5 capabilities you aren’t using in Adobe Journey Optimizer — but should be

5 capabilities you aren’t using in Adobe Journey Optimizer — but should be

Journey optimizer. Personalization pro. Experience Maker. No matter what term you use, you’re working tirelessly, every day, to build better personalized experiencesfor your customers. You’ve said goodbye to siloed, batch-oriented marketing campaigns and hello to real-time omnichannel customer journeys. We’ve consulted the experts and are here to show you five things you might not be doing in Adobe Journey Optimizer — but should be.

1. Places Service powers geofencing for location-based personalization

You might be using geofencing today to trigger contextual, timely, and personalized messages to mobile app users when they walk by one of your stores, showrooms, branches, or restaurants. For the uninitiated, here’s the crash course — geofences are virtual geographic boundaries using latitude and longitude signals to create points of interest and are enabled when customers turn on location services in a mobile app. These could cover the area immediately surrounding a physical location, an entire city, or a location like an airport. By combining the power of Adobe Experience Platform Mobile SDK with the on-device GPS services, marketers can create a signal when an app user enters, dwells within, or exits a specific geographic boundary.

In fact, you can nest multiple geofences inside of each other to create continuously refined sequences of engagement. Imagine a fan traveling to see a concert, conference, or sporting event. Now imagine that fan gets an alert when they land at the airport that says, “Welcome to New York Laguardia Airport!” As they head into the city and to their hotel, they get another set of messages welcoming them to the neighborhood with details on the surrounding area complete with bar and restaurant recommendations, local points of interest, or the best place to score game-day merch.

If you want to know more about how concentric geo-fences can be used to drive increased loyalty and engagement, check out the session “How Williams Racing Creates the Perfect Fan Experience” at Adobe Summit.

And if you want to try it today, visit Experience League to learn about Places and geofencing.

2. External data sources can reshape journeys in real time

The difference between an amazing experience and a memorably terrible one can be as simple as a single moment. That moment may be when you drive to the pharmacy only to find it was closed because the push message you just received to pick up your prescription “ASAP” wasn’t synced to the store hours. These moments are what make external data sources in Journey Optimizer so incredibly powerful. External data sources allow you to weave in up-to-the-second information from your systems to ensure a seamless experience.

Here are six quick use cases where you may want to use external data sources to validate or reshape your next journey path:

  1. Check store hours for the specific store associated with a user’s profile to ensure that it is open.
  2. Confirm the current queue time to suggest a better time to call or visit.
  3. Provide a real-time update on delivery driver availability and instead suggest an order pick up.
  4. Send real-time local weather alerts indicating rain, snow, or storm information that may impact the customer journey.
  5. Validate current size and color inventory availability of a product at a store location.
  6. Highlight local specialties or differences that one branch or restaurant may have that can uniquely impact the customer experience.

Get started with external data sources today.

3. Event-initiated journeys connect physical actions to digital outcomes

Deciding who gets placed in a journey when (and why) is the foundation for every successful engagement strategy. There are two ways to start a journey — targeting a user segment or listening for a real-time event. Targeting a user segment will initiate the journey for all members of that segment, most similar in practice to a batch campaign. For instance, you might want to kick a journey off for all members of your rewards club to alert them of an upcoming promotion.

Today’s tip is about the other method to enter a journey — real-time events. Events come in two flavors — person-driven and business-driven. Person-driven events could be the act of entering or exiting a segment. For example, imagine your last hotel stay put you from gold status to platinum status, which is then reflected in your segment memberships, or a real-time action like a form submission. Business-driven events are events that a business can update, like back-in-stock alerts or delayed shipping routes. The best part of this tip is that events can occur in the physical world like the Places ones we talked about in tip #1, based on human interactions and discrete actions your customers, fans, patients, and guests perform every day.

Here are some cool ways that you can use a unitary or business event to kick off a journey:

  1. A fan just scanned their ticket at the front gate of the concert venue, theater, arena, racetrack, or museum. This ticket scan is logged in Adobe Experience Platform as a unitary event that initiates a personalized customer journey.
  2. A guest has just checked in or out of their hotel.
  3. A member has crossed a geofence indicating that they are close to a physical store or branch.
  4. A customer has just had a conversation with a store associate, which was logged for follow-up.
  5. A sports team is making an amazing comeback in the fourth quarter, which triggers a notification for fans to tune back in.
  6. A hot new restaurant has just had a cancellation, and reservations are now available for Friday night.

If you want to hear more about event-driven journeys, check out the session “MLB Is Revolutionizing Fan Personalization at Scale” at Adobe Summit.

4. Conditional rules for dynamic content make personalization even more powerful

This tip is technically two tips, but conditional rules and personalization go together like peanut butter and jelly. Here’s what you need to know. Dynamic content allows you to adapt the content of your messages based on conditional rules that can be made up of profile attributes, contextual information on events, or audience segments. Personalization takes it further by allowing you to adapt your messages to each specific message recipient by using the data and information you have about them.

Here are a few ways you could deploy conditional content:

  1. Change up subject lines or message body for silver, gold, and platinum members based on loyalty status.
  2. Highlight unique offerings per region, hemisphere, country, or season to focus on the most relevant information.
  3. Localize content across a variety of languages based on customer-indicated preferences.

Now that you have dynamic content blocks in your email or other messages, personalization can take over. When sending out the message, Journey Optimizer replaces the personalized fields with the data contained in Experience Platform: “Hello {{profile.person.name.firstName}} {{profile.person.name.lastName}}” becomes “Hello John Doe.”

Here comes your bonus tip. What happens if John Doe never filled in their last name during profile registration? You wouldn’t want to show “Hello John {BLANK}.” We’ve got you covered because the personalization builder in Journey Optimizer has a wide variety of helper functions to ensure that your messages resolve with backup text even when you have incomplete profile data.

If dynamic content, conditional rules, and personalization interest you — check out how Truist is moving beyond campaign marketing to orchestrated engagement at Adobe Summit.

5. Adobe Experience Platform Assurance is your mobile app sidekick

We’ve arguably saved the best for last. Adobe Experience Platform Assurance is a set of tools built to help you gain confidence that your painstakingly built customer experiences work when you push them live. Assurance works for apps and websites implemented with Adobe Experience Platform SDKs to help you inspect, simulate, and validate app events, location signals, configuration parameters, SDK logs, device information, and more. With quick setup, no-hassle connection, and real-time signals, Assurance will change the way you integrate and deploy Adobe applications in your mobile app.

Here are the ways Assurance can change the way you build mobile apps and websites powered by Journey Optimizer:

  1. Push Debug View lets you quickly validate the push setup for your app and send a test message to your device.
  2. Places Service lets you inspect entry and exit events at point-of-interest locations, dramatically reducing the friction of troubleshooting geography-related personalization.
  3. In-App Messaging lets you validate your app, monitor in-app messages that are delivered to your device, and simulate messages to your device.
  4. Browser-based debuggers (available for all major browsers) let you quickly validate and preview web experiences you’ve created before you send them out to your users.

If you’re ready, learn more about Assurance and build these Assurance Tools into your app or site.

Bring it all together

In this post we discussed five powerful Journey Optimizer tips to help you embrace customer-centricity and in-the-moment customer engagement with active listening via real-time signals. With these tips, your customer-centric engagement strategy will surely be supercharged.

If you want to learn more about Adobe Journey Optimizer — including the latest innovations, product releases, and live customer use cases — be sure to register for Adobe Summit, live in Las Vegas from March 21st through 23rd.

And if you’re putting these tips to work, submit your star-worthy customer experiences powered by Adobe Experience Cloud at the 2023 Adobe Experience Makers Awards for the Experience Makers Gala coming this June.

Jason Hickey is a principal product marketer for Adobe Journey Optimizer. For the past 15 years, he has been immersed in the personalization and real-time engagement space — first as an end user of Adobe applications, and then as a technical solutions architect, strategic consultant, and product marketer. Jason is highly passionate about data-driven decision-making and is now sharing all things Journey Optimizer with the world.