Bringing Together Two Leaders
Kitewheel was honored that Cheetah Digital’s Patrick Tripp invited the president of our company, Mark Smith, to be a guest on a recent “Pulse” podcast, highlighting our new partnership and the importance of journey management. Coming out of that podcast we wanted to share a few key takeaways about the next generation of personalization, and the power of our partnership. The market understanding of customer journeys has been evolving and changing for years, but even before that, for decades, marketers have sought to use data to make better decisions about how to help get the most out of their customers.
This data-focused trend has led to the development of campaign management, data analytics, web tracking, and more. But Mark notes that this is not enough. Data must drive us towards answering questions about the customer journey. There must be a vision to help brands do the right thing for customers and help those customers get the most out of their relationship with brands.
The Future of Real-time Decisioning
We live in a channel-agnostic world where customers only see your brand. They do not see the data-disconnect between your app and website, or your email and customer service tracking system. Customers want a consistent experience regardless of channel. While individual customers have preferred methods of communication, leading brands must be ready to engage with them in whichever way they choose. This means moving beyond outbound campaigns on your preferred channels and instead focusing on real-time journey elements.
For brands, it is increasingly not only about the products they deliver, but also the overall experience with their services. Brands must connect all of their channels and use both digital logic and next-generation personalization software to deliver consistent experiences or else risk exacerbating negative experiences. Tools like the Kitewheel Hub and Cheetah Digital’s Journey Designer connect systems by providing a central logic hub that intelligently directs data from each channel to a central database. By keeping track of what a customer does across every channel, brands can consistently respond to them on any other channel. There are some other solutions that allow this process to take place manually or in batch, but most are far too slow for the modern customer. Only real-time decisioning makes it possible to deliver a great experience no matter where it starts.
Journey Analytics Leads to Better Orchestration
To deliver great experiences, brands need to know how their current journeys are performing. This means that journey analytics has a major part to play in the journey orchestration space. Kitewheel has developed technology to measure, track, and record customer activities, and we can help brands effectively understand that data in a journey-centric way. If the goal of journey orchestration is to deliver a great experience in real-time, then the goal of journey analytics must be to provide real-time feedback about how a given journey is performing. By using journey analytics, brands can identify what is or isn’t working in their systems and processes and change those interactions to build more value.
The result of journey analytics should be changing the journey to fit a particular business goal, such as improving the clarity of customer communication or keeping customers more engaged. It is crucial to leverage the data from analytics to build better experiences. This means showing the customer you know them, but it also means reducing creep factor. First, customers are less unsettled when focused on the positive benefits of personalization, but second, if increased specificity causes less interaction, journey analytics can tell brands when to dial back. Actively adapting to customers’ preferences leads to more buying behavior, recommendations, and, ultimately, greater revenue for the brand.
Regarding the Claim that Journeys Are Dead
In the recent “Pulse” podcast, Mark Smith and Patrick Tripp discussed briefly the claim that customer journeys are dead. Both concluded that this is far from the truth. Mark Smith clarified, “anyone who says that is not thinking about journeys in terms of what journeys really are.” For far too long, some marketers have seen customer journeys as simply another term for a linear campaign, where a brand plotted a rigid life-cycle of customer behavior, from acquisition to loyalty, to eventually leaving the brand.
The trouble is that a linear approach has always missed the vast majority of journeys. The customer experience is not linear, nor even a simple branching path. Instead, customers leave and re-enter the journey as they prefer. The power of customer journey orchestration lies not in forcing customers onto a path, but rather in helping them follow the paths of their own choosing. Next-generation personalization tools The journey isn’t a linear outbound marketing experience–the term for that is “campaign”. Instead, the journey is the entirety of the customer’s experience in any interaction with any representation of your brand, from the website to partners. Being able to help guide the customer and ensure your systems are automatic real-time advocates for the customer’s goals is the best way to achieve journey success.
The Next Generation of Personalization: Kitewheel and Cheetah Digital Partnership
The technology to deliver truly personalized, real-time journeys is still brand new. Looking at every touchpoint and optimizing across all channels remains a challenge. To handle the scale and complexity of journeys as they truly are–spanning across every part of your business at all times–requires that you have the best tools for the job. That’s why Cheetah Digital and Kitewheel are thrilled about our partnership to bring world-class journeys to market. The partnership embeds the power of our journey decisioning capability into the Cheetah Journey Designer. Patrick Tripp and Mark Smith explain in more depth in the Cheetah Digital Pulse Podcast.
Interested in learning more about the results of the Forrester Wave™, what it takes to be a Leader, and how Kitewheel earned our position? Download your own free copy of the report. Inside, you’ll learn why Kitewheel earned top marks for technology, optimization, services, security, and more. It’s a powerful resource to learn what you need to harness the next generation of personalization for your business.