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Data Maturity Roadmap Tier 2: Orchestrating Journeys from a Unified View of the Customer

This is Part 2 in our series on maturity to data-led marketing, following our marketer Anna as she follows our roadmap from a state of scattered, inaccessible data to having full control over her organization’s customer data. Get up to speed by reading Part 1.

As we continue Anna’s journey from last week, we’re reminded that marketers who are ready for Tier 2 of the Data Maturity Roadmap have already done the hard work required in Tier 1, so they’re starting this part of the journey in a far better position than they were in not all that long before.

Our marketer friend Anna has begun the process of centering her marketing strategy on her database. She’s invested in tools like MessageGears that help her to do that, and she’s starting to do smart things with her live, real-time data. She’s recognized the problems inherent in copying and shipping her data up to her ESP’s cloud, and her customers are beginning to have a better experience because of the steps she’s taken in the right direction.

If Anna’s ready to take the next step, what does that look like? Remember, the Data Maturity Roadmap is a marathon, not a sprint. There’s no need to put the gas all the way to the floor in the beginning. So, let’s look at where to go next.

Building a Customer 360

Now that Anna has moved forward with getting connected to her live, real-time customer data as she builds her campaigns, the next step is to start taking advantage of her newfound direct access in order to gain a deeper, more holistic understanding of customer touch points across all channels in their purchase journey.

Before taking this step, data silos have been getting in Anna’s way. Transactional data is stored in one database, while behavioral data sits elsewhere. In-store transactions go into another database that she has no access to at all, making identity resolution a huge challenge for her CDP. Meanwhile, her CDP doesn’t connect into her database, so she’s working with stale data in a lot of cases after she was told that the connection would work perfectly.

While the ideal state is to have all their data consolidated in a modern data warehouse, that probably isn’t a “Now” solution for Anna. Getting all that disparate data into one place is going to take a significant investment of money and time, and it’s not going to happen right away. But she doesn’t need to do all that to get the benefits of a Customer 360 view. What she needs is a tool that connects directly to her database and CDP, removing the barriers that stand between the two. This allows for identity resolution that gives her the full view of each customer, enabling her to send communications tailored specifically to their individual needs and behavior.

A major Quick-Serve Restaurant chain had similar challenges, but MessageGears Segment connected directly to their modern data warehouse (Amazon Redshift) and their CDP (Treasure Data) to give them a complete view of how their customers were engaging with their brand, both in store and online. And with third-party orchestration, MessageGears Segment uses behavioral flows to determine where customers get their messages. If a customer doesn’t open an email, you can easily activate them on another channel, enhancing the customer experience and greatly increasing conversion rates.

Start live cross-channel messaging

Not only has Anna been dealing with silos with her data, but also among her messaging channels. If she wants to build campaigns for email, mobile push, and SMS, she has to build each one out separately and in a parallel fashion. Because they’re not built in the same workflow, they can’t talk to each other, meaning customers often receive the same message on multiple channels if she’s not sure where to send it. This makes it look like Anna has multiple teams that don’t know what the other is doing, and she hasn’t figured out how to fix the problem.

She has options, though. What she needs is a customer marketing platform that can connect directly to her database, providing her with a full view of each recipient. Instead of separate, siloed workflows for each channel, she’d be able to do it all in one visual journey builder. This would enable her to send true cross-channel campaigns, built in one visual journey builder, rather than in separate siloed workflows. Doing so would give her the ability to use a single campaign to tailor the message to the channel that stands the best chance of being seen and acted upon by her customer, eliminating the problem of disjointed messaging between multiple channels.

With MessageGears Message, a major jewelry brand has been able to set up combined email and SMS cross-channel workflows that take customer preferences and behavior into account because MessageGears’ direct data connection is capable of bringing all the customer data together to better understand each individual and connect them to their behavior. This has resulted in higher email open and click rates, in addition to significantly improved performance and connectivity to Google BigQuery, their data warehouse of record.

Begin moments-based marketing

Not only does the customer expect their experience to be seamless across messaging channels, but also from different brand-controlled channels like the website and app. And that’s been Anna’s next hurdle to overcome headed onto Tier 2. She’s found no way to get her website and app in sync for messaging, meaning customers get duplicate, contradictory, or irrelevant messages in both places. But because they’re not drawing directly from a single source of truth, they’re working with different sets of data, and customer loyalty takes a hit each time the messaging gets out of sync.

The simplest way to start moving in the right direction here is to combine a singular view of customer touch points in an always-available cache for easy, rapid API access in order to produce unified messaging at every level of the customer engagement with the brand. It’s crucial for Anna to remember that, with enterprise brands like hers, customers don’t see the app, desktop website, and mobile website as separate entities. They’re all part of the same brand experience, and she should be consistent in how she communicates.

MessageGears Engage is capable of filling this role, providing a cache for temporarily holding any data that’s needed — updated at whatever interval is best for the brand — and making it available via unlimited API calls.. A MessageGears customer that’s a top-10 U.S. retailer uses this technology to ensure the customer sees the same offer in the brand’s app that they see on the website, making the experience seamless throughout that journey and reinforcing the messaging the brand wants them to see.

Taking the next step

So, Anna has taken some big steps forward now. She’s torn down data silos and gained a full view of the customer by using MessageGears Segment in place of her CDP. She’s building sophisticated, cross-channel journeys instead of separate email/push/SMS campaigns that didn’t know what the others were doing. And she’s connected her website and app to the same centralized database, so they’re sending one unified set of messages and promotions to her customers no matter where they interact with her brand.

Now that she’s made it to Tier 2, seeing an end-to-end view within her organization of all customers and experiences, it’s time for her to start looking toward reaching the pinnacle of data maturity. Next week, we’ll look at Anna’s final tier, what it constitutes, and how you can get there with her.

About the Author

Jeff Haws

As MessageGears’ Senior Marketing Manager, Jeff is focused producing engaging and thoughtful content that resonates with enterprise marketers, helping them to better understand how MessageGears makes their jobs easier. He’s passionate about understanding the way data impacts messaging, and he’s also hopelessly obsessed with baseball.