It’s the Journey Not the DestinationProduct Highlights

It’s the Journey Not the Destination

Author:JINGdigital
9 MIN READJul 24, 2020The heart and soul of marketing automation is the Customer Journey. It may be called by different names on different platforms — Journey Builder (Salesforce), Marketing Orchestration (Eloqua), Workflows (Hubspot) — but the idea is the same: give marketers the tools to create scripted series of automated actions to engage the customer. So what is this thing and what can it really do for marketers? A Short History of the Customer JourneyCustomer Journey seem essential now, but they are actually a recent addition to the marketing mix. It’s worth remembering that the idea of customer journeys grew out of the customer experience movement of the 1980s. The customer experience movement itself happened when companies realized that their products and services could no longer compete on price and proximity alone. Not even brand was enough to move the needle. Something else was needed on which to differentiate and that thing was: the customer. This initiated a sea change. Marketing moved from message centered to customer centered. Throughout the 1990s, companies won by providing great customer experience. No matter whether it was in B2C or B2B, the customer really was king. Then in the late ’90s the internet happened. All of the sudden, the number of channels and touchpoints multiplied. But even worse for brands, the power of defining the customer experience was wrenched out of their hands and put in the hands of consumers via social media. Suddenly there were user reviews aggregators and KOL machines and private traffic pools. There was email and SMS and direct messaging – a real mess! The challenge of delivering great customer experience became staggeringly complex. The customer went from king to an unruly mob. Customer experience would never again be something dictated unilaterally by the company. Rather it would be a dance, a tango, a 合作 between brands and fans. The better you knew your customers, the deeper your relationship with them and the more long-term value you created. These are not empty words. Harvard Business Review carried out a landmark study which demonstrated these two ground-shaking truths: It is 5-25x more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one Lifting customer retention by 5% improves profitability by 25-95% And that is where marketers of today find themselves. Marketing has flipped from being mainly outbound to almost exclusively inbound. It went from yang to yin. It’s no longer about hammering the customer with your message, but throwing out the bait, letting the customer find you and when they bite, be ready with the right content in the right sequence to drive to conversion. As a consequence, marketing department portfolios have proliferated to include CRM capabilities and sales enablement KPIs and NPS responsibility. They manage ecommerce and brand while producing content and building data anaylsis expertise. In short, they do almost everything, play a critical role in almost every process, have crossfunctional relationships acrosas the entire org. After all, customer engagement is everywhere. The challenges and the opportunities for savvy marketers has never been greater. So what does all this mean for the humble Customer Journey?The  Customer Journey is your secret weapon, your 杀手锏 in the war for attention. It is your personal assistant quietly carrying out critical tasks 24 hours a day seven days a week never asking a day off, never complaining. The Customer Journey is quickly becoming the primary way marketing professionals manage customer engagement wherever it takes place.  Buyer beware: Not all Customer Journey are the sameAlmost all martech platforms claim to have some sort of Customer Journey tool. They all broadly claim to do the same things and most marketers simply don’t bother to read the fine print. As always, the devil is in the details. Here are 7 questions you should ask when evaluating a Customer Journey tool:1. What content can it manipulate?Sure it can handle 图文,模板消息,文本, H5外联 and 图片, but can it also send chatbots,小程序,卡劵,视频 and even 动态菜单? 2. How many channels can it activate?Aside from Wechat, can it also incorporate SMS, email and even Wechat Work? 3. How many different ways can a journey be activated?Scan a QR code to launch a journey? That’s standard stuff. But how about triggering a journey by updating a field value, completing a form, closing a miniprogram or entering a 群组? That’s next-level Jedi stuff. 4. Can it connect into other systems?Very few Customer Journey tools are sophisticated enough to connect into other company systems such as data warehouse or member program or 客服系统. Not connecting means locking yourself into a commitment that won’t grow with your company. 5. Is it real-time?If a vendor ever tells you: “T+1 is good enough”, run away. The speed of social China is measure in seconds not hours. Wechat themselves in a recent 公开课图文 reported that you had 5 minutes after a fans followed you to grab their attention. 5 minutes. 6. How granular can it get?This one is almost always overlooked by brands until it is far too late. A classic example is segmenting your welcome journey based on acquisition scenarios. For example you want to tailor your Welcome Journey for followers acquired in stores versus followers acquired at offline events versus followers from Wechat search. Not as easy as it sounds. If you can’t partition your 群组条件 with absolute confidence, you’ll end up doing more harm than good. 7. What kind of analytics can you get?How many started? How many finished? Can you see the drop off at each node? Can you build a funnel to visualize your journey success metrics? Can you filter the data for different time period? All critical questions. 8. Last but not least – is it easy to use?Powerful tools are rarely user friendly. Unless you have the luxury of an agency at your beck and call, you need to consider this. Will you actually be able to use it? Will you want to use it? In this case, no need to read the fine print, ask for a demo! JINGsocial Journey 2.0 ticks all of the above boxes. Only the most advanced marketing automation software in the world can deliver the capabilities we can deliver, and the ones that can match us in performance have three fatal flaws: they are locked outside the Firewall, they don’t include Wechat, and they are ridiculously expensive. And now for a little practical adviceWe have been empowering companies big and small with Customer Journey Marketing Automation for 5 years now and we’ve learned a few things over that time. Here are the Customer Journey that work almost every time:1. Welcome JourneyThe first 48 hours are key. Use the Welcome Journey to carry out pre-binding by getting the 手机号, establish preferences, figure out where they are in the buying journey, and, of course, introduce your brand personality. 2. Member Binding journeyWhen the follower is ready to take it a step further, launch them into the Member Binding journey. Get their PII and link their transactional data with their social behavioral data. Introduce them to the many benefits of membership. 3. Ecommerce re-targeting journey70% of e-commerce shopping cart are abandoned. That’s a staggering amount. That’s where Ecommrce Re-targeting comes into play. If you can claw back even 10% of that, you are officially the company hero. We’ve seen our clients be able to win back up to 25% of abandoned carts using smart re-targeting journeys. 4. Upsell and re-purchase journeyOnce you’ve secured the all-important purchase, the battle for retention is just beginning. Set up a journey to introduce upsell opportunities, enlarge the deal. Combine that with a journey based on the re-purchase period. Turn a one-night stand into a life-time commitment. 5. Birthday Reminder journeyLifecycle Marketing is the secret sauce. Only companies that really know their customers can do it well. The classic example is the birthday greeting. Sending a birthday greeting is certainly one way to do it, but why not do like one of our hospitality clients and create a special birthday deal or do like one of our luxury retail clients and promote a product themed with the customer’s zodiac sign? The sky is really the limit with JINGsocial Customer Journey tool. One client of ours built an entire online game with it. One rule of thumb – your Wechat followers should all be in a journey or some kind at any given time. Your company goals don’t have an expiration date. Neither should your marketing strategy. Conclusion: The Customer Journey grew out of the customer experience movement of the 1980s. It is an essential tool in managing the fragmented nature of the modern customer experience Not all Customer Journey tools are built to the same specifications. Read the fine print to avoid surprises. There are a set of Customer Journey which are almost guaranteed to bring results no matter what industry you are in.

The heart and soul of marketing automation is the Customer Journey. It may be called by different names on different platforms — Journey Builder (Salesforce), Marketing Orchestration (Eloqua), Workflows (Hubspot) — but the idea is the same: give marketers the tools to create scripted series of automated actions to engage the customer.

 

So what is this thing and what can it really do for marketers?

 

A Short History of the Customer Journey

Customer Journey seem essential now, but they are actually a recent addition to the marketing mix. It’s worth remembering that the idea of customer journeys grew out of the customer experience movement of the 1980s. The customer experience movement itself happened when companies realized that their products and services could no longer compete on price and proximity alone. Not even brand was enough to move the needle. Something else was needed on which to differentiate and that thing was: the customer.

 

This initiated a sea change. Marketing moved from message centered to customer centered. Throughout the 1990s, companies won by providing great customer experience. No matter whether it was in B2C or B2B, the customer really was king.

 

Then in the late ’90s the internet happened.

 

All of the sudden, the number of channels and touchpoints multiplied. But even worse for brands, the power of defining the customer experience was wrenched out of their hands and put in the hands of consumers via social media. Suddenly there were user reviews aggregators and KOL machines and private traffic pools. There was email and SMS and direct messaging – a real mess! The challenge of delivering great customer experience became staggeringly complex. The customer went from king to an unruly mob.

 

Customer experience would never again be something dictated unilaterally by the company. Rather it would be a dance, a tango, a 合作 between brands and fans. The better you knew your customers, the deeper your relationship with them and the more long-term value you created. These are not empty words. Harvard Business Review carried out a landmark study which demonstrated these two ground-shaking truths:

  1. It is 5-25x more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one
  2. Lifting customer retention by 5% improves profitability by 25-95%

 

And that is where marketers of today find themselves. Marketing has flipped from being mainly outbound to almost exclusively inbound. It went from yang to yin. It’s no longer about hammering the customer with your message, but throwing out the bait, letting the customer find you and when they bite, be ready with the right content in the right sequence to drive to conversion.

 

As a consequence, marketing department portfolios have proliferated to include CRM capabilities and sales enablement KPIs and NPS responsibility. They manage ecommerce and brand while producing content and building data anaylsis expertise. In short, they do almost everything, play a critical role in almost every process, have crossfunctional relationships acrosas the entire org. After all, customer engagement is everywhere. The challenges and the opportunities for savvy marketers has never been greater.

 

So what does all this mean for the humble Customer Journey?

The  Customer Journey is your secret weapon, your 杀手锏 in the war for attention. It is your personal assistant quietly carrying out critical tasks 24 hours a day seven days a week never asking a day off, never complaining. The Customer Journey is quickly becoming the primary way marketing professionals manage customer engagement wherever it takes place.

Journey

 

 Buyer beware: Not all Customer Journey are the same

Almost all martech platforms claim to have some sort of Customer Journey tool. They all broadly claim to do the same things and most marketers simply don’t bother to read the fine print. As always, the devil is in the details. Here are 7 questions you should ask when evaluating a Customer Journey tool:

1. What content can it manipulate?

Sure it can handle 图文,模板消息,文本, H5外联 and 图片, but can it also send chatbots,小程序,卡劵,视频 and even 动态菜单?

content

 

2. How many channels can it activate?
Aside from Wechat, can it also incorporate SMS, email and even Wechat Work?

 

3. How many different ways can a journey be activated?
Scan a QR code to launch a journey? That’s standard stuff. But how about triggering a journey by updating a field value, completing a form, closing a miniprogram or entering a 群组? That’s next-level Jedi stuff.

 

4. Can it connect into other systems?
Very few Customer Journey tools are sophisticated enough to connect into other company systems such as data warehouse or member program or 客服系统. Not connecting means locking yourself into a commitment that won’t grow with your company.

 

5. Is it real-time?
If a vendor ever tells you: “T+1 is good enough”, run away. The speed of social China is measure in seconds not hours. Wechat themselves in a recent 公开课图文 reported that you had 5 minutes after a fans followed you to grab their attention. 5 minutes.

 

6. How granular can it get?
This one is almost always overlooked by brands until it is far too late. A classic example is segmenting your welcome journey based on acquisition scenarios. For example you want to tailor your Welcome Journey for followers acquired in stores versus followers acquired at offline events versus followers from Wechat search. Not as easy as it sounds. If you can’t partition your 群组条件 with absolute confidence, you’ll end up doing more harm than good.

 

7. What kind of analytics can you get?
How many started? How many finished? Can you see the drop off at each node? Can you build a funnel to visualize your journey success metrics? Can you filter the data for different time period? All critical questions.

message

 

8. Last but not least – is it easy to use?

Powerful tools are rarely user friendly. Unless you have the luxury of an agency at your beck and call, you need to consider this. Will you actually be able to use it? Will you want to use it? In this case, no need to read the fine print, ask for a demo!

demo

 

JINGsocial Journey 2.0 ticks all of the above boxes. Only the most advanced marketing automation software in the world can deliver the capabilities we can deliver, and the ones that can match us in performance have three fatal flaws: they are locked outside the Firewall, they don’t include Wechat, and they are ridiculously expensive.

 

And now for a little practical advice

We have been empowering companies big and small with Customer Journey Marketing Automation for 5 years now and we’ve learned a few things over that time. Here are the Customer Journey that work almost every time:

1. Welcome Journey

The first 48 hours are key. Use the Welcome Journey to carry out pre-binding by getting the 手机号, establish preferences, figure out where they are in the buying journey, and, of course, introduce your brand personality.

 

2. Member Binding journey

When the follower is ready to take it a step further, launch them into the Member Binding journey. Get their PII and link their transactional data with their social behavioral data. Introduce them to the many benefits of membership.

 

3. Ecommerce re-targeting journey

70% of e-commerce shopping cart are abandoned. That’s a staggering amount. That’s where Ecommrce Re-targeting comes into play. If you can claw back even 10% of that, you are officially the company hero. We’ve seen our clients be able to win back up to 25% of abandoned carts using smart re-targeting journeys.

 

4. Upsell and re-purchase journey

Once you’ve secured the all-important purchase, the battle for retention is just beginning. Set up a journey to introduce upsell opportunities, enlarge the deal. Combine that with a journey based on the re-purchase period. Turn a one-night stand into a life-time commitment.

 

5. Birthday Reminder journey

Lifecycle Marketing is the secret sauce. Only companies that really know their customers can do it well. The classic example is the birthday greeting. Sending a birthday greeting is certainly one way to do it, but why not do like one of our hospitality clients and create a special birthday deal or do like one of our luxury retail clients and promote a product themed with the customer’s zodiac sign?

 

The sky is really the limit with JINGsocial Customer Journey tool. One client of ours built an entire online game with it. One rule of thumb – your Wechat followers should all be in a journey or some kind at any given time. Your company goals don’t have an expiration date. Neither should your marketing strategy.

 

Conclusion:

  • The Customer Journey grew out of the customer experience movement of the 1980s.
  • It is an essential tool in managing the fragmented nature of the modern customer experience
  • Not all Customer Journey tools are built to the same specifications. Read the fine print to avoid surprises.
  • There are a set of Customer Journey which are almost guaranteed to bring results no matter what industry you are in.