Three life-centric practices to develop customers for life

Three life-centric practices to develop customers for life

In their recently published playbook, Adobe partner Accenture suggests that brands start taking what they call a life-centric approach to engaging with customers. In this approach, a brand considers and provides what the customer needs when, where, and how they need it.

While that sounds a lot like the customer-centric approach we’ve been talking about for years, in a life-centric approach, the brand recognizes that nothing about a person — whether from an internal or external perspective — stays the same. Think about it. For some people, one day you’re not a parent, and the next day you are. Things, and needs, change in an instant.

A life-centric approach uses data to consider what the customer wants rather than to promote what the brand wants the customer to want. It respects the customer’s time and intent. In a recent Adobe Summit session, we discussed three practices that support taking this life-centric approach that can lead to lifetime customers:

Before we dive into what those practices entail, here’s an example of a life-centric approach a financial services customer could apply to their journey.

From dread-filled to delightful

Let’s say a mortgage customer opened their account and noticed their mortgage shifted to a new lending institution. While this practice is common, to the consumer this could result in added time setting up a new account, payment information, preferences, or potentially downloading a new app. For the always-on-the-go customer, this moment in their brand experience could be dread-filled. But this onboarding moment is also an opportunity for the brand to delight the customer.

If the brand takes a life-centric approach to the onboarding process with the customer in mind, the consumer can complete their digital journey — including setting up their account, selecting their communication preferences, and making the monthly payment — within minutes. The journey also includes emails or notifications through the app, if they’ve downloaded it, confirming each step along the way. Mission accomplished seamlessly. What could have been a dreaded experience for the consumer turned into an overall brand experience that promotes loyalty.

Customers on the move

Consumers are always on and always on the move — usually using multiple digital devices throughout their day-to-day or even simultaneously at any given moment. To meet customers where they are and when they want to hear from your brand, you need to create consistent, connected journeys, regardless of the device or channel.

A customer’s journey might start on their laptop when they logged into their original loan servicer’s website, quickly shifted to a new servicer’s website, and then moved to the confirmation emails on their phone — that’s already two devices and two channels. Wherever someone shows up or the bank communicates with them, they know who the customer is and how to interact with them based on actions they’ve taken.

To make these types of seamless and consistent cross-channel experiences a reality, you need a few things. First and foremost, you need a unified customer profile that updates with real-time streaming data (and batch-uploaded data) from almost any data source. And it must use identify resolution to identify each customer across these data sources to stitch together that data for each customer profile.

With that unified real-time customer profile, you know your customer — which leads us to the second practice.

Second and subsequent moments of truth

When you know enough about a customer, you can listen in and build responsive journeys that are true to what your customer wants. For example, had your customer downloaded their new loan servicer’s mobile app, they’d expect it to recognize them and help complete their payment if they hadn’t yet done that. If they closed the webpage without completing payment, that could trigger a push message that says, “Ready to complete your payment?” with a link to a page in the app to complete the payment.

You need a platform that listens for key actions or changes in your customer’s world so that it can adjust to present your customer with the best next experience on their device. You also need it to provide a way to build these orchestrated journeys across channels — letting the customer follow their journey, branching off to different experiences based on the device they are on, who they are, what they need, and what they’ve done.

The final practice relates to the experience the customer has in those subsequent moments of truth.


As your customer receives that second and subsequent experience when and where they need it, you want to make sure that the content, images, and offers that show up in those experiences are designed to resonate specifically with the individual customer. After all, when you understand a customer’s intent and know enough about their preferences, you can hyper-personalize those experiences for them, no matter where they engage.

Delivering hyper-personalized experiences requires a platform that enables you to personalize with names or other customer-specific information, such as their birthday or an image that reflects their location — for example, the Brooklyn Bridge if they live in New York City or Big Ben if they’re in London.

But hyper-personalization doesn’t stop there — it also needs to be able to use AI and machine learning to determine and deliver what your customer needs — sometimes before they even know they need it — and deliver it at the right time, on the right device, and at the right touchpoint. In this case, what’s delivered can be a discount code, a recommended movie, or a self-help article — not just traditional offers.

What does that look like?

Let’s say you’ve purchased a ticket to see your favorite band at a local venue. With hyper-personalization, the event app can send you a notification saying, “Hey Kevin, your concert is a week away — want to reserve a parking spot by the venue?” And when they’re near the venue after parking their car in a reserved spot, an iBeacon triggers a push message in the app that says, “Ready to rock — here’s your ticket” with a link to the ticket. They click the link, open the ticket in the app, scan the QR code, and push through the turnstile.

Respecting the customer’s time and intent

To win over today’s customers to your brand, you need to build a relationship that involves hearing what they want and responding with experiences and offers that show that you respect their time, honor their intent, and know them. This is what epitomizes a life-centric approach to customer engagement and can help you create customers for life.

Adobe Journey Optimizer provides the capabilities to create that relationship with a real-time unified customer profile that supports customers on the move, omnichannel journey orchestration that delivers second and subsequent actions across channels, and hyper-personalization of experiences, including AI-driven offers and experiences.

To learn more about Journey Optimizer and how you can build these life-centric customer experiences, visit this page.

Kevin Lindsay is a 25+ year tech industry veteran and currently leads product marketing for B2C customer journey management (CJM) at Adobe — including the industry-leading products Adobe Campaign and Adobe Journey Optimizer. Previously, Kevin held product marketing and strategy roles in digital asset management (DAM), personalization and testing/optimization at Adobe. Other stops on Kevin’s tech marketing journey included the enterprise search space and ecommerce merchandising. Kevin believes that modern, data-driven, and AI-powered CX strategies are key to delivering empathy and personalization at scale across the customer lifecycle.