Creating the Ultimate Single Customer View with Adobe Campaign

The journey from diverse data points to an actionable single view.

by Adobe Experience Cloud

posted on 10-10-2018

The Virgin Holidays customer, her preferences, and the context surrounding her individual experiences are constantly changing — and Virgin Holidays, like countless other companies, needs to react, engage, and continuously evolve to deliver relevant experiences across platforms, channels, and screens.

To do this, the company taps into cross-channel solutions to track insights, develop a meaningful understanding of their customers, and act on that information. Campaigns are designed to meet consumers where they are — and each time Virgin Holidays achieves this, the results impact every corner of their business.

“During our peak sale campaign, we actually saw crazy uplift of around 20 percent,” says Liam Savage, CRM executive at Virgin Holidays. “We drove an uplift of 85 percent in web traffic, and the campaign itself delivered 156 percent more appointments than it did last year.”

What changed since last year? Virgin Holidays migrated from its former campaign management system to Adobe Campaign.

The UK-based travel company turned to Adobe to help implement an omnichannel campaign that included email, direct mail, texts, and outbound calls. Now fully integrated, Virgin Holidays is able to measure and analyze the impact of every outreach activity. That, says Saul Lopes, customer lifecycle lead at Virgin Holidays, has enabled the company to implement new strategies for “improving and transforming the customer experience.”

Powering connection

To deliver these kinds of experiences and results, businesses first need the right technology.

As customers move from one brand experience to the next, they’re continuously telling you what they’re interested in and how they want to engage. Your campaign management solution needs to collect and interpret each of those bread crumbs and, from there, pull them into a unified customer view.

From here, your organization can better tap into data collected at every stage of the customer journey — both online and offline. This then enables you to generate more meaningful insights that you can use to craft and deliver relevant experiences no matter where consumers emerge.

Rely on sales-centric campaign management tools and you’ll be hard-pressed to create these single views, let alone construct meaningful mosaics that adapt and evolve in real time. And if you can’t capture the granular details surrounding customer interactions — if you can’t understand the data you do have — it’s virtually impossible to deliver personalized experiences at scale and build a loyal customer base.

Powering real-time understanding

That said, while it’s essential to have the data, it’s equally important to be able to access it quickly and easily.

Real-time access to data enables your organization to trigger personalized messages and outreach in the moment of highest impact. What’s more, leveraging a variety of signals emerging from the buying process, marketers can engage with a customer when it’s both most relevant for her, and when she’s most likely to convert — maximizing the value on both sides.

Of course, not all campaign management systems have the functionality that help you deliver experiences at the moment of highest impact. This is especially true of systems that have lags in data access due to third-party partnerships and integrations. When this lag is present in your system, your marketing is forced to do double duty. First, it will have to remind customers how they felt earlier and, second, it’ll have to encourage shoppers to act based on those earlier experiences and emotions.

For many sales-based campaign management systems, this is a major hurdle — and working off of stale, outdated data becomes the norm for the marketers and organizations relying on these systems. As a result, the quality of their campaigns suffer.

Powering scale

It’s essential that your campaign management system scales as your business and campaigns do. Personalization is critical to any cross-channel strategy — and at the heart of any personalization strategy is the ability to segment.

Tapping into more complex segmentation strategies helps organizations deliver better, more meaningful cross-channel experiences. Being able to easily create control vs. test groups based on nuanced criteria helps arrive at the insight necessary to design optimal experiences for different sets of customers. Applying the same nuanced criteria to the delivery of those experiences is how that insight is transformed into personalization at scale. Hands down, the approach works — segmented and targeted emails generate 58 percent of all revenue.

Though important to cross-channel success, most sales-centric systems simply aren’t equipped for segmentation and filtering, even at a basic level. These systems can’t segment the large amounts of fragmented data generated by campaigns. Some even require advanced SQL database knowledge and segmentation add-ons in order to achieve even limited segmentation — and that’s a problem.

Solutions with limited segmentation abilities often require a database expert to manage and modify — again, another cost and another headache. But, at the same time, segmentation shouldn’t be glossed over. Now more than ever it’s essential for producing cross-channel insights, and businesses should demand solutions that make it easy to segment based on any parameters desired.

The same goes for filtering. Without advanced filtering it’s virtually impossible to extract detailed data and uncover the nuances behind the numbers. Beyond that, though, creating and managing lists also becomes a challenge. Want to target customers based on their preferred device? If filtering isn’t native to your campaign management system, that simple task is going to be time-consuming and costly at best. Personalization becomes a trade-off between quality and speed.

Ask for AI — always

Businesses should also focus on solutions that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) in a tangible and effective way. At its best, AI can take the grunt work of data stitching, data cleaning, and anomaly detection off your plate, freeing you up for more meaningful marketing work — gaining a better understanding of customer wants and needs, for example, then spending time designing perfectly personalized experiences. This is the ideal that should be strived for — avoid situations where AI is just a sticker on the box.

Adobe Campaign — which integrates Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s AI and machine-learning engine — enables companies to automate the data management process and act on cross-channel insights at scale. What’s more, this campaign management system learns and iterates, getting better based on real-time insights generated.

“Adobe Sensei is unique in its approach to blending the science of data with the art of human creativity,” says Abby Parasnis, Adobe’s chief technology officer. “It gives marketers and analysts new visibility into which segments are most important to their businesses, and allows them to target overlapping or adjacent segments, making it possible to acquire customers much more efficiently.”

A simple solution for converting insights into action

Ultimately, it’s your choice — do you want to leverage real-time cross-channel insights to engage and activate your customers with meaningful experiences at scale? Or do you want to hold your breath and hope for the best?

Both the 2018 Forrester Wave: Cross-Channel Campaign Management and 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant: Multi-Channel Marketing Hubs favor the former — and they overwhelmingly agree on the technology needed to deliver insights, build relationships, and create personalized customer experiences.

At the end of the day, your business needs to get the job done — and that’s where Adobe Campaign shines. With a single accessible customer view that includes channel preferences, online and offline data, and customer history, Adobe Campaign provides a granular level of segmentation that enables companies to personalize experiences any time, any place, on any platform.

“By having an integrated customer profile that combines online and offline data, marketers can more easily provide truly meaningful customer experiences that reinforce the brand message across all channels,” says Bruce Swan, senior product manager for Adobe Campaign. “The results include increased engagement as well as a higher likelihood for conversion, long-term loyalty, and brand advocacy.”

A unified customer view also helps marketers harvest the insights they need to develop targeted marketing campaigns — that, in turn, drives customer loyalty, purchases, and conversions. Data-driven marketing also speeds time-to-market, and reduces overall campaign costs.

That, though, is just the beginning. Because it’s fully integrated with the Adobe Experience Cloud, businesses can harness the power of Adobe Sensei to process and analyze massive amounts of data. Adobe Sensei eliminates the need to spend hours stitching data together, cleaning data, tracking anomalies, and tackling other resource-heavy activities. This then frees marketers up to manage other mission-critical, customer-first tasks.

The end result? Enhanced cross-channel collection and analysis that empowers your business to create unparalleled customer experiences at scale — scale that evolves as you do.

Ultimately, it comes down to one key consideration: your customers deserve to be treated like individuals — and you need to deliver. You need to collect cross-channel insights that can be pulled together into a cohesive single view. You need to have the capabilities to adjust that view in real time, as your consumers pivot — and even change course. And you need both the powerful insights and powerful technology to drive consistent, cohesive, and meaningful cross-channel journeys for every customer. You need Adobe Campaign.

It’s time to evaluate your systems and solutions and trade up to something smarter, something scalable, and something that delivers. It’s time to trade up to a truly cross-channel solution — Adobe Campaign.

Topics: Digital Transformation

Products: Campaign