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Is Adobe Journey Optimizer right for my organisation?

Should I be thinking about migrating to AJO?

What is Adobe Journey Optimizer?

Consumer expectations today demand that brands deliver experiences that are truly tailored to each individual at all moments in their journey, orchestrated across many touchpoints, channels and devices. The consumer sees the combination of their different interactions with a brand as the brand itself, and as such they expect the brands and companies they interact with to know them and anticipate their needs.

Launched to market in 2021, Adobe Journey Optimizer (AJO) helps organisations respond to these challenges. AJO is a marketing and journey automation tool built on the Adobe Experience Platform (AEP). Directly leveraging features from AEP and integrating with AEM Assets Essentials, AJO allows brands to collect and harness both real-time and batch data and create and deliver multi-channel 1:1 customer experiences.

Should I be thinking about migrating to AJO?

AJO brings together the data and identity management capabilities of AEP and combines that with a powerful offer engine, as well as an asset management solution (Adobe Experience Manager Assets Essential). This means that marketers will be able to create both triggered journeys and batch communications, making it easier than ever to build and deliver seamless experiences across all channels and touchpoints.

Of course, this sounds like something any organisation would want to achieve, so let’s take a look at some of the common challenges faced by marketeers today and look at how AJO can help.

Difficulty executing real-time experiences and insights

Many, more traditional, campaign tools struggle to ingest data fast enough to respond to consumer actions quickly, missing the opportunity to have a positive impact on their experience. If you have workflows or processes that can only run every 10 or 15 minutes, you might miss a key window of time to communicate with a customer. AJO is built on AEP’s real-time integrated profile and is able to respond to consumer behavioural and transactional events in real-time.

Lack of a centralised decisioning process

It’s common for brands to have a fragmented marketing stack, with campaigns running in channel silos, making for a disjointed experience for the consumer. AJO harnesses the power of Offer Decisioning to apply centralised logic and personalisation through the customer experience.

Difficulty orchestrating between 1:1 and batch communications

Again, in more traditional campaign tools, your batch marketing can often sit separate to your event-based or triggered communications. This makes it hard to optimise the overall customer experience, and consumers can end up with a confusing set of communications and messages. With AJO, your customer journeys are built on one canvas and they can be built to be dynamic and responsive to how your customers are interacting with your messages. This means you can use real-time signals to make decisions about the best channel and timing for your scheduled campaigns.

Too much “built to order” content

Campaign processes haven’t evolved too much over the last 10 or 15 years, and many brands still find themselves building outbound content “to order”, creating a new HTML for each campaign and creating inefficiencies by not re-using existing content. With its embedded asset management solution, combined with the Offer Decisioning capabilities of AEP, AJO allows brands to create a library of content that can be easily re-purposed and re-used across campaigns and channels. Bringing the content and journey orchestration within one tool can also help with organisational channels and avoids disparate teams working in silos in separate parts of your marketing stack.

Are there any barriers to overcome that might mean migrating to AJO isn’t right for your organisation right now?

AJO (and AEP) are incredibly powerful tools that can help solve the problems outlined above. However, no tool is a silver-bullet, and for some organisations a move to AJO will be something that needs to be thought about as part of a wider Marketing Technology roadmap. In Merkle’s experience, there are a few important areas to address first before looking to migrate to AJO:

  • Data and digital maturity: In order to reach data and digital maturity through AEP and AJO, organisations must put Data at the front of their thinking.
  • “Lifting and shifting” existing batch and trigger-based campaigns: You will get most value out of AJO if you can shift your organisation’s mindset towards becoming customer experience marketers. Think about the interactions across a customer’s lifecycle and the different opportunities you have to improve their experience. You won’t get maximum value from AJO if you just replicate what you already do in your old campaign tool and, in fact, you might even struggle to reproduce things like for like as AJO is a different tool requiring a change in how you think.
  • People and process: Creating a seamless experience across channels involves more than just investing in new technology. You’ll need an equally seamless approach to your campaign planning. If your marketing teams are sat in channel silos then it is unlikely that a new tool will solve that in isolation.
  • Other considerations: AEP cannot support specific requirements, for example, maintaining on-premise data.

What if I already have AEP and the rest of the Adobe stack implemented, what will I gain by adding Journey Optimizer?

AJO is the evolution of Journey Orchestration (JO). If you are using JO already, you’ll already be leveraging the real-time unified profile data from AEP, and are hopefully seeing the power of real-time event-based journeys and experiences. From there, AJO is virtually a no-brainer, as you’ll gain the content management capabilities, plus Offer Decisioning, and the ability to run your batch campaigns from the same canvases as your event triggers.

If you’re not yet using JO, then AJO will be an even bigger step forward. Not only will it allow you to leverage more value from your existing products, but the data and inputs from the rest of the Adobe stack will make AJO even more powerful.

Web and App Behavioural Data

If you are currently collecting behavioural data through the Web and Mobile SDKs and using the AEP Edge Network to send this data to platform (as well as the rest of the Adobe Stack) then you can leverage this data as event triggers for your journeys in AJO, or as a source of behavioural data to personalise your campaigns. 

Real-time CDP

RTCDP allows you to share audiences with a range of third-party destinations including Paid Media and Social. AJO will expand on and work alongside this capability, helping you to unify the experience the customer gets across a wider range of channels and touchpoints.

Adobe Target

The experience recommendations from Adobe Target can be integrated into AJO as a data source. Additionally, you will have the ability to use the same audiences to personalise outbound channels as well as inbound. There is no real-time integration through Edge, with Edge segments shared from RTCDP now enabling real-time, same page segment qualification and personalisation.


If any of the above sounds like a challenge you have been unable to solve in your organisation, or there are technical limitations with your current solution stack, AJO should definitely be considered as a potential solution.

For more information, you can download our AJO infographic, ebook, or get in touch with a member of our team.