We use cookies. You have options. Cookies help us keep the site running smoothly and inform some of our advertising, but if you’d like to make adjustments, you can visit our Cookie Notice page for more information.
We’d like to use cookies on your device. Cookies help us keep the site running smoothly and inform some of our advertising, but how we use them is entirely up to you. Accept our recommended settings or customise them to your wishes.

The Total Customer Experience

“Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.” – John Keats

As marketers navigate the ever-changing world of consumer expectations, inflation and privacy regulations, it is crucial for us to come together, collate our resources and plan ahead. In this spirit, we had the pioneers of developing new marketing & advertising technology – Google and Salesforce, to discuss and share how marketers can build a complete customer experience. 

To begin with, let’s understand MarTech & AdTech – 

  • AdTech: which includes data & touch points on the digital landscape outside of just the owned media. It tracks multiple touch points throughout the journey of the customer/prospect, for example –  Media Analytics, Product Analytics, Web Analytics – Who, Where, What?  
  • MarTech: which includes data on known audiences and customer PII, by collating offline, & owned platform data & touch points. Eg – CRM, Customer Lifecycle Marketing, Marketing Automation, etc.

Now individually, both MarTech & AdTech platforms can deliver business results in silos, however, in order to truly unlock the full potential and deliver optimal business impact, an organization needs to ensure synergy between the MarTech & AdTech platforms. This would bridge these silos to create a data-driven ecosystem. 

When reading this, most would think “Hey, this is logical” and “Isn’t this something all organizations should practice?”. 

An organization working in silos is like two arms working independently to achieve a common end objective – easy to imagine that this would cause disarray within the organization which in turn would bring a disjointed experience for the customer. Studies show that 54% of the customers rate their experience with a brand more important than their experience with the product itself, it doesn’t bode well for the brand to not provide the customer a total customer experience. 

To paint a picture, here’s how these two silos can work together to empower your business and drive a total customer experience while delivering a tangible business impact – 

  • On the Owned Media side, by bridging MarTech and AdTech, you enable the translation of unknown cookies into known customers on your database – this allows you to curate & serve an end to end personalised experience when a known or unknown customer visits the website
  • On the Paid Media side, you can reach out to a higher number of potential customers who are similar to your loyal customers & champions by streamlining your ads with better-informed targeting and analytics. Most importantly, efficient and optimized media lets you find your customers at the right place and at the right time rather than spraying and praying. 

So we’ve covered the theory. However, now the question becomes “How do you bridge these two silos and build a Total Customer Experience Strategy?” First, here are the elements required to kickstart a customer experience, make sure your:  

  • Owned media such as a Website or App serve as a portal to your brand’s offerings,
  • Paid media efforts that you run to acquire new customers as well as to retain existing customers,
  • Nurture Journey is in place to upsell & cross-sell to existing customers, and finally,
  • Retention Journey is ready to go to ensure repeat business, brand loyalty, and advocacy. 

These four components are the foundation of customer experience and work in tandem with each other. Figure 1 below illustrates how these 4 components form a flywheel to provide customers with a total customer experience. 

Figure 1 – The Components to a Total Customer Experience

By encouraging your owned and paid media to work together, the customer experience is more streamlined. If your owned media emails mirror the content of the ads that they clicked, to the email that you send and what you talk about when the customer calls you – you are continuing one single beautiful story, rather than starting a completely new one every time.

Today, high achieving organizations have understood and deployed data to be the connective tissue between these two silos. This has enabled them to drive high yielding results for their management and business. What’s the secret? Well, they’ve re-identified their customers and enhanced their customer lifetime value while providing the customer with a personalized 1-1 experience which stitches their online & offline experiences together. Figure 2 below illustrates an overview of the ecosystem.

Figure 2 – Overview of MarTech & AdTech Ecosystem 

A few case studies showcase the effectiveness of enabling this for your organization – 

  • NTUC Income hailing from Singapore bridged their AdTech & MarTech to personalize digital campaigns bringing insurance (traditionally known to be an offline experience) to the digital era while personalizing the customer experience cutting the cost per acquisition by 50% while driving 12% incremental sales. Read the full case study here or watch here.
  • Sephora measuring the offline impact of their digital ad campaigns by integrating offline & online data, building a complete customer experience while driving a 3.9x higher ROAS & a 3x conversion rate. Read the full case study here.

Now, on the technology & solution side, to help you bridge these silos, to begin with, take a look within your organization, look at the different data sets that are collected, and build an overarching strategy to link them and combine all these components to drive collective decision making. You must understand what data your organization already collects and uses as building blocks to your organization’s Total Customer Experience Strategy in order to build your very own data-driven ecosystem. 

An example of how this comes together using Google Analytics 360, Salesforce Marketing Cloud & Salesforce Sales Cloud would be (Figure 3): 

  • Pushing sales & customer data from Salesforce Sales Cloud to Google Analytics 360 to bring known customer data on a common platform
  • Utilizing Google Analytics 360 to collect unknown users’ online signals and behaviour to segment customers
  • Utilizing the common data set in GA360 to segment audiences & pushing them on to paid media channels like Google Ads & Display & Video 360 on the Google Marketing Platform for activation while building nurture journeys on the SFMC journey builder building a complete customer experience journey. 


Figure 3 – The Salesforce & Google integrated ecosystem

In building a Total Customer Experience, internally for an organization, the AdTech & MarTech platforms play a key role in building the data-driven ecosystem to generate actionable insights and audience segments. However, externally to a customer, the main interactions with the brand online will purely be through the creatives and content showcased and served by the brand to them. 

Therefore, the key is to truly understand the fact that creatives and content help translate the message a brand wants to communicate to its audience and brings to life the Total Customer Experience Strategy. Without the right creatives and content, achieving a positive Customer Experience is near impossible. Through the 3 Core Strategic elements of CopywritingCreative Thinking & Design, a Total Customer Experience is actualized by showing your customers relevant and personalized content at different touch points and linking them across the customer journey. 

So, go on, build your AdTech & MarTech platforms and curate your Total Customer Experience Strategy, but also remember to build your creative and content strategy to help provide your customers with the right message at the right time on the right channel. If nothing becomes real unless it is experienced, only by building a Total Customer Experience can we achieve and drive real business results. 

Reach out to us at [email protected] if you want to find out how Merkle Singapore can build the Total Customer Experience strategy for you.