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What is customer journey orchestration and how does it work?

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What is customer journey orchestration and how does it work?

Great customer experiences are easier to imagine than to actually understand and deliver. That’s why tools that help marketers analyze the customer journey and act on the insights gained — customer journey orchestration (CJO) software — are finding a spot in businesses’ technology stacks.

Basic CJO categories

Customer journey orchestration isn’t as precisely defined as other marketing technology categories. It’s a fairly new niche, and vendors are coming at it from different angles. 

Some players have newly architected solutions specifically targeted at meeting this particular need. Others are building upon expertise in other channels, such as call analytics or customer intelligence, by evolving through development or acquisitions. 

A third category, which includes Salesforce and Adobe, are enterprise application providers with established customer bases that have been adding customer journey analytics and orchestration functionality to their offerings. 

Industry-watchers expect to see additional entries from pure-play start-ups, as well as the repositioning of vendors in adjacent categories such as customer data platforms, marketing analytics and real-time interaction management (RTIM). 


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What defines customer journey orchestration? 

The phrase “customer journey” has been a part of the digital marketing dialogue for years, which may contribute to the lack of clarity around what exactly customer journey orchestration is, and what it isn’t. The following core areas have emerged as critical to getting an actionable picture of the customer journey and taking action to improve it. 

Customer-focused, outside-in approach 

Marketers may have an “ideal customer journey” in mind, but a true customer journey analytics approach acknowledges that today’s customers expect a great deal of flexibility to tailor interactions with businesses to their own preferences. 

With multiple devices, a variety of channels and many different paths to purchase, customers are in charge of their individual buying journeys. Everyone’s journey may be slightly different. Therefore it’s important that marketers look at things from the customer’s point of view, rather than sticking to a potentially outdated preconception of how people come to make a purchase. 

A focus on the lifetime value of the customer 

Instead of focusing solely on the awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation and purchase stages — aka the “classic marketing funnel” of the buyer experience — customer journey orchestration aims to nurture the relationship between the customer and the brand beyond ownership and into repeat purchases and brand advocacy. 

Cross-channel data

To achieve this big picture view of the customer journey, marketers must be able to bring in data across every customer touchpoint, whether it’s led by marketing or not. This includes data from call centers, chatbots, in-store interactions and more. 

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Real-time or close to real-time data

The simplest goal of customer journey orchestration practitioners is to identify and eliminate roadblocks hindering customers. But the ultimate goal is much more ambitious – to deliver contextually-relevant experiences to customers at their preferred touchpoints. To do this, they need to be able to gather data in real-time and respond in real time. 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning 

Developing insights, determining what the next best action should be for a particular customer, and setting that experience in motion are unlikely to occur in real-time without the benefit of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Making use of those technologies is key to customer journey orchestration.

Download the full report: Enterprise Customer Journey Orchestration Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide


About The Author

Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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MARKETING

How marketers are preparing for the future of in-game ads

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Gen Z metaverse users are more trusting and willing to spend

As the IAB rolls out new ad standards for gaming, marketers at brands and agencies are preparing for the future of in-game ads. That’s because more consumers than ever identify as gamers (up to three billion globally), and with new technology and gaming experiences, they’re more reachable by brands.

One sign of how the landscape is changing, adtech companies like Anzu are partnering with publishers to provide dynamic ad placements in-game. This allows brands who don’t have a comprehensive gaming strategy to test and learn, and also to incorporate gaming into a broader omnichannel media strategy.

But the sheer size of the gaming audience – over 200 million gamers in the US alone – means marketers who get more involved can produce greater returns by tapping into this engaged population.

Lead with brand strategy. Partnerships between game publishers and adtech companies are making it easier for brands to find their audiences in-game. Brands don’t have to speculate as much about if their customers are playing specific games. And if a brand’s customers are already playing the game, marketers should dive in, too.

“We don’t necessarily have a gaming strategy,” said Paul Mascali, head of games and esports for PepsiCo. “We have a brand strategy that gaming can help. We do this by leveraging data with third parties or internal data to reach those consumers who are consuming the content.”

Read next: PepsiCo’s strategies for marketing via online games and esports

Understanding the community. Also, brands should be consistent and show that they’re invested in the gaming community, Mascali said.

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That’s because the gaming community – or, more specifically, the communities built around specific games – are multi-faceted.

For instance, gamers aren’t just plugged into the gameplay. They soak in the culture around the games on streaming platforms like Twitch. But just because videogame fans are passively watching another expert player on a streaming video doesn’t mean they’re not engaged and listening attentively.

“Twitch streamers are a great example of modern day gamers,” said Sarah Ioos, head of sales for the Americas at Twitch. “Non-gaming content has erupted — it doubled during the pandemic in year one. Gamers are not a monolith, they’re multifaceted. We see Twitch streamers bringing more of their whole self into their streaming.”

More lifestyle categories. As PepsiCo has demonstrated, there is a natural crossover between gaming and sports, which leads to traditional sports categories like beverages and snacks.

During the pandemic, when everybody, including gamers, were shut in, gaming content expanded. Gamers were sharing more about their lifestyles, including exercise routines, cooking, fashion and other interests.

This holistic perspective on gamers opens up more opportunities for brands that want to connect with Gen Z and Millennial consumers.


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Many touchpoints. Another interesting aspect about Twitch is that desktop is still the preferred device for their audience, according to Ioos.

Consumers are engaging with gaming content on many different devices and in different contexts, and this allows marketers to finetune their mix. If hardcore gamers and Twitch watchers are on desktops at the home, other more liesure gamers might be playing on mobile while commuting or shopping.

Why we care. All of this means that the strategy has flipped for marketers. Instead of finding a subset of gamers within their audience, they can now look across the billions of gamers and find their audience and subsegments.

Addressability for in-game advertising is still in the early stages, but now there are more opportunities, according to Keith Soljacich, head of innovation at agency Publicis Media.

“More data means more actionable places to find our audiences,” said Soljacich. “[Publishers and tech partners] are building that intelligence for audiences at the same time that opportunities are becoming available to us as marketers.”

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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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