Taking Control of Your Customers’ Journeys

by Jamie Brighton

Posted on 11-14-2017

Great busi­ness starts with great expe­ri­ences. In fact, the expe­ri­ence busi­ness wave is sweep­ing through almost every indus­try in every region of the world. In this series of arti­cles, we’re explor­ing the lat­est strate­gies for deliv­er­ing an ide­al expe­ri­ence to every customer—from shap­ing a brand expe­ri­ence that cre­ates a real con­nec­tion, to deliv­er­ing stand­out con­tent, to mea­sur­ing and refin­ing your own best practices.

The first arti­cle in this series explored the four key imper­a­tives of an expe­ri­ence busi­ness: Start from con­text, design for speed and scale, rethink your work­flows, and mas­ter the mil­lisec­onds. By pri­ori­tis­ing these four imper­a­tives, you and your teams will be able to con­stant­ly raise the bar for the expe­ri­ences you’re pro­vid­ing to your customers—both today, and future-proofed for tomorrow.

If these prin­ci­ples cov­er an expe­ri­ence busi­ness strat­e­gy, what do you need in place from a prac­ti­cal per­spec­tive to deliv­er on the promise? Here are the key con­sid­er­a­tions as you move forward.

Key plat­form considerations

First, your tech­nol­o­gy plat­form needs to enable great design. Research con­sis­tent­ly shows that com­pa­nies that pri­ori­tise great design out­per­form the com­pe­ti­tion, which means that being able to build and exe­cute well-designed expe­ri­ences is crucial.

Sec­ond, your plat­form needs to give you a 360-degree view of your cus­tomer. To react to, and even pre­dict, cus­tomer demand, you need to have all your cus­tomer data on the same plat­form. This will enable you to work out which data is most valu­able and can best be used to enhance your communications—and thus your relationship—with the customer.

Third, your plat­form needs to be able to deliv­er per­son­alised and rel­e­vant con­tent, on demand, on any and every chan­nel or device where the cus­tomer choos­es to engage with you.

Fourth, your plat­form needs to incor­po­rate data sci­ence. We’ve all been hear­ing an increas­ing amount of talk about arti­fi­cial intelligence—and here at Adobe, we believe that data sci­ence and machine learn­ing are going to fun­da­men­tal­ly change the way we make deci­sions about our marketing.

Final­ly, you need to make sure that the work­flows in your plat­form sup­port your activ­i­ties, rather than get in the way. This means your plat­form needs to pro­vide a sim­ple path from the creative’s desk­top all the way to final deliv­ery of each expe­ri­ence, as well as easy-to-use tools that enable your ana­lyt­ics team to share data with your opti­mi­sa­tion and email teams—all with­in the same stream­lined con­tent man­age­ment system.

Tak­en togeth­er, these fac­tors com­prise the field of jour­ney man­age­ment—tak­ing con­trol over your cus­tomers’ omnichan­nel jour­neys. Here’s real-world case to bring the idea to life.

Rethink­ing jour­neys across touchpoints

Ampli­fon is the glob­al leader in retail hear­ing aids, serv­ing 23 coun­tries through 9,000 points of sale, with more than a bil­lion euros in annu­al rev­enue. The company’s tar­get demo­graph­ic is 55 years and old­er, and inter­ac­tions with these cus­tomers typ­i­cal­ly occur in-store. This allows Ampli­fon to per­son­alise the prod­uct for its cus­tomers and fol­low up to sup­port them through­out their lives.

Although Ampli­fon con­sis­tent­ly deliv­ered world-class in-store expe­ri­ences, it lacked a deep under­stand­ing of its dig­i­tal touch­points, which are becom­ing more wide­ly used as more of its cus­tomers grow accli­mat­ed to dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy. To make this trans­for­ma­tion, the com­pa­ny need­ed to rethink its cur­rent infra­struc­ture, which relied heav­i­ly on stand­alone cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment (CRM) tools that dif­fered from mar­ket to mar­ket. This infra­struc­ture didn’t allow rep­re­sen­ta­tives to reach poten­tial cus­tomers on all the chan­nels nec­es­sary for full engage­ment. Worse, the tools often cre­at­ed dupli­cate, incon­sis­tent ver­sions of each cus­tomer profile.

Ampli­fon need­ed a brand-new way to col­late data from retail and dig­i­tal envi­ron­ments. In addi­tion, it need­ed to use a data man­age­ment plat­form (DMP) to col­lect data from its CRM sys­tem as well as dig­i­tal touch­points, along with appro­pri­ate third-par­ty data, to orches­trate the con­ver­sa­tion across all dig­i­tal and phys­i­cal touch­points. And on all those touch­points, it need­ed to per­son­alise every interaction.

To achieve this, Ampli­fon rethought its infra­struc­ture and cre­at­ed a uni­fied data mod­el for its busi­ness with­in the Adobe Ana­lyt­ics. From this start­ing point, the com­pa­ny began inte­grat­ing data from lega­cy sys­tems with infor­ma­tion gath­ered from new­er dig­i­tal touch­points. The new mod­el pro­vid­ed a 70 per­cent sim­i­lar­i­ty in data struc­tures across coun­tries, with 30 per­cent greater flex­i­bil­i­ty around the company’s needs—both now and for the near future. It also let it com­bine online and offline data to reach a clear­er under­stand­ing of each cus­tomer and seg­ment. This means the com­pa­ny could iden­ti­fy new cor­re­la­tions it might not have been able to see, or even think about, pre­vi­ous­ly, lead­ing to action­able new seg­ments and clus­ters that could be tar­get­ed on a wide range of touchpoints.

Since this new solu­tion is inte­grat­ed with tools like Adobe Cam­paign and Adobe Tar­get, Ampli­fon can take imme­di­ate action on every insight it dis­cov­ers. This has enabled the com­pa­ny to move from a sim­ple lin­ear approach to cam­paigns to a much more nuanced one, reap­ing returns on its invest­ments every step of the way.

In the next post in this series, I’ll be talk­ing about expe­ri­ence-dri­ven com­merce, and how it can help you con­nect with cross-chan­nel cus­tomers. See you there!

Topics: Digital Transformation, Automation, customer experience, customer journey, experience management, personalisation, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA