Which is better – Marketing Automation or Customer Journey Orchestration?

PHOTO: Vlad Bagacian on Unsplash

When it comes to CX approaches, marketers have to choose between two different strategies: marketing automation and customer journey orchestration (CJO). While marketing automation is often part of customer journey orchestration, the latter is more complex.

“The real benefit of customer journey orchestration is that it allows you to fill gaps in your customers’ sales journeys that simpler ad automation or retargeting simply won’t address,” said Greg Kihlstrom. , a CX consultant, to Forbes.

Sometimes, however, your needs may just require simpler marketing automation. Below is an overview of the benefits of each.

The Benefits of Marketing Automation

“Marketing automation focuses on using software, such as campaign management software, to automate repetitive tasks or interactions that may occur between customer and brand,” explained Jonathan Moran, manager. marketing martech solutions at SAS.

“These include things like email marketing, social media posting, digital advertising, and even some web and mobile personalization,” he added. “Marketing automation is often campaign-focused (not journey-driven), more singular in nature, and leverages multi-channel capabilities.”

The main benefit of this CX approach is the automation of certain aspects of marketing needs, said Lyle Solomon, senior attorney at Oak View Law Group, which uses research and various marketing technologies.

“Through marketing automation, a business manages to streamline and speed up the process of its interaction with its customers,” Solomon said. “It helps a company reduce repetitive tasks and improve the performance of its marketing teams.”

He added that brands can automate marketing tasks such as:

  • Lead generation
  • Prospect scoring
  • Drip Campaigns
  • Loyalty of the clientele
  • Segmentation
  • Retargeting

“Marketing automation is generally seen as the vehicle firmly focused on solving the ‘how’ to facilitate scalable processes, data signal responsiveness, and operational coordination to embed insights into delivered campaigns,” Joan added. Smith, CEO of Protiviti Digital. “It’s often a building block of customer journey orchestration.”

She added, “Marketing automation can reduce execution costs and effort, increase scalability, and if designed well, can work in real time to act or react based on targeted customer actions. /prospects and help complete a journey or an experience”.

Related Article: How Marketing Automation Generates Quality Leads

The Benefits of Client Orchestration

By contrast, customer journey orchestration is much more holistic and advanced, according to Moran. It focuses on building detailed customer journeys, which are often groups of campaigns (composed of a series of steps and interactions) that a customer can take part of the time or even a whole life with a brand.

“Orchestrating a customer journey then adds a level of complexity that requires advanced data management, analytics, and optimization capabilities,” Moran added.

He continued, “Customer journey orchestration involves the use of customer journey mapping technologies with the goal of guiding customers through end-to-end conversion events rather than forcing them down predefined marketing paths.”

According to Forrester, CJO enables companies to discover, optimize and orchestrate journeys, with platforms helping companies use real-time data at the individual customer level to analyze current behavior and predict and adjust future behavior. .

“Customer journey orchestration is really about building authentic relationships with prospects and customers, whereas marketing automation can be perceived as impersonal and ticking boxes in the sales funnel to convert a prospect,” said said Jessica Andrews, senior product marketing manager at Copper.

Most marketing strategies today revolve around a customer journey, added Gary Warner, marketing manager for Joloda Hydraroll. “Being able to focus on a customer’s behavior and the route they take to complete a transaction adds predictability to a sales team. CJO brings granular personalization and relevant content on a one-to-one basis and is the next level of CX – it’s the pinnacle of marketing activity and what many consumers now expect in their advertising communications.

Automation can give a reliable flow of inquiries, orders and sales. However, due to the nature of the machine process, marketing automation sometimes fails to create customer trust and loyalty, Warner explained.

He continued, “Without the injection of ‘real-time’ and current messages, content can have a negative impact on brand image if the approach is not about ‘live’ business (such as promoting socializing during pandemic shutdowns).”

While analysts agree that marketing orchestration is more advanced, that doesn’t mean it’s right for all organizations.

Related article: The key to customer experience success? Planning the entire customer journey

What questions should marketers ask?

When deciding which approach to take, Moran said, organizations need to ask themselves the following questions and be very honest with themselves:

  • How advanced are my data collection and management techniques?
  • Do I have a global view of my customer across all channels?
  • Are my marketing interactions batch-based and time-limited?
  • Do I have the tools, technologies and processes needed to execute highly personalized interactions in real time throughout the customer journey?
  • Are my marketing interactions based on what my marketing department wants to talk about or what prospects and customers have expressed interest in?
  • Do my marketing interactions overlap to create a customer journey that I can then orchestrate with analytics running behind my customer journeys?

“CJO is for organizations that need to cover channels, devices, departments, and points in time with behind-the-scenes analytics, like optimization,” Moran added.

He used the example of a bank that needs to keep track of customers – from searching on a mobile device to making an online purchase to calling customer service, all through weeks.

“Marketing automation works best for batch single-channel campaigns,” Moran said. “So organizations with less sophisticated needs, maybe fewer channels, for example, might choose marketing automation over CJO. Marketing orchestration campaigns help form the foundation of CJO. »