In our last episode of the series we have spoken of the holy grail of Digital Marketing landscape and how this is deeply connected to the identity of our customers. So let’s try to recap for a moment what we need :
- all our customer data (web logs, app logs, purchases, calls, surveys,etc…) marked with same identity Id in order to proper assign every event to the same customer and we need this data to be collected in real/near real time.
- to define what are our targets (sales, customer satisfaction, market penetration,etc..) and define a strategy to reach those goals.
- To define the strategy we use the data collected at point 1 to identify the patterns that are leading to : high revenues customers, abandoned carts, poor reviews, good surveys,etc….
- Once our overall strategy (sales, discounts, promos, coupons, social,etc.. ) is defined we need to put this strategy in practice defining our customers journeys, for example look at this or this , so literally we have to define on each touch point (where), what and when some “actions” will happen, who will be the target of those actions and what are the subsequent “sub actions” or steps that automatically have to happen at every step of the journey.
- To produce on all the touch points the respective UI associated to the actions.
- To go back to Point 1, evaluate the new data and check if the strategy is working and if necessary take the corrective actions.
Now in an hypothetical “perfect world” we should be finished, but reality is much more complicated than that 🙂 .
In fact , while we can define journeys and customer segments, profiles and target audiences , we need some “binding” to happen between our defined journeys and the real touch points.
An example? Let’s assume we define a coupon/loyalty initiative, this only means a quite large list of system configurations and actions :
- Define the new coupon initiative in the loyalty system
- Define the budget allocated for those coupons and the limits associated
- Integrate the new coupons with the e-commerce in order to have them to be applied and accepted at order time
- Integrate the journey builder actions into the e-commerce in order to have the e-commerce UI display the promotion new look & feel
- Integrate into e-commerce UI engine journey builder sub-steps if any
- Tag properly all the consumer journey steps in order to collect back the data points of the journey
Now repeat this for the marketing campaign system that handles email, sms and notifications, repeat this for the call center,etc….
As you can imagine we need a single unified collection of products (identity,e-commerce, apps, crm, marketing email/sms, etc…) all connected by the same vendor and the “unified data collector system” to be also the customer journey builder , in fact we can reasonably understand if our strategies are effective only if we can observe on the very same tool if the journeys we designed are working or not (what if we define a journey of 12 steps and almost nobody goes after step 3 ? ).
I guess that if you look now on preferred search engine and do so basic research you will find at least 20+ vendors that are saying that they have this kind of combined solution in place.
In reality , even if we assume that all the 20+ vendors have all fantastic and well connected platforms, all the enterprises have already a gargantuan amount of systems already in place and you cannot “turn off” everything and start from the scratch.
At the same time even if you start from zero, often the cost and the lock in risk associated with ALL IN ONE solutions are so high that you can anyway end up going to think about a Lego approach.
So what is our recommendation here ?
The right approach can be perhaps neither build or buy , I call it smart integration.
Smart integration means the following:
- Define your own MML : marketing markup language
- From the central data repository define the personalized MML journey for each customer
- Write this MML journey on the identity of each customer
- Build/Configure on all the touch points the functionality needed to read the MML journey (leverage first the customer device/browser to perform the integration) from the identity itself ,translate that in meaningful actions on that specific touch point (email template on marketing automation, call center Next Best Action on the CRM, etc…)
- Collect all the data and evaluate , correct and start again 🙂
An example of MML?
You can start simply with something like this:
Now if you want to create a unified MML definition for the main strategies and touch points , I think it would be a fantastic idea and for sure a very successful start up!