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How to Manage the Customer Journey in Context

As we discussed in our last post, once your organization has an identity of a customer developed and can update customer profiles in real time as new engagements happen, you can watch the journey progress and build through marketing efforts.

Think about the game Plinko for a moment – a round chip bouncing downward through a series of pins. Analytical insights can give marketers a view into which touchpoints a user interacts with, in the same way that the chip hits pins in its journey toward the bucket at the bottom. The touchpoints a prospect or customer engages with as they move toward a sale can appear to be random in an unstructured journey. Traditional manual stitching of insights can often leave blind spots in the observed relationship with your customer or prospect.

Solutions like Adobe’s Customer Journey Analytics (CJA), built on Adobe’s Experience Platform, can help you move from Plinko to something more like pinball, where marketers are in the driver’s seat, actively influencing where the customer goes with fewer blind spots when tracking the customer’s journey toward conversion. CJA is a modern Customer Experience Management (CXM) service that lets marketers join data from every channel into a single interface for real-time, omnichannel analysis and visualization. As the maturity of your identity resolution and analytics functions grow, your organization can gain valuable insights. For example, if a customer does or does not buy, why? You can understand what signals each individual prospect provides as they interact with the brand to enable decision makers to fine-tune the sales and marketing strategy.

Challenges with CJA

A unified CJA view doesn’t come without some effort. Standardizing and unifying data (which is a similar challenge to making identity resolution a reality) is key. This is how we know what touchpoints customers are engaging with. Challenges in this area create blind spots. Adobe Experience Platform addresses this challenge with powerful tools to enable data standardization, such as the Experience Data Model (XDM), but organizations need to align on workflow and process to leverage the tech to its full potential.

Disparate system architecture can also make it difficult to get a unified view. If you have solved for identity, you’ve likely achieved a single source of truth when connecting all identity signals together to build a unified customer profile. But what’s next? Legacy systems and various vendor tools should be connected to collect data across all channels and touchpoints to update a single customer profile. When the analysis is based on customer records with a single source of truth, what happens at a micro level informs the complete picture of actions across the journey. This enables the business to make holistic, data-driven decisions.

To gather insights, all other pieces of the tech stack need to communicate, connect, and speak the same language. Determining the business logic and tagging taxonomy behind how customer behaviors trigger signals from email interactions, push notifications, paid media, and other campaign touchpoints is crucial, and so is being able to manage it all in simple authoring environment.

How to influence the customer journey

Customer Journey Analytics must understand how and where user engagements happened. This includes the specific trigger (the touchpoint) and payload of data (for example, the beacon that fires when a person hits a page, including page name, and the referral that brought them there). By capturing and visualizing a series of payloads, marketers can start to paint a picture of what the customer is interested in and why. Your organization must be able to not only pinpoint what these triggers and payloads mean for each journey, but also quickly determine what the next best actions are that should take place to guide a given user closer to conversion. Change those static Plinko pins into active pinball flippers!

Let’s take a B2B organization for example. Based on what content customers are interested in, you can predict the audience segment that they fall into and serve additional relevant information and offers. If the person is part of a larger company with an enterprise-scale budget, likely with multiple decision makers in the sales process, it might make sense to route that user into a higher-touch experience and potentially share additional thought leadership content with them to provide insight into what solutions they need and cultivate greater confidence in your brand.

Want to learn more? We just released a new playbook, Mastering Identity & Insights with Adobe, to understand how to avoid a disconnected journey, the imperatives to get personalization right, and key pillars of personalization in a data-led world.

Also check out our comprehensive guide to customer journey analytics here.

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