It\u2019s the ultimate marketing challenge: The \u201cwhat\u201d is crystal clear, but the \u201chow\u201d seems borderline impossible.\nIn this case, the \u201cwhat\u201d is customer experiences \u2014 that you need to be customer experience- and customer journey-focused to drive success. The \u201chow,\u201d though, is tougher. How exactly do you map your marketing activities to the journeys, and ensure you\u2019re delivering highly engaging, highly personalized customer experiences at scale. This is called customer experience management (CXM) and it entails a new approach and the right technology.\nIt\u2019s never too chaotic to be mapped \nThe first step: customer journey mapping. Do this and you\u2019ll be better positioned to understand how customers view your brand, how you can eliminate friction as they interact with you, and how you can ensure they are getting value from you. Sounds like a no-brainer, but the truth is less than 40% of companies have established processes for mapping their customer journeys.\nThe reason? The increasingly chaotic, messy nature of the modern customer journey. \u201cAs brands face this chaos, there is no lack of effort to impose some kind of order,\u201d says Kristin Naragon, director of product marketing for Adobe Campaign. \u201cBrands want to make the best experience for their customers.\u201d However, a handful of powerful factors are standing in the way.\nFor example, recent shifts in customers\u2019 desire to be anonymous makes it difficult for companies to get close enough to understand them and where they are in their journeys. \u201cCustomers are trying to stay anonymous and do their research ahead of time before talking to anyone,\u201d says Lizzy Ragno, Adobe\u2019s manager of enterprise campaigns. \u201cThat takes the customer journey further out of the control of the marketer.\u201d\nAdding to the chaos, Lizzy notes, is customers\u2019 demand for relevant experiences along with their wanting to be anonymous. \u201cCustomers still want the experience to be more personalized than ever,\u201d Lizzy explains. \u201cEven though they are not telling you who they are, what their interests are, or what their needs and wants are, they still expect a personalized journey before they even think about engaging with a product.\u201d\nThe problem may be simple enough, but here\u2019s no simple solution to combat this challenge. \u201cThere's data coming from every which way,\u201d says Lizzy. \u201cIt's hard to connect it to a single person and ensure that the information is providing the right story for that person, or giving you the right content recommendations for them.\u201d Done manually, this process is too resource intensive and slow to keep up with the demands of customers \u2014 and creating a system from the ground up is incredibly complex.\nCreating a true unified profile \u2014 one that holds up \nAnother imperative to taming the customer journey: Creating a truly unified and actionable customer profile. While you can easily collect customer data, unifying that data around a specific person\u2019s profile can be challenging. Accomplish that goal and it\u2019s still just the beginning. Next you need to deliver relevant recommendations, content, creative, and experiences wherever, whenever, and however that customer chooses to engage.\nGetting to the stage where you have a unified customer profile requires breaking down silos, capturing real-time and historical data, and stitching it all together into always-available, living and breathing profiles \u2014 then pushing it out to the technologies that serve the content to customers.\n\u201cMany companies still have silos, typically by channels, technology, and role, and that\u2019s just within marketing,\u201d Kristin says. \u201cThe same thing happens within other departments that interact with customers \u2014 like customer service or product teams. It makes it very difficult to unite all of these organizational building blocks around a cohesive customer experience management strategy.\u201d\nAccording to Kristin, the fact that various teams within an organization are each using a different set of technologies also adds to the chaos. \u201cTechnology, in particular, can be a big driver of these silos,\u201d Kristin points out. \u201cThe analytics team might have its own solution based on certain channels or parts of the journey. The mobile team might have its own technology. Same with the email team. These fractured teams and technologies make for fractured mapping.\u201d\nCustomer journey mapping via a dynamic, real-time overlay\nFor many brands, successful journey mapping begins with a crucial mindshift \u2014 and having the right technology in place.\n\u201cJust having journey maps isn\u2019t enough,\u201d Kristin explains. \u201cThe truth is, there is no single customer journey or even just 10 different journeys. Different customers will make different decisions even when given the same experience. These journeys need to be operationalized in ways that make your customers\u2019 lives better, and your operations more efficient and more profitable. The only way to do this is through a dynamic, real-time overlay.\u201d\nCreating these overlays means understanding how and where the data is collected. \u201cPeople collect a lot of data,\u201d says Lizzy, \u201cbut it has to be the right data, and it must be put into a single unified space to ensure actionable customer profiles and dynamic customer mapping.\u201d\nThe second step is to curate and prepare the brand\u2019s existing content for personalization. \u201cThis involves making slightly different versions of your content for different personas or different industries to make it much more personalized,\u201d Lizzy explains. The goal here is to prepare the content to be personalized to the needs, wants, and problems of each customer.\nThird, the brand must be equipped to track each step. \u201cMake sure you have the right systems in place to see, \u2018Is this working?\u2019\u201d Lizzy recommends. \u201cIf it's not working, where is it dropping off? Where can you optimize?\u201d \u00a0\u00a0\nTaming the chaos with CXM technology\nGranted, the process needs to come together seamlessly to \u201cwork\u201d \u2014 trying to cobble together a customer journey mapping system can present more pitfalls than benefits. Getting the right CXM technology in place is critical.\nAdobe Experience Cloud, running on Adobe Experience Platform, lets companies pull in and unify data from tools that are already in use across the CXM ecosystem. It also provides tools to translate all incoming data into one uniform format, so the data can be easily combined and analyzed together as it comes in.\nAdobe\u2019s recent addition of Marketo Engage (LINK) to its offerings plays a big role in solving the anonymity puzzle. It is capable of tracking all engagement--even when the customer is anonymous \u2014 and providing a cross-channel, personalized experience for them.\n\u201cWe\u2019re hyper-focused on ensuring that the technology we develop breaks down silos and helps teams and organizations align with one another to put customers at the heart of their business,\u201d says Kristin.\nSupporting and advancing this process, she notes, is Adobe Sensei \u2014 Adobe\u2019s AI and machine learning framework. Adobe Sensei can spot and learn from patterns across all customer journeys and then, acting on real-time behavioral input from the customer, serve up personalized content to match the customer\u2019s unique preferences and place in their journey.\n\u201cOn-demand personalization cannot be done without AI,\u201d explains Lizzy. \u201cMarketers can't do it on their own. They need technology to help them figure this out. And they can\u2019t figure it out on their own with just a spreadsheet.\u201d\n\u201cWe\u2019re better at building smaller segments and dynamic content and integrating AI and machine learning,\u201d says Kristin. \u201cAdobe does that fantastically well. We can plan, orchestrate, deliver, and analyze really finite experiences for customers.\u201d\nThese technologies are already able to deliver a seamless customer journey to each one of a brand\u2019s millions of customers \u2014 and it\u2019s just getting started. As more and more organizations in the enterprise get involved in the customer journey, this technology will only become more critical to success and survival.\nThose brands willing to invest in CXM technology to bring order to the chaos of the customer journey will enjoy increased revenue, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty.\nLearn more about CXM here.