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Unifying your first-party data between sales, marketing and service is now imperative

The value of superlative customer experience has become clearly apparent over the last few years. Companies that can effectively leverage their data to drive the total customer experience are making strides past their less technically-enabled competitors.

Coronavirus has moved the need for brands to transform linking their digital, CRM and media experience from a 3 year programme of work to something that needed to be done six months ago to cope with consumer behaviours.

In my view, Adobe Experience Platform is a welcome technology to support brands. It’s tech that enables value realisation to keep pace with consumer interactions with brands, through building experiences at scale.

 

Driving value through data for decades

Before I go deeper into the urgency I see driving the need for adopting tech like AEP, I should give a little backstory that explains why I feel it’s such an exciting possibility for enterprise-scale brands to investigate.

Merkle has a solid, decades-long foundation in driving value through identity for brands from a data perspective. We’ve built our own products and have been able to deliver best practice use of major platforms (Google, Adobe, Facebook, and others) born from our media and marketing technology businesses. Through our work with clients from multiple verticals, coupled with our deep industry knowledge, we have observed that taking ownership of identity and bringing first-party datasets together to drive the total customer experience is critical. (This is emphasised through our Marketing Imperatives for 2020.)

Software solutions have struggled to provide enterprise level, real time and integrated consumer identity management across online and offline channels. This limits value delivery for brands, all of which have a need to seamlessly link CRM, media and customer experience to deliver profitable customer relationships.

 

Revolutionary technology to respond to the challenge

Having worked with the Adobe Experience Platform in proof of concepts for clients and now live projects I am very excited about the power it is enabling for brands. Adobe Experience Platform allows businesses to drive personalization in real-time, and fuel the creativity, workflow and digital marketing behind each interaction.

Identity management is at the core of Merkle’s marketing technology stack:

Merkle's Technology Stack

Adobe experience platform can deliver the three foundational layers of this stack in a single place: Data Management, Insights and Orchestration. This radically simplifies the operational model around delivering experiences and helps in removing silos between different teams.

AEP will enable brands to stitch together customer identities and customer experiences in ‘real real-time’; powering with this a single view across known and unknown users. AEP does this in a standardised way, using an open data model co-defined with SAP and Microsoft.

Data scientists and analysts will be able to spend less time getting data ready, and instead focus on analysis. The platform features pre-built models as well as the opportunity to design custom modelling that is tailored to the exact needs of the brand in question. Brands can automatically pull key insights and predictions from these models to better understand customer journeys from end to end.

Journeys can be orchestrated across consumer touchpoints simplifying the definition of real-time experiences. These personalised and targeted digital experiences can be delivered through 1:1 actions or segment sharing with other Adobe Experience Cloud services or other activation tools.

 

A first for Europe

It’s an exciting time for us, as Merkle will be the first business in EMEA to put in place an Adobe Experience Platform at the heart of an Adobe stack to join together analytics, customer experience and CRM platforms for our client – a major lighting and technology brand which is migrating from being a B2B2C to a B2C consumer business.

AEP is a critical tool within this business transformation programme, enabling real-time personalisation, modelling and journey orchestration that provides the total customer experience that is their market differentiator. This investment in AEP together with the rest of the Adobe Experience Cloud and our business transformation expertise is driving the £100m growth strategy for our client.

 

Why now…

Coronavirus has led to the acceleration of existing business strategies online to adapt to new consumer consumption characteristics and to keep pace with digital first businesses. It’s a faster-paced world than ever, and the current pandemic is emblematic of the fact that change can occur in the blink of an eye. Without a solid, customer-focused strategy, coupled with tools at your disposal to execute it, you risk being left behind.

The unification of your first-party data between sales, marketing and service is one of the most urgent things that you should be considering. Brands that can achieve this connection through tools like AEP and use it to drive their customer communications will stand head and shoulders above their competitors in terms of loyalty, trust, and advocacy.