Some friends of mine recently went on vacation to London and raved about The Tower of London. However, when I asked what they thought of the Crown Jewels exhibit, they said we did not see them because it was too expensive to go inside the Tower. They just saw it from the outside. So, despite spending thousands of dollars on flights and accommodation, this family was not willing to spend a little bit extra money for the full experience.
Why do I mention this story? In my opinion many companies are taking a similar approach to the customer experience. Marketing executives are willing to spend millions of dollars on digital marketing strategies. But marketing clouds are NOT enough to create a true holistic customer experience.
Why is that? Let’s consider some of the limitations of marketing cloud solutions:
Limitation 1 - At first glance, marketing clouds may seem all-encompassing; but in reality, they don’t cover all channels, especially the non-digital ones. In fact, research has shown that 90% of purchases are still conducted offline.
Limitation 2 – Even marketing clouds have data silos. For example, some marketing clouds have different solutions for different digital channels. One example is Adobe’s Marketing Cloud. To support Mobile you need Adobe Campaign, but Adobe Target is needed to connect with customers via email and SMS.
Limitation 3 – As marketing clouds need to refresh the data uploads, there is a latency in the decisioning. This often means that the most recent interaction details are not included in the offer decision, negatively impacting customer experience.
To overcome these constraints, marketing organizations need to consider deploying a Customer Journey Hub that manages the multiple front-end solutions that interact with your customers, while supporting your back-end data and analytics infrastructure.
I am not suggesting that you rip and replace your existing marketing solutions. In fact, marketers can keep their existing channel execution platforms, like marketing clouds. However, a Customer Journey Hub can centrally manage all data, analytics, and interactions across all channels—a key differentiator in providing an exceptional customer experience.
It is estimated that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as key brand differentiator. So, it is important not to compromise. To learn more about creating a truly universal customer experience download the white paper - Winning the Customer Journey.
And if you are ever visiting London, don’t just see the Tower of London. Go inside and see the Crown Jewels. They are magnificent, and you will not be disappointed.