One persistent barrier that brands face as they work to make the customer journey more engaging, with higher levels of personalization, is siloed data. At most companies, marketing data has been centralized in corporate data lakes for storage, but integrating that data is a problem that impacts the data’s usefulness.
Data silos make it nearly impossible to develop a holistic view of the customer journey or interactions across channels and systems. Marketers have longed for a way to link data across the entire process and so achieve a single, omni-channel, holistic perspective of the customer experience, but siloed data make that much too difficult. A single dashboard? Sure, just don’t think about modifying it.
As Nate Smith, group manager for Adobe Analytics, observes, “Marketers often had to guess how channels or activities interacted with each other based on static data that was difficult to manipulate.”
When guesswork enters the picture, confidence in the insights from data analytics disappears. And when guesswork could be eliminated, timeliness was lost.
As Smith notes, “Gaining insight through analytics required that marketers and other LOB staff funnel requests through the data science or BI team, and they then spent much of their time wrangling the data into usable form.”
A single analysis under those conditions could take days or even a week. That meant the marketing team had better know exactly what it was looking for in the data, because a do-over would mean doubling the time the analysis would take. If the marketers wanted iterative analysis, or a new spin on the analysis, the entire process had to start all over again.
Empowering marketers, data analysts, and IT
The new releases of Adobe Analytics and the Adobe Experience Platform are changing the game, putting new abilities into marketers’ own hands and providing analyses that are both more reliable and timelier. Now all customer experience and journey data, from all channels, is integrated and normalized within the Adobe Experience Platform. Data can be interrogated in real time to support iterative and ad hoc analysis. The availability of omni-channel data gives marketers a truly holistic view of a customer that enhances that customer’s experience. For data analysts and the IT organization, it will help minimize reporting needs and remove some implementation barriers, helping brands realize their analytics investments more quickly.
What does that mean in concrete terms? Consider a customer who does some online research on new golf clubs. In the old world of disaggregated data, it’s likely that the marketing systems of one of the golf club brands that the customer showed interest in would issue a digital coupon to that customer—after he had made a purchase. For the customer, it was a negative experience, since he was left with the feeling that he had overpaid. With Adobe’s new features, the coupon can be delivered sooner in the decision process, resulting in the positive customer experience that everyone is hoping for.
These new releases of Adobe Analytics and the Adobe Experience Platform Adobe also feature greatly improved data visualization and analysis tools that bring in the drag-and-drop functionality that has long made Adobe Photoshop easy to use. It follows a similar logic, with layers of data that brands can stack and curate on top of each other to create new lenses into the customer experience. With Customer Journey Analytics, your team can easily produce informative graphics that make it easy to understand how customers engage. And as it sits on the Adobe Experience platform, the tool also lets you stitch together data from across the enterprise, including from systems like point of sale (POS) and CRM.
Adobe has also fundamentally overhauled data integration and reporting with these new releases. By providing a single data platform that supports real-time marketing processes across all relevant data sets, Adobe has dramatically improved marketers’ visibility and eased some of the operational burden from the data science and IT organizations. And easy-to-use Customer Journey Analytics makes it much simpler to visualize the interactions hidden in your data and make the right decisions to build optimal processes and campaigns.