by Kevin Lindsay
Many brands see journey-centric marketing as the engine of future success. It’s rare to get any push-back on the notion that customer journey management is the key to satisfying customers’ expectations of an ever-better experience. Compared to 2019, almost twice as many customers think businesses need to improve customer experience.
Executives are sold on the ideal — a customer journey management strategy that flattens organizational silos and disrupts the current channel mindset, facilitating seamless and connected end-to-end experiences throughout the customer lifecycle. But the enthusiasm for immediately hitting the trail is muted. Campaign teams are efficient, skilled, and rewarded for their undeniable success. Are we to give that up for something we don’t yet know how to do? How does our brand thrive as we labor through the customer journey learning curve?
As we look at brands that are having success with customer journey management, we find answers to these questions. A few leaders have discovered how to overcome what the industry has identified as the biggest obstacles to customer experience program success — organizational silos (55%), company culture (44%), and business processes (37%).
First, it’s not journeys or campaigns — it’s journeys and campaigns. Brands will always want to tell their story, launch new products, and promote events. So we will always have campaign-first marketing. Customer-first, journey-centric marketing will initially augment — then eventually transcend — the value of campaigns. But during this transition, your marketing engine can continue without interruption.
Second, there is no substitute for a coherent strategy endorsed by executive management, a strategy for customer value that is backed up by goals, objectives, metrics, and budget. It gets everyone in the company on the same page, shepherded by a dedicated team that coordinates the company-wide game plan and KPI progress. The strategy demonstrates that the organization is committed, which sets the stage for individuals and departments to act.
Finally, there are steps on the path to customer journey management that won’t disrupt your current marketing strategy. We call it the “One Customer Proof.” Tackle one really important customer journey, one use case, for one segment — a journey the whole brand can embrace. This one case will show you the path forward and generate enthusiasm and excitement across the organization. It will reveal the justification for all the subsequent effort and investment.
Let’s look at an example of how that plays out. We recently had the opportunity to work with the Customer Journey Center of Excellence for a global insurance company at one of their Australian entities. The goal of the CoE chief is to get everyone effectively using the company’s marketing technology to improve marketing results. Being more journey centric really resonated with them, but they were only beginning to feel their way forward. They had the idea to use customer journeys as a conduit to engage with individuals on a deeply meaningful level. Leveraging their expertise, they curated personalized content about relevant seasonal information, such as an informative page addressing the threat of wildfires. This endeavor became the catalyst for uniting multiple teams from various disciplines to collaborate. With a laser-like focus on the specific customer segment and use case, they constructed a dedicated journey team.
Throughout this transformative process, invaluable lessons were learned about the art of organizing around customer journeys. Challenges inevitably arose as the existing organizational structure had to adapt and evolve. This journey-centric approach introduced an entirely new workflow, challenging the traditional campaign construction methods. Technological tools were harnessed in unconventional ways as the team discovered fresh perspectives on accomplishing their work.
The insurance brand’s journey to becoming journey-centric provides a useful example of how to move forward on the path to customer journey management. By embarking on this adventure, they not only unlocked the transformative power of customer journeys but also shattered the boundaries of what was previously deemed possible. A key message from this leader — get started even if your organization hasn’t been redesigned for customer journeys. The organization will adapt as you go.
You can assess where your brand measures in terms of organizational readiness in addition to other key areas of measure, including customer data, content and design, omnichannel orchestration, and insights and experimentation using Adobe’s customer journey management maturity model.
Kevin Lindsay is a 25+ year tech industry veteran and currently leads product marketing for B2C customer journey management (CJM) at Adobe — including the industry-leading products Adobe Campaign and Adobe Journey Optimizer. Previously, Lindsay held product marketing and strategy roles in digital asset management (DAM), personalization, and testing/optimization at Adobe. Other stops on Lindsay’s tech marketing journey included the enterprise search space and ecommerce merchandising. Lindsay believes that modern, data-driven, and AI-powered CX strategies are key to delivering empathy and personalization at scale across the customer lifecycle.