population by 2023, according to the Cisco Annual Internet Report.Consumer expectations are also higher than ever. More people expect relevant brand experiences across each stage of their buying journeys. One-size-fits-all marketing doesn’t work; buyers know what information sellers should have and how they should use it.Identifying consumers has been challenging for marketers. 71% of brand marketers struggle to maintain an accurate consumer identity over time, according to a study from Forrester. Inaccurate targeting wastes campaign spend and fails to generate results.This is why investment in identity resolution programs is growing among brand marketers. These technologies also ensure their activities stay in line with privacy regulations. Learn more here. About The Author Corey Patterson is an Editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC to help marketers improve their campaigns.
How to future-proof your digital marketing strategy
The acceleration of digital marketing trends and technologies has many brands reevaluating their strategies. Marketers are learning that they need to be proactive in their planning, lest unforeseen events upend their campaigns. One obvious catalyst for this was the COVID-19 pandemic.“The pandemic drove two years’ worth of digital transformation in the first two months,” said Sav Khetan, Head of Product Strategy at CDP platform Tealium, in his session at our MarTech conference. “It drove 10 years’ worth of ecommerce growth in the first three months. But the one constant thing was that consumer behaviors were forced to change.”Khetan referred to a McKinsey business insights report, which found that 75% of US consumers tried different stores, websites, or brands during the pandemic. What’s more, 65% of those consumers expect to integrate these new brands into post-COVID life.Image: Gartner and TealiumAside from the pandemic, brands were faced with two other challenges over the past few years: the loss of third-party cookies and the advent of data privacy regulations. The result? Google, Apple, and other large brands announced changes to their tracking systems, paving the way for the rest of the industry as it followed suit.These connected events forced marketers to rethink their digital strategies, finding new ways to reach customers in this privacy-focused, pandemic-conscious digital future. But rather than waiting for the new big disruption, marketers would be wise to begin adapting their campaigns for the foreseeable future.Here are some ways Khetan recommends marketers prepare their digital strategies for the future.Integrate technology and dataReferring to a separate McKinsey study, Khetan highlighted the importance successful businesses placed on technology: “The top performers — people who outperformed their peers by 20% or more in the last year during the pandemic — bet on data and technology. They were making better decisions about cloud and infrastructure, they had a common source of truth for data for the whole organization, and their elements of technology were modern, giving them more agility and flexibility.”Brands should not only focus on new technology adoption but experimentation and agility as well. This can help ensure marketing teams are well-equipped to address changes in the market.“Who knows what else is going to happen after this?” said Khetan. “But companies that are more agile and adaptive are outperforming their peers by a huge margin.”Implement identification and engagement tactics“The market is responding to the loss of third-party cookies in a big way,” Khetan said. “They’re showing up with new identifiers all the time. These identifiers offer different value propositions.”Implementing new identification technology to replace third-party cookies is important, but the solutions should always have the user in mind. Too often marketers have focused on data collection without working to improve user experience. If brands use both in their strategies, they could improve their chances of collecting actionable customer data.“Once the third party cookie showed up and then the programmatic and real-time bidding strategy showed up, the priority switched to data collection and identification rather than experience,” said Khetan.He added, “Over time, money started flowing into programmatic and real-time bidding, and suddenly customer experience was marginalized for attribution and measurement — that’s what we need to unwind.”Prioritize data privacy and consent“Privacy is all about collection,” said Khetan. “You need to understand where you are collecting the privacy and consent preferences from and what are you doing with it.”Without privacy and consent baked into their data collection strategies, marketers will inevitably lose out in this new digital landscape. Adhering to privacy regulations can help increase consumer trust, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Brands need to provide them with personalized experiences as well.“People are treating this privacy collection like a check box and they’ve forgotten about customer experience and that’s what you need to flip,” Khetan said.Invest in people and processes“The top-performing companies that outperformed all their peers are heavily investing in their people — in acquisition in new roles and new skills and partnerships,” Khetan said.He added, “Your teams are having to do things they’ve never done before in a way that they’ve never done before.”The slew of new digital trends, privacy regulations, and technologies need new skills and people. They are going to be the ones responsible for marketers’ digital strategy evolution.Khetan also emphasized the necessity of investing in team members: “If all your strategies have changed, how can you expect to do the same things and deliver outcomes with these new strategies? You have to help your teams evolve to this new world.”Watch the full presentation from our MarTech conference here (free registration required). About The Author Corey Patterson is an Editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC to help marketers improve their campaigns.
How to implement the best UX strategy in a changing digital environment
Your users’ preferences and expectations are constantly changing, so if your brand’s digital experience isn’t changing as well, customers will find your offerings less relevant.Many companies have tried to fix this problem by investing heavily in updating the aesthetics of their digital properties. But this is just one part of user experience as a whole.“UX is more than just designing a modern website; UX really is a strategy,” said Kelly Gustainis, Lead UX Researcher at Pantheon, in her recent MarTech session. “It affects more than just your design team. It affects more than just your product team. It is a way of thinking and approaching problems.”She added, “When I say ‘strategy,’ I just mean it’s an ongoing process. It’s going to be iterative and it keeps your roadmap relevant to your user needs over time.”Here are four steps Gustainis recommends taking to implement an effective UX strategy.1. Know your data sourcesMarketers should make a list of every data source they already have access to. Knowing what resources you have access to highlights the avenues for gaining actionable user data.2. Ask specific UX research questionsThe success of your UX project depends on knowledge of the issues, which means marketers should be asking the right questions. Your questions should first seek a general understanding of users’ experience, then reflect on the purposes behind them.3. Use the right implementation methodLook for trends in your UX research questions. For instance, you can group queries into behavioral, generative, evaluative, or attitudinal sections. It’s helpful to further categorize these into qualitative and quantitative questions. Share these insights with your stakeholders to highlight the reasons behind your implementations.Image: Pantheon and Phase24. Learn why your users interact in the ways they doGustainis says that the “what” is only as useful as the “why” in UX strategy. Pairing quantitative data with qualitative data helps marketers understand the reasons behind user actions, making it easier to craft solutions that meet their needs.See the full presentation from our MarTech conference here (free registration required). About The Author Corey Patterson is the Content and SEO Manager for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he analyzes and optimizes Third Door Media content to help marketers find the information they need.