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Customer journeys In Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Making a more relevant experience


Like a tree falling in an empty forest with no one around to hear, even the most perfectly crafted marketing message isn’t going to be noticed unless it reaches the right audience at the right time. So, how do you know who the right audience is and when they need to hear the right message? By understanding the customer journey and ensuring shoppers receive messaging and content relevant to their stage within the journey.

The stages along the customer journey – awareness, consideration, and conversion – result in customers wanting different information. Without the right data and systems, retailers will have an incredibly difficult time aligning the right content with the right customers.

Thankfully, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is built with the customer journey in mind. With a straightforward visual wizard, the Journey Builder tool in Salesforce Marketing Cloud simplifies the creation and automation of customer journeys and does so without requiring coding. This allows the marketing team to work independently on their own schedule as the commerce strategy evolves to stay in tune with customer’s wants and desires. This post will take a look at how the tool works and the value it delivers to retailers.

What is a Customer Journey in Marketing Cloud?

In the Marketing Cloud vernacular, customer journey is just that – where, how, and when you intersect your campaign with the digital lives of your customers. More specifically, a customer journey can be described as a communications campaign – including email and mobile messaging – that reinforces your brand and travels with your customer to ensure they receive messaging relevant to their behavior. This can be anything from welcoming a new shopper to your brand to re-engaging with an inactive customer. Each stage of the journey can include a different customer communication and provides for customers to traverse more than one journey at a single time.

How does a Customer Journey work?

Using the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journey Builder wizard, you can combine a wide-range of data to finely craft the steps in the journey and what content is delivered to the customer at each step. Critical analytic data such as customer engagement score, customer purchase history, or customer account creation date are selected to define which customers enter a particular journey and when they do. For each step in the journey, you define what content is delivered to customers at that point in the journey which can include sending an email or analyzing and using level of customer engagement. This is performed in the Journey Builder by dragging assets in the wizard into the visual representation of the journey. Based on engagement conditions, steps can route customers to a different branch of the journey or remove them from the journey entirely.

For example, let’s make a journey welcoming visitors that sign up for our email list. First, we need to set conditions that create a new account upon sign-up and immediately insert the new account into the welcome journey.

Next, we would configure the first communication. This could be an offer like an exclusive “welcome” coupon code or an invitation to add additional information to the customer’s user profile which would provide you with more information on what interests them the most. Based on the customer response to the first communication, the customer could automatically be moved to the next stage of their journey. This can be determined by many factors such as whether the email was opened, whether or not the coupon was used, whether or not the profile was updated in response to the email, etc. This allows you granular control over each waypoint in the journey and provides insight into customer behavior and reaction to digital messaging.

Journeys can be set up for different campaigns and tactics, such as re-engaging inactive past customers. Once a defined amount of time has passed between their most recent purchase or communication engagement, these past customers would be automatically entered into the re-engagement journey. Next, they would be sent a personalized enticement message with a limited time coupon or a message highlighting potential items of interest according to their purchase history. Then, based on the customer behavior, the customer could exit the journey or be sent another enticement message all according to their expected behavior patterns which you know best.

An especially important capability is that the content of the communications and offers can be customized and personalized given the customer’s previous behaviors or segmentation data. This enables marketers to design specific, articulate campaigns that deliver the most relevant content on an individualized level.

These are just a couple of examples to provide you with ideas on how to maximize customer interaction with automatic custom customer journeys to tune your reach to where your customer lives today. Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder tool provides you the control to guide your customers to your product offerings and maintain the level of engagement needed to reinforce your brand and drive increases in sales. The tool provides a great level of flexibility while removing the time and expense for IT developers to do it for you. Steps in the journey are customized for each customer by simply dragging and dropping content into the journey flow with the visual wizard app. This allows for better responsiveness to your customers’ needs as you can make changes whenever needed to continue to customize the reach to your customers.

The Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Journey Builder tools allow you to send digital messaging with confidence they will be heard.