More often than not, these well-executed, cross-channel approaches are implemented with custom technology stacks that feature a collection of best-of-breed solutions built around a centralized database — like a customer data platform (CDP).
In other words, technology that helps everyday marketers track customers’ unique journeys in real time and respond to said journeys with bespoke, individualized messaging.
(Both of which limit marketers’ ability to expertly engage prospects and customers.)
Providing a seamless customer experience (CX) across marketing channels at each touchpoint may be the aspiration of practically every enterprise CMO today. But, frankly, it’s also what consumers have come to expect of brands who want their business.
And this seamless experience can only be delivered with a ‘hub-and-spoke’ martech stack structure that enables hyper-targeted, real-time customer engagement.
Or, as we here at BlueConic call it, customer lifecycle orchestration.
Centralizing customer data and making it actionable for cross-channel marketing
Cross-channel marketing is how companies become genuinely customer-centric today.
To create a successful cross-channel marketing strategy, though, marketing (and other growth-focused teams that interact with customers, like customer experience and ecommerce) first needs all their first-party data unified in a single source of truth database.
And, ideally, one that enables efficient segmentation, analysis, modeling, and activation.
Just look to the cross-channel marketing plan from BlueConic customer Belgian Cycling Factory (BCF) as prime example of how to effectively connect with one’s audience:
- The business was dissatisfied with the low-quality and insufficient amount of customer data in its network of dealers was collecting about shoppers. So, BCF decided to start collecting its own first-party data to better understand and market to its customers.
- Fast-forward seven months after onboarding our CDP and BCF had created 1 million individual profiles of prospects and customers.
- This single customer view helped BCF build multi-dimensional segments based on several profile attributes. This includes ones based on location, browsing behaviors, and even preferences regarding frame style, color, and terrain (e.g., road, gravel, and mountain biking).
- With custom segments created in a matter of minutes, Belgian Cycling Factory could immediately activate that first-party data in targeted, cross-channel marketing activities. For instance, in Facebook and Instagram ads and on-site dialogues.
More intricate customer insights and dynamically updated customer segments continue to provide BCF with the data it needs to succeed with its cross-channel personalization and individualization tactics and continually become more efficient and agile.
Embracing lifecycle orchestration as your primary cross-channel marketing approach
“Old mindsets unconsciously tether marketers to the days of batch-and-blast marketing,” Forrester VP, Principal Analyst Laura Ramos and Principal Analyst Jim Nail recently remarked.
In other words? Sticking with static, dated, campaign-centric marketing approaches and relying exclusively on legacy technologies (e.g., campaign management tools) to carry them out won’t help you realize your desired marketing ROI.
Instead, digitally transforming your business at large by testing new approaches, adopting new technologies, and streamlining existing processes is a must.
The main reason? To keep pace with competitors in today’s fast-paced business landscape.
And a cross-channel marketing strategy — in the form of well-calibrated, intelligent lifecycle orchestration to individual customers — is your path to accomplishing this transformation.
Many companies have implemented prosperous, personalized, cross-channel marketing campaigns that factor in unified data from all systems and sources. In turn, they’ve elevated their operational efficiency and core marketing performance metrics.
But customer lifecycle orchestration — whereby all interactions, regardless of channel, are an explicit response to where each individual is on their unique customer journey — is the far superior (and scalable) consumer engagement approach today.
Why? Because organizations that adopt lifecycle marketing (and a modern orchestration-enabling technology, like our pure-play customer data platform) can:
- Design custom-tailored lifecycle stages based on detailed customer insights that help them gradually move prospects and customers through their marketing funnel
- Set up dynamic thresholds that allow them to control how many touchpoints and the types of touchpoints individuals interact with in each customer lifecycle stage
- Develop ‘completion’ criteria that determines what constitutes a (you guessed it) completed lifecycle for a given individual so they don’t inundate them with irrelevant or untimely messaging (in other words, so they can suppress certain messaging)
- Increase their agility and flexibility, thanks to access to multi-dimensional segments that update in real time and unified, actionable first-party data at their disposal
MarTech Today Editorial Director Kim Davis noted lifecycle orchestration “reflects a post-channel sensibility, with messaging determined by the customer’s behavior, rather than by a commitment to run specific campaigns in specific channels.”
Enhancing your cross-channel marketing efforts with advanced technologies
In short, lifecycle orchestration is the future of cross-channel marketing. It’s an individualized method of outreach that empowers you to become more agile and flexible in your day-to-day and be more responsive to customers’ unique journeys.
But this more sophisticated customer engagement approach can only be established with a strong technological foundation. And, ideally, one built around a customer data platform.
Odds are you’ve explored how to break free from pre-configured, binary campaign workflows and experiment with new, more impactful modes of marketing.
With a pure-play customer data platform — which is meant for marketers and other growth-focused professionals, irrespective of their technical skills and savvy, to own and operate (i.e., without the need for help from IT or data scientists) — you can do just that.
For example, overly complex “journey orchestration” platforms require users to have strong data science expertise to extract value from them. Meanwhile, CDPs — when connected with all other tech in one’s stack — can be easily utilized by any growth teams.
While a CDP offers advanced capabilities the legacy tools mentioned here (and many others not), you don’t have to (and likely shouldn’t) discard your campaign management tool.
That’s because the right CDP can actually enhance the output of campaign solutions.
BlueConic customers, for instance, can import engagement and behavioral data along with customer attributes collected from other channels and systems to a campaign management system. In turn, they can improve their activation efforts using said tool.
Of course, the occasional campaign is necessary for marketers who use our customer data platform. But the heart of their marketing programs is now the execution of intelligently orchestrated, individualized, cross-channel lifecycles.
And rightfully so. Case in point: Boston Consulting Group research from 2020 found:
- “[T]he most sophisticated digital marketers — those that have reached what we call ‘multimoment maturity,’ or the ability to deliver relevant experiences to customers at multiple moments across the purchase journey — achieve cost savings of up to 30% and revenue increases of as much as 20%.”
This statement — in a nutshell — defines modern customer lifecycle orchestration.
Long-term operational efficiencies for your team and business and more satisfying experiences for your customers. That’s what marketing orgs with cross-channel marketing strategies built around lifecycle orchestration are able to realize today.
And you can too, with a modified marketing perspective — and revamped tech stack.
Learn how you can leverage unified first-party data across channels and improve your marketing and business outcomes by watching our webinar on lifecycle orchestration.