Cheryl Yeung, Digital Marketing Strategy Consultant at Incloud
Perhaps one of the comments I hear most frequently as a digital strategist, is how overwhelming it is to map a customer’s journey. Believe me, I get it.
There’s a lot of work and planning that goes into understanding how a customer interacts with you; and this supposed “map”, with all its paths, decisions and groupings, well, it’s kind of like navigating New York for the first time and trying to figure out how to get from Queens to Brooklyn, isn’t it?
I guess that’s why you’re here right now, you want an easier way to get started.
So let’s begin.
If you’re reading this article right now, I’m going to assume you have a basic understanding of customer journeys and customer lifecycles, but let’s quickly summarize.
A customer journey is a visual representation of your customer’s interaction with your brand.
Why is it important?
Well, it’s a way for you to understand your customers, their needs and their pain points, and enables you to make changes to improve customer experience.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “why do I need to pay for Salesforce Marketing Cloud to do that?
I’ve been mapping it out on sticky notes in a conference room for years, and it has worked just fine”, and while I’m usually a proponent of pen and paper, when you’re working with many profile types, paths and touchpoints that are consistently changing, having it on a shareable digital medium, is a worthy investment.
So why Salesforce Marketing Cloud?
1. Content Builder: with its drag and drop features, it has never been easier to create email content.
When I first started my career in email marketing, I had to learn to code. Every email would take 10+ hours, and we certainly weren’t able to pump out an email every week.
Gone are those days. Now, with Marketing Cloud’s Content Builder, writing text is as intuitive as using Microsoft Word, and building a button is as simple as dragging the button component to the email and resizing it.
But what Marketing Cloud really shines in, is e-mail personalization.
Creating customized content for specific audiences can be easily done through filters, allowing me to directly address a customer’s wants and needs with ease.
2. Journey Builder is incredibly easy to use and intuitive.
Perhaps the most overwhelming part of building a customer journey is organizing the many paths and decision splits a customer could take.
With journey builder’s visual organization, easy data segmentation, and drag and drop capabilities, building customer journeys become much more manageable. I mean, it’s pretty much like taking a post-it and moving it around.
3. Ad Studio Integration
As a digital strategist, one of the questions I find myself asking my clients the most is, “what happens when a customer unsubscribes from your emails?”. Often, I find customers answer with “we haven’t gotten that far yet”.
Let me tell you, that is a huge missed opportunity. With the rise of social media, ads are just as important and as easy to incorporate as email.
With journey builder, you can create touchpoints for ads within your customer journey.
For example, after an email is sent out, you can set an engagement split for those who clicked unsubscribe.
Create an audience with those subscribers, and market them through Facebook and put them into a Winback journey.
That way, even though you’ve lost them through email, you haven’t fully lost contact with them.
4. SMS integration
Believe it or not, SMS is a rising medium for both commercial and transactional emails, and I have been seeing more and more companies incorporating SMS Into their marketing plans.
As a strategist, I would say that the more avenues you have, the better your return.
Have subscription options for both email and SMS, and incorporate both mediums into your journey.
That way, you’re sure to not miss anyone.
5. With Einstein, you basically let your customer journey run and let AI do its thing.
Einstein has been a true game changer. What once used to be several hours of analyses and customer segmentation, is now a quick click of a button.
Through AI, Einstein determines your different customer profiles, analyzes your customers’ behaviours, and gives advice on successful email content and effective send times.
6. Data is easy to read and analyze.
No customer journey would be effective without data analytics.
How well did your campaign do?
How many subscribers went through your whole journey?
How many people unsubscribed?
With Journey Builder, you can analyze each path and touchpoint, allowing you to improve upon your journey and build a better relationship with your customers.