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Unlocking the real marketing treasure together with MarTech

Robin van den Hoven
24 Nov 2022
capgemini-invent

Customers increasingly look for relevant and personalized engagement with brands. Therefore, CMOs need to cover the entire spectrum of customer preferences and needs and create a marketing strategy to orchestrate different channels and enhance the customer experience. MarTech is essential in delivering this end-to-end customer experience to our customers. Without it, it becomes impossible for marketing organizations to activate customers with the desired relevant and personalized content – real-time, 24/7 available. Think about it: can you hire enough people within your organization to deliver a personalized experience for every customer?

Due to evolving digital consumer habits and exponential growth in data, delivering engaging content becomes a never-ending activity. To keep captivating customers, it is essential to maintain content relevancy, quality, and consistency. A Customer-based content strategy lies at the start of making decisions about technologies to invest in. Companies that use content solutions can deliver in real-time and effectively at scale. But while doing this, it is always important to have clear goals and define who our target audience is and what we need to succeed. These are the ‘customer success factors’ for making better marketing technology decisions.

The starting point for any marketer is the customers and their needs. Marketers should establish customer profiles including “customer success factors” to best decide the approach to realize personalized and relevant engagement across various channels and touchpoints. By designing and deploying the right set of solutions and tools, marketing technology (MarTech) is used to understand those customer success factors what it is that customers want, why they want it and what they intend to do next. Martech enables interaction design, effectiveness measurement, and data-driven decision-making. All CMOS want the key to marketing’s treasure box: The right customer data to deliver real-time experiences. Well, you might have found the key; MarTech.

How do you translate ‘customer-centric’ objectives into the right tooling?

A customer-centric mindset across the organization makes it easier to make decisions, and adopt and implement the right underlying technology to embrace customer-centricity completely. We recognize four focus areas when it comes to Customer Experience Technology: Sales, Service, Commerce, and Marketing. Each with its purpose flows and often specific vendors that would be considered ‘best-in-class’ for that specific topic. Several years ago, they already promised that their solution would provide you with a 360 overview of your customers, but this was nothing more than a simple integration between the platform that shared some of the data among these applications. What we see at ‘best-in-class brands’ is that they can identify and categorize clients in specific segments; they know exactly what their clients want and when to push specific content that fulfills these needs. Next to that, we see that truly customer-centric companies are increasingly investing in two other types of applications.

  • Customer Data Platform
  • Journey Orchestration tool

The Customer Data Platform:  Omni-channel hyper-personalized customer experience

Organizations are facing rising customer needs. Customers demand 24/7 customer support and they have an increasing need for self-service. To fulfill these needs it becomes a necessity to keep up with the emergence of new sales and marketing channels. We understand that the rise of all those new channels such as web 3.0 channels or social commerce offers new challenges because the amount of data is increasing significantly. However, all this data also enables you to offer omnichannel hyper-personalized experiences, if used correctly. A tool that enables real-time, personalized customer experience is the Customer Data Platform (CDP). This can be seen as an open platform that stores all customer data and behavior into to single profile. This should not be confused with a classical Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, where you also store customer data; the difference between those systems is the type of data your store in it, but it also has a different purpose, architectural build-up, and set of functionalities. 

In a CRM, you typically keep a record of your customer with information such as name, address, email, and, based on the type of CRM, actions like a purchase or service-related information. In a CDP, you store everything a customer does, offline and online. In other words, you get insights into all touchpoints that generate or store customer data or event-related customer data. For example, page visits, clicks, loyalty transactions, store visits, email interactions, logins, etc. The possibilities are endless.

There are different versions of a CDP in the market, all with their minor differences, but they are open platforms that can connect to any type of data source to obtain its data, stitch it based on unique identifiers, and then combine it into one profile (and this time for real). CDP platforms usually differ in factors such as:

  • Number of box connectors to data sources and data destinations
  • Whether it only analyzes incoming data or also stores it in the platform
  • Ways of identity stitching
  • Pre-built intelligence
  • Dashboarding
  • GDPR

We recognize that CDPs are adopted heavily in B2C industries, yet in the B2B domain, we do not see many CDPs being implemented or used. The main reason why we see companies not yet considering a CDP is that they have built their platform, based on a data lake. These companies often lack the number of customer data-generating touchpoints, or they think there is no benefit in having a CDP when you are a B2B company. The first and second can be a valid reason, but a data lake that contains a consolidated overview of every customer interaction, which is accessible and real-time, are rare.  Less different customer touchpoints often mean collecting fewer customer data. Simply put, if there’s no data to stitch from different endpoints, the benefits are less. But since most companies have an app, website, and CRM it is often worth investing in a CDP.

Being a B2B company doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the journey more relevant or personalized or have all data and interactions of your customers centralized. With a CDP, B2B companies can better spot and qualify leads, reach the right audience via different touchpoints within a target company and form a better view of potential cross- and upsell possibilities.

Implementing a frictionless customer experience with the Journey Orchestration Tool

Marketing automation is about capturing opportunities and leads and then nurturing them with personalized content. This needs to be done throughout the customer journey and across different channels. We often see companies struggle with the orchestration of the whole customer journey. How do you connect emotionally throughout the customer journey to build long-lasting relationships with them – and enable your employees to give them a personalized experience across all interactions? A tool that might help is the journey orchestration tool. This technology enables marketers to use customer data (from the CDP) to orchestrate experiences for customers across channels in a frictionless way

Functionalities of a Journey Orchestration tool include email templates, journey builders with drag-and-drop functionalities, triggers, analytics, and API capabilities. In essence, the data you collect inside a CDP should be activated to all channels, including the ones you received the data from, based on the preferences of the customer.

Because you have collected the customer’s data and interactions centrally, you can analyze that data and use it to activate your customer. For example, you can send a promotion at the day and time the person is most likely to engage, through the channel (s)he prefers with content that is relevant based on previous purchases, online behavior, and other factors.

There are a few factors that we think are important to be present in a journey orchestration tool:

  • Being able to orchestrate real-time
  • Automate as much as possible to shift from traditional marketing to ‘always-on’
  • Should be able to connect to every customer touchpoint
  • Use intelligence to predict behavior or segment customers
  • Follow people through all steps in their journey and act upon that

What does it take to implement these tools?

Unfortunately, it is not always that easy to properly implement a CDP and Journey Orchestration Tooling. When going for such tooling, companies have often decided to go from being product-oriented to customer-oriented. This means that organizational change and technical implementation should go hand-in-hand; doing one without the other will most likely result in disappointing results, either because the tooling is not used to its full potential, or the adoption is not sufficient.

You are probably wondering how long it takes to implement this and how much it will cost you. The answer to that question is: “it depends”. It depends on many factors, like the number of data sources, integrations, existing applications (and whether there are standard connectors available), number of segments, the platform chosen, number of touchpoints to be integrated, number of use cases defined, and the complexity of the journeys. Even after the initial go-live, you will start a continuous optimization process where newly enabled use cases will generate more data that can be used to optimize other use cases.

Implementing this kind of tooling is rarely just a technical implementation. To make optimal use of it, you need to have your vision defined and look at the way your organization is structured and how different departments work together. Adopting an agile, data-driven test-and-learn approach lets you celebrate your successes, makes you learn from your failures, and creates curiosity to try out new things. It helps eliminate underutilized technology while expanding and adopting the use of your MarTech solutions. Only then can you make the most out of the tooling and potentially excel at delivering experiences.

Closure

All CMOS want the key to marketing’s treasure box: the right customer data to deliver real-time experiences. Because by unlocking the treasure box, you will be able to push highly personalized and relevant content to your consumers. Thus, being able to offer them an optimal customer experience. Investing in the adoption of technology by your organizations is essential to create value out of the tooling you have implemented. At the same time, CMOs are challenged to define a MarTech strategy that provides insights needed to increase agility, efficiency, and ROI. Embracing analytics and advanced technological solutions such as Customer Data Hubs and Journey Orchestration tools can provide actionable insights enabling us to quickly scale and execute media campaigns and pricing strategies to keep up with the high speed of changing customer needs and markets.

Are you ready to unlock the marketing treasures? There are many opportunities and ways to implement MarchTech into your organization, so if you are looking for where to start; feel free to get in contact with one of our colleagues or us.

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Our Experts

Robin van den Hoven

Digital Customer Experience Architect at Capgemini
I am a part of the Digital Customer Experience department in the Netherlands as a vendor and stack agnostic architect. Also acting as Subject Matter Expert within the Digital Center of Excellence. I deliver business value through pragmatic agnostic architecture across the digital domain by providing clearly phased road maps based on technology initiatives derived from the digital business strategy.

Frederike van de Water

Consultant Customer Transformation at frog,part of Capgemini Invent
Frederike is a marketing and Customer Experience expert. She has passion to help organizations switch from traditional ways of working to a focus on customer-centricity and how it impacts an organization’s governance, processes, culture & mindset.