6 keys to reimagine journeys and unleash the true potential of cross-channel marketing

6 keys to reimagine journeys and unleash the true potential of cross-channel marketing

Transitioning to a new marketing automation solution can be challenging, but the long-term benefits of modernizing your platform far outweigh the short-term pain. It empowers you to transform your cross-channel marketing and unlock capabilities and value you might not have yet considered. At the same time, the move also provides an opportunity to reexamine your processes, cross-channel strategy, operating model, and skillsets through an entirely new lens.

Moving to Adobe Journey Optimizer is a truly transformative decision. Adobe Professional Services has a strong track record of successful implementation with their value-based approach. They’ve seen that success and long-term adoption is based on a number of factors, including adopting the right foundational processes, people, and cohesive governance approach.

We have a few recommendations and best practices to help you get maximum value from your investment during your implementation phase to deliver a robust foundation — and address your evolving cross-channel marketing needs.

1. Take a fresh look at your campaign processes

Let’s face it — it's quite tempting to adopt a lift-and-shift approach. But the drawback is that this doesn’t move the needle much beyond what you have already been doing. Our experience suggests that the consistent pattern in all successful Journey Optimizer engagements has been journey  reimagination  — reexamining and visualizing your journeys in new and different ways.

Historically, the focus of your existing campaigns could have been more on marketer-driven batch-and-blast campaigns. But now, with changing business needs and the new capabilities Journey Optimizer provides, it’s time to expand your campaigns to more personal, real-time journeys driven by customer behavior.

Most legacy marketing automation platforms have limitations in terms of their ability to access real-time customer profiles, orchestration, and triggered execution. But now with Journey Optimizer, these constraints don’t exist, thereby opening up whole new possibilities for you.

This all starts with asking a foundational question — “What would be the best possible experience we can provide to the customer at different stages of their lifecycle in seamless, orchestrated, and personal ways?” This paves the way for you to redesign your journeys in a more customer-centric manner, keeping the right data, the right time, the right content, and the right context in mind.

For instance, in its quest to convert its guest users to reward customers, one of the leading US fast-food restaurant giants designed its journeys to target users at the key moments of their ordering process, when the propensity to convert is higher. Guest users are qualified for the rewards offer segment in real time and targeted with personalized offers — not only at the checkout page but also in the purchase confirmation email and push notification. This novel approach is very different from their historic audience-based campaigns, thereby leading to enhanced engagement and conversion rates.

2. Tap into data in new ways

A strong, unified data foundation containing user attributes and behavioral events has always been pivotal for a marketing automation solution. But with Journey Optimizer, your journeys don’t need to be constrained to a centralized actionable database. Think about how a journey can be made more contextual by accessing external data sources (e.g., weather, user location, inventory, booking systems) and driving hyper-personalized experiences for users. By actively listening for external signals from business and partner data sources, you can make journeys more adaptive and dynamic with platform learning and anticipating the next best action in real time.

For example, retailers can personalize the experience for a potential prospect who has shown interest in a particular jacket that was out of stock. When this prospect pulls into the store parking lot, she receives a push notification about a jacket that is back in stock in her size. This is achieved by identifying her location, pairing her profile data and behaviors, and accessing inventory systems in real time during the journey. All to make the message more relevant to her situation.

3. Centralize your decisioning

It’s common to think of only outbound channels (e.g., email, SMS, mobile push, direct mail) in the context of marketing automation solutions. However, this can hinder your ability to think in terms of journeys across all your inbound and outbound channels.

What will really take your brand to the next level is a way to centrally manage, personalize, and optimize the experience you deliver in your customer journeys and ensure consistency across all channels. This means that setting up a centralized decision engine during implementation is a key step not only for your marketing applications but also for your customer-facing applications.

For example, a leading gas station chain is tapping into the power of Journey Optimizer to send personalized email and push messages for top deals, coupons, and in-store promotions. A central offer library gives their marketing team the power to create and manage a variety of cross-channel offers using its built-in decisioning tool. This takes real-time data and applies eligibility rules to pick the next offer.

4. Mobilize a cross-functional team

How often have you seen a marketer’s novel campaign idea thrashed by other teams either due to data, compliance, or other organizational issues? Leading organizations solve this by taking specialists from data, strategy, marketing, and legal or compliance teams to build a focused journey team. This allows them to work toward a common goal and foresee risks and challenges early on.

As part of your journey reimagination program, it’s vital to question the status quo and accepted wisdom. This cross-functional team helps build consensus around key issues early on and take journey innovation programs to the next level.

5. Take a quick-wins approach

It’s easy to be overwhelmed with all the moving pieces involved in a marketing platform implementation. The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way.

Instead of taking a big-bang implementation approach, we find our customers are more successful when they set up a healthy and strong foundation with an approach focused on a few prioritized use cases from the beginning. This will help your organization build momentum early on and then continue to evolve your platform over time.

Taking a phased approach using the crawl-walk-run methodology will help you to be successful in the long run. Journey Optimizer is a living platform, so we can always help you accommodate additional enhancements in later phases. And from an organizational change management perspective, spreading the changes over time would ease the platform adoption.

6. Build an integrated foundation across applications

Gone are the days when organizations had different data models for paid, owned, inbound, and outbound campaigns. With Journey Optimizer or any of our other services, our whole approach is centered around building a unified data foundation once and using it across other Adobe Experience Platform applications, including Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform and Adobe Customer Journey Analytics.

This shared set of services allows your organization to jump-start implementation for other app services, leading to faster deployment and accelerating time to value. With an integrated data foundation, marketers and customer-facing employees have a real-time single source of truth in the form of cross-journey dashboards and users (anonymous or known). As a result, they can create consistent and personalized experiences across channels, devices, and touchpoints.

Set your cross-channel marketing free

Change isn’t easy — but it brings countless growth opportunities. With a focus on journey reimagination that includes a strong data foundation, centralized decisioning, a cross-functional team, and a quick-wins approach, your transition to a new platform will seize those opportunities and be well worth the effort. And when all is said and done, it will reward your business with an enhanced customer experience, optimized marketing operations, and higher revenue growth.

No one has more experience and expertise in guiding these transitions than Adobe Professional Services, and we will happily partner with you to help you set up for success.

If you’re ready to start your journey with Adobe Journey Optimizer,  contact Adobe Professional Services. Or if you’d like to keep learning more about how Adobe Professional Services helps businesses like yours succeed,  check out these perspectives.

Manish is a solution architect with Adobe Professional Services. He brings more than 18 years of progressive experience in driving solution architecture, and consulting activities in the digital marketing and customer experience space, serving clients in retail, telecom, travel and hospitality and utility, and banking, financial services, and insurance verticals. He has had an illustrious journey so far with digital customer experience cloud products and services to help drive digital transformation across B2B and B2C clients, including Fortune 500 organizations across India, Asia, EMEA, and the US.