Sometimes I feel like I have spent the last 13 years in marketing technology trying to solve one problem – how to activate all those wonderful nuggets of data to which marketers now have access. In today’s world, marketers are looking at information constantly, trying to figure out how to do something with it.
That’s why it was so refreshing to work with the talented team at Optimizely on its Data Platform (ODP). Our team has made it easy for marketers to take their most valuable commodity, data – visualize it with recommendations – and turn it into a campaign with just a few clicks. That means that marketers can get started in minutes and measure the impacts of their efforts instantly. Building on those capabilities, as well as Optimizely’s core products, I’m proud today to announce the launch of APIpowered messaging– or as we like to call it, Optimizely Journey Orchestration (OJO).
Effective customer journey orchestration can improve customer experience and business outcomes in real-time by taking the most relevant interactions in the context of each customer's goals and overall experience. Those goals and that experience will vary, of course, from customer to customer. Knowing the customer and understanding where they are on their journey is the first step to connecting the dots between awareness, intent, conversion, and, eventually, loyalty.
Journey Orchestration does it all in one place
One huge benefit of Journey Orchestration is that the customer journey is now being orchestrated across a series of platforms. All the data is in one place, accessed through easy-to-use interfaces – WYSIWYG rather than code. What’s more, it features “closed loop” reporting. You don’t have one set of reporting on marketing automation metrics like email delivery and click-through rates and another set of reporting on purchase. We bundle it together and more. Relevant dashboards and AI-driven guidance come together to show brands what’s happening and give them actionable insights.
You cannot orchestrate a journey effectively if you’re trying to track it across a series of disjointed systems. A customer sees an ad on Facebook, visits the website, abandons a shopping cart – you need to see all this activity in one place. Our system is designed to give you the marketer confidence to create that journey from the first touch all the way to becoming a loyal customer. And we know, when this is done well, it accelerates the time from first awareness to loyalty.
Three reasons to orchestrate the customer journey
First, if your competitors are doing it and you’re not, it puts your brand in a bad spot. Maybe you’re showing content or products that are not relevant, you’re reaching customers at the wrong time with the wrong message. If your competitors are using orchestration tools and a best-in-class CDP like Data Platform, they’re solving all those problems around the right people, right message, right time and right channel.
Second, customer journeys vary dramatically in terms of complexity length. One example is furniture: the time from awareness to intent to conversion can stretch from 30 to 40, even 60 days. Maybe you did an excellent job with a personalized email, making someone aware of new products, but if you do not follow through and nurture them, you leave them hanging.
What is more, you need to do the right kind of nurturing. Consider the different journeys taken by a customer booking a business trip versus a customer booking a vacation for their family. The first example, the customer typically takes 72 hours or less time to make a decision on their booking, the customer booking a family vacation might take six months to research before they decide to purchase. If you are in the hotel, airline or rental car business, there is a huge benefit to knowing the journey the customer is on. If you know who your customer is, and what they are looking for, you know the right messages to follow up with and the right cadence for sending them.
Third, it’s an opportunity to chart journeys that are both intricate and compelling. While some of our competitors are focused exclusively on the digital aspects of the journey, ODP connects not just digital data, but the entire range of customer information including, for example, brick-and-mortar engagement, loyalty and customer service. That creates amazing opportunities – like including loyalty information in an email to accelerate the path to conversion. If you’re still relying on separate marketing automation and customer data systems, you’ll have to find a way to pipe all this data from the CDP to the marketing automation system for execution – even if it can handle all those diverse types of data. ODP, because it’s integrated directly with Journey Orchestration, allows the data to flow smoothly through.
It’s a money-saver too
It may not be obvious that effective Journey Orchestration can save money. It absolutely can. For example, you won’t be making offers or showing discounts to every customer on your list. You’ll be able to identify and target customers who fit particular profiles – for example, they’re in the “win-back zone.”
In other words, not only can you use Data Platform and Journey Orchestration to increase revenue by being smarter about your marketing and accelerating that time from awareness to conversion and loyalty, you can also use it to identify and curtail unnecessary spend. It’s another huge way to increase ROI, both overall and on specific channels.
You can add new channels
A few years ago, SMS was a channel for conveying transactional information like order confirmations. That is no longer the case. It’s now an important marketing channel, especially for millennials and Gen Z. Instead of adopting yet another new system to manage something like SMS, OJO allows you to add new channels as they become relevant and viable for your brand.
This is vital for reaching customers who may have visited your website a year ago and haven’t returned but are present on other channels. At last, with OJO, you can bring Optimizely’s established personalization capabilities for the web to all the places your customers can be found. That goes for Optimizely’s experimentation capabilities, too. You can now run experiments within OJO on email, SMS and other channels and reach a much wider audience.
It’s high time marketers were able to say, “What’s next with that data?” – to know that they can do something relevant with it – and be confident in the data, the messages and the results. It’s time for Optimizely Journey Orchestration.