The four stages of delivering customer journey maturity

The four stages of delivering customer journey maturity

A customer journey today looks very different from 20 years ago. Instead of seeing an ad on a billboard, TV, or radio and then making a purchase in a store, the customer experience today is shaped through many small interactions on various platforms. Marketers struggle to keep up with this ever-changing customer journey, which results in customer data being siloed among teams. Because of this disconnect, getting a complete picture of the customer journey often becomes difficult.

When customers interact with your brand, they want to pick up where they left off. But it’s challenging to know how to create the experience they’re looking for when you can’t map the interactions they have with you on different channels and platforms. If you can’t see it from their perspective, it’s hard to know what they want and how to deliver it.

Fortunately, marketing is evolving fast and platforms exist to unify customer data for a complete view of the customer journey — a necessity to orchestrate great omnichannel experiences. But even with this support, a marketing team must first know where they are starting from. Here, we describe the four stages of maturity within marketing organizations. Depending on which stage of maturity a marketing organization is in, they are faced with challenges and opportunities that can help them determine what changes are needed to deliver unforgettable experiences that increase customer satisfaction and retention.

Maturity stage #1 — silos and disconnected journeys

In their initial stages of maturity, organizations often find themselves struggling to maintain effective communication between teams, resulting in ineffective analysis of customer data. One team might be handling a response to customers at one stage, while the other team is taking a different approach with the same customers at another stage. The customers end up having a disjointed experience at best and a repetitive experience at worst. Silos within organizations create significant roadblocks to providing consistent customer journeys.

Siloed team vs cross-disciplinary team

One solution to this problem is to form cross-disciplinary teams. With teams that focus on several responsibilities within their marketing strategy, organizations can keep their content consistent, provide relevant messaging, understand journey development, determine relationships between different channels, and progress into further personalization. These teams also aid in understanding what data is needed to learn what customers need at each journey stage.

Maturity stage #2 — audience-based multichannel campaigns

If your organization has a rough idea of the customer journey but lacks the ability to engage customers in real time, you might be at the second level of maturity. Often, when organizations reach second-level maturity, their teams can manage customer data — but it might take them hours or days to do that. In this stage, their ability to connect and be consistent has improved but their campaigns are audience-based and marketer-initiated. To ensure that their consumer data can become centralized and easily accessible, teams must:

Design and deliver personalized messages, customize digital experiences, and create new cross-channel strategies.

With these strategies, companies can improve access to data across their organization which results in understanding the audience data they collect and visualizing their customers’ journeys more effectively.

Maturity stage #3 — journey orchestration

Third-level organizations have gained better visibility into their centralized customer data. Their goal is to use this data to intelligently create individualized journeys. Thanks to customer data captured in their company’s data lake, many teams have complete customer profiles. These organizations can:

Despite these valuable assets, companies are still susceptible to a lack of real-time insights and an inability to provide individual, personalized journeys.

To advance, brands should:

Maturity stage #4 — intelligent decisioning and personalization

Highly mature companies create real-time, highly personalized customer journeys, relying on artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver the next best action.

Organizations at this stage usually have some kind of offer decisioning solution that can recommend personalized offers for any channel, for example, automating the delivery of personalized offers and experiences across channels in real time. They have achieved what others strive for — intelligent, highly personalized, real-time customer journeys.

We partnered with Major League Baseball to deliver just that. MLB trusts Adobe to help the league bring new, personalized, and seamless experiences to millions of fans.

“We’ve gone out of our way to create digital tools to improve the fan experience,” says MLB executive Chris Marinak after deciding to use Adobe Journey Optimizer. “We’re bringing personalized experiences and information to fans so that they feel like we know who they are, who their favorite team is and who their favorite players are. Adobe’s breadth of enterprise applications allow us to deliver what fans want, where they want it — across dozens of channels.”

An interconnected digital experience

Adobe Journey Optimizer can help you achieve your marketing goals. To learn more about designing effective customer journeys, check out the report The Evolution of Customer Journey Management, for Marketing and Beyond.