Here’s a step-by-step guide for marketers to build-out a best practice omni-channel customer journey.
Right place, right time, right message — it’s nirvana for every marketer, but few brands have cracked it. Why?
Only recently have marketers been able to unify and execute across all customer touchpoints with ease, thanks to the introduction of next best action journey orchestration tools. But, more importantly, for the less technical marketers — how do you create the right marketing strategy to deliver a truly omni-channel digital experience?
Well, marketers, huddle your team around the whiteboard, here’s a step-by-step guide to build out a best practice omni-channel customer journey.
1. Start with a goal
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask — what is the number one thing you want them to do? This could be as simple as, I want them to make a second purchase or as comprehensive as I want them to complete their customer profile and refer three friends within a month. This end-goal is the basis of your journey and ultimately tracks performance and success.
2. Set some KPIs
Define key performance indicators (KPIs) and how you’ll measure them. Many marketers make the mistake of not setting up adequate tracking for their journey, then find it almost impossible to measure return on investment (ROI).
3. Create your key messages
Omni-channel journeys differ from a traditional step-by-step journey. They’re designed around a progression of messages you’d like the customer to receive, regardless of what channel they’re receiving it on. The next step is to define those messages. However, each customer is different and may drop into and out of the journey at any time, or skip a message if it’s not relevant. So, as you design a linear progression, consider what customer experiences will be unique to them.
4. Choose the appropriate channels
Omni-channel isn’t about contacting your customer on every channel possible. It’s about connecting with customers on the channels they prefer to interact on. To do this, you must add a layer of intelligence to your strategy. A lot of this will be driven by the inbuilt omni-channel rules of your orchestration engine, but it also needs a marketer’s touch. Some messages won’t be appropriate on certain channels, others will be expected on one channel first before moving across to your other channels. For example, a media-rich message won’t be as appropriate via SMS, as it would via email or push notification.
5. Define some key signals
Signals are data points you can collect from customers to drive decisions. This could be the customer’s engagement behavior, such as email clicks or pages browsed, their purchase history, or even second- or third-party data partnerships. Start by defining what signals are needed for each message, even if you don’t have access to them today.
6. Set some rules
Rules, much like decision points in prescriptive customer journeys, are what powers a customer’s progression through a journey. These rules are used to dictate when a customer may see a message, or perhaps when they may not and skip to the next message. Begin by setting some fairly simple rules for each message, then adjusting and adding to them as time goes on, as you learn from your journey’s performance.
7. Tie it all together
That’s the fun creative part out of the way, now it’s time to document the journey and scope the build requirements. There’s no one size fits all approach to this. Some marketers break it down into a technical blueprint, others visualize it in a schematic. The key here is to think — if I’ve never seen this design before, would I be able to understand it?
If you’re new to this, start with a focused use case. Get it up and running, test it and learn. Repeat. Before you know it you’ll be an omni-channel journey master!
Looking for more guidance on this topic? Watch our on-demand webinar 5 Strategies for Omni-Channel Marketing Success