You’ve taken a customer on a journey using email and cookies-based online marketing and it ended, as you hoped it would, with that person purchasing a pair of jeans from your ecommerce store. Your goal was to make a sale and you succeeded.

The next day, the customer was served the same ad for the same jeans that they bought yesterday. A few days after that they received a promotional email from your business containing a 50 percent off offer, for jeans. The magic is over. The customer is annoyed and now remembers a negative brand experience.

But you made that sale. You succeeded, right?

Consistency is key with the customer journey, but today that means so much more than it did even one year ago. New technologies including artificial intelligence allow us a far greater understanding of our customers, their motivations and their behaviour. But still, very few organisations are getting personalised marketing right in terms of consistency.

Here are five essential ingredients:

1. Figure out how to measure success

Of course the basic purpose of every campaign must be to increase revenue, but how? Is it about advocacy? Is it increasing an individual’s conversion rate? Are you hoping for app downloads to make future communication and data analysis easier? Are you onboarding somebody, teaching them about your brand? Is it an abandoned cart journey, or do you want them to sign up for a course?

Be very clear about the specific goal of the campaign and how you might measure success. But, as with the above example, don't allow that goal to override the fact that you’re managing a full relationship with a customer, not just a single interaction.

2. Don’t let big fish get away

If a very high-value customer doesn’t open an email from you, are they simply dropping off your radar while you focus on those who did open the email?

If so, you’re missing an opportunity to connect. You might send a different communication, perhaps via social or SMS, or serve specific ads, all with a personalised message. Or you might want your customer service centre to get in touch.

Is the channel you use to communicate with a specific customer reflecting their importance to the brand? In the first place, why did you send a high-value customer the same email that you sent to everyone else?

3. Put the cookies down; create personalised journeys

Cookies have been used to roughly personalise messaging, and they do a ‘rough’ job. It causes the jeans situation above, where a person will be served with ads for a week or two after they have made their purchase.

If you use cookies as an identifier the ad network knows a customer has been to a website and looked at a particular pair of shoes, so it will show them the same shoes again, not knowing whether they have purchased or not.

Using email as an identifier, the system knows where your customer went, what they looked at and what they purchased, so it excludes them from being served advertising for that product in the near future. Instead, it may instead recommend related products: a belt or socks to go with the new shoes.

4. Build a subscriber score

Do you know what each of your customers is worth? What do they purchase? Do they contact customer service? Have they engaged with an SMS or do they stick with email? Do they only purchase during sales?

Having all of this information and more in one place and building a subscriber score should help to determine all future interactions with a customer.

Most businesses target everyone who's purchased in the past 60 days because they're likely to purchase again. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we now have to think about the individual person, the individual channel and the individual content you're going to present to that person at the right time for them to engage.

5. Double down on the messaging

Use a content management tool that allows you to use the same personalised content in email, SMS, on social and in served ads.

A customer who sees an email might convert. A customer who sees an ad might convert. But one who sees both, with the same targeted messaging is 22 per cent more likely to purchase from you.

For a simple and clear demonstration of all I have discussed above and much more, take our Any Journey Seven-Day Challenge. Over seven days, it will present you with emails, ads, mobile messages, recommendations and more that the customer of your choice would see during a well-planned, targeted and personalised marketing journey.