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How Marketers can Enable Customer-Centric Experiences

It has become clear that consumers prefer brands that connect with them at an emotional level especially when communications move beyond simply selling consumers products. Furthermore, consumers expect brands to provide them with relevant and consistent experiences.  

As we discussed in a previous post, a customer experience is every interaction a consumer has with your brand. Brands today are striving to create experiences that delight their customers. Customers want these experiences to be delivered seamlessly and consistently in channels they prefer. 

An experience can manifest itself in many ways: results of a web search that leads to a relevant and engaging landing page, an interaction on a company’s website such as a pop up to offer help, a test message to confirm an appointment or preference, and a conversation with a service agent. We also discussed Merkle’s five stage Maturity Continuum that enables you to assess your ability to create 1:1 customer experiences.

5 stages of CX maturity

How do you enable Customer Experiences?

The ability to migrate from one stage to another requires growth or maturity in several key subject areas. Merkle calls these areas enablers. The number of enablers can vary from situation to situation, but for the most part they cover the complete life cycle of a marketing program from vision to post-deployment analysis.  Depending on the organization and the stage of maturity, some of these enablers may play a larger role than others.

Common enablers in customer-centric experiences are:

  • Vision and Roadmap - Defined vision, integrated roadmap, and future state use cases
  • Technology - Marketing technology platform to deliver integrated experiences
  • Data - Availability, accuracy, and completeness of customer and prospect data
  • People and Process - Experienced team, efficiency workflow, and appropriate staffing levels
  • Governance - Structure to establish KPIs, drive priorities, and ensure cross team collaboration
  • Analytics - Use of advanced analytics to inform prioritization, decisioning, and attribution

Vision and Roadmap

In the era of COVID-19, some enablers may take on different priorities as organizations attempt to do more with their existing tech stack or decrease time and costs to get a campaign out the door (people and process).

Campaign Layers

Just identifying the enablers that are being challenged is not always enough. One must also identify where the enabler is being challenged within the organization’s marketing ecosystem. To do this, it is important to understand that the ecosystem is composed of numerous layers that are all working together to deliver a customer experience. The easiest way to think about the layers is to equate them to resource teams; each of these layers, or teams, has a different set of objectives and vision of success.  Thus, their enablers are challenged in different ways.

At the bottom is the technology (this is Adobe Campaign Platform which includes data, interface configuration, and integration backbones). Next, comes the marketing campaigns and objects that leverage that technology (campaign or workflows being run within Adobe Campaign). At the top are the customer experiences that leverage the different platforms and their associated initiatives.

Cross platform experience

Each of these layers puts a different focal lens on the enablers, presenting a different set of challenges, and ultimately has different set of solutions to assist the organization in moving towards 1-1 personalization.

A classic example of a multi-layer enabler is data. We know you are likely to have a robust set of data across your enterprise and it’s waiting to be unleashed! We also know it can be quite complex to think about gathering all that data in order to take action with it. In addition to the considerations we’ve discussed in this blog, here are additional considerations:

  • Find a missing connection to a real-time data source within your Campaign Technology layer which could impact when you engage your customer
  • Find missing (or conflicting) business rules within your Marketing Campaign layer which could impact how you engage your customer  
  • Find both missing, or conflicting data, that presents itself to your customers at the Cross Platform layer which could mean the experience you designed for the customer may not be published (or another experience may surface, instead)


To assist, Merkle has created several assessments tailored to the specific questions each enabler would ask at the various levels:

Adobe Campaign Platform Assessment

The Merkle Adobe Campaign Platform Assessment is geared toward organizations that don’t know if their Adobe platform is properly configured.

Common questions that have been asked and answered include:

  • How do I get more out of the technology that I currently have?
  • What functionality do I need?
  • Is the platform configured correctly?
  • How to I speed up the load of data?
  • How can less technical resources play a larger role in the platform?
  • Am I ingesting all available responses, events, tracking data?

Marketing Campaign Optimization Assessment

Getting your message out in a timely manner can be a challenge with suboptimal campaign designs. As campaigns become more sophisticated in selection and segmentation different execution tactics and setup and design principals also need to be adjusted to ensure hours and costs do not escalate as well.

A Marketing Campaign Optimization assessment looks at the organizations vision and goals, and current pain points, and identifies the challenges being presented to the enablers as well as recommendations and roadmaps.

Common questions that have been asked and answered include:

  • How can I save development hours?
  • How can I do more with the resources I have?
  • Why are campaigns running slowly?
  • How can I automate my campaigns?
  • Are my resources following industry best practices and processes?
  • How can I enforce corporate rules on suppression and contact frequency are applied?

Cross platform Experience Enablement

Developing use cases and understanding the correct technologies to deploy those use cases become even more important as your organization moves toward delivering customer experiences.

Although the specific enablement challengers as well as underlying technology may vary, Experience Enablement typically includes use case definitions, a campaign playbook to detail the technical components required to achieve the use cases, and process flows for each of the technical components. These will be constructed detailing the steps required to execute the use cases.

Common Questions asked and answered include:

  • Is there a better experience I can be giving my customers right now?
  • What are the use cases?
  • What technology do I need to enable my use cases?
  • How do I share audiences across solutions?
  • Which solution is best for creating segments?
  • How do I setup an omni-channel customer experience?
  • How can I see the results of my interactions?

Analytics Assessment

The data you have and the data you find are necessary for delivering cross platform experiences and are paramount to feeding and measuring your success.

This assessment will help you understand opportunities for further tracking and experience enablement from many dimensions that encompass people, processes, and technology. We start with the end in mind and work backwards, digging into details to address analytics data measurement gaps, data consumption and distribution to end point solutions through data feeds, and analytics data classification set up all the way through how tags get placed on your site and are continually refreshed. This helps you walk away with a clear vision for how to further optimize your investment in Adobe Analytics.

Common questions that have been asked and answered include:

  • What data is being collected on my site and where is it going?
  • Why am I observing significant differences in some of my KPIs?
  • How can analytics help enable my use cases?
  • How can I leverage analytics with other tools as campaign and target?
  • Which solution is best for creating segments?
  • Are my channel processing rules set up the right way?
  • I think my tags are broken (or are not firing). How can I detect issues earlier?

Campaign maturity

Want to learn more? Join us for our webinar, Customer-Centric Experiences with Adobe Campaign on August 4th. Sign up here.