Good morning, Marketers, and are you walking the walk?
Some striking tensions between two of the stories below: We have Ben Tepfer of Adobe talking about how successful customer journey orchestration is a differentiator. Guiding your customers through a seamless, cross-channel journey with a genuine value exchange gives brands a competitive edge.
That’s surely true. But then we have an IAB report suggesting that seamless, delightful journeys are not what customers are getting a lot of the time. They are getting advertised at -— and their response is to block or skip the ads or invest in several subscriptions to ad-free channels.
This has been a familiar challenge in the marketing technology space for several years now. We have the tools which at least ought to be able to create the right kind of customer experience (okay, as long as we have good data), but the wrong kind of experience is often delivered. Is it just a question of hitting numbers? Is it the wrong KPIs? Vanity metrics? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org (And see quote of the day.)
Why cross-channel customer journey orchestration is important
“Brands struggle with where to start,” said Ben Tepfer, Senior Technical Evangelist at Adobe, talking about customer journey orchestration at our recent MarTech conference. “There’s new channels, there’s new social networks. There’s old mediums that are no longer of as much use. So as marketers, we need to be thinking constantly about, what are the channels today and what are the channels going to look like in the future?”
That’s especially the case at a point in time where the pandemic and a range of social upheavals have been driving new consumer behavior in an ever-widening variety of channels.
Orchestrating a customer journey can be an opportunity for your brand to gain a competitive edge and disrupt your category. “The status quo is absolutely not a best business practice,” said Tepfer. “So, think about how you can disrupt your market and let your customers be in charge of their journeys.”
Tepfer went on to explain three vital elements of successful journey orchestration: The data foundation; listening and responding; and the value exchange.
Why some marketers are moving to hybrid and headless CMS systems
Some site owners with specific needs are moving from traditional CMS systems to hybrid and headless CMSs. Marketers are embracing the customizability of these systems.
“I think there is a problem with tools like WordPress and Drupal and the kind of CMSs that are super popular becoming too bloated and too slow and too kind of just having too much code involved,” said Todd Zeigler, CEO of digital communications company Brick Factory, in his recent MarTech session.
He added, “There are two primary problems that need to be solved. One, performance; just making sure it’s as fast as possible, which I think is one of the benefits of a hybrid or a decoupled approach. And then two, the problem of data needing to be fed to different places.”
Hybrid and headless CMSs have a wide range of capabilities, but they generally need more work and time to set up than their non-headless counterparts. It’s up to marketers and brands to decide which solution is most cost-effective for their organization.
Consumer tolerance for traditional advertising continues to fall
In a new report, “Outlook 2022: The US Digital Advertising Ecosystem,” the IAB spells out bluntly the changes in consumer expectations of advertising. As for traditional advertising, they are tired of it and especially when it manifests as interruptions to digital video consumption. Lower consumer tolerance and higher expectations of brands are impacting “the composition and size of audiences for ad-supported media and entertainment brands.”
With the greatly increased availability of ad-free and ad-light entertainment sources, such as subscription streaming channels, inaction will have grave consequences. The IAB suggests: “Make advertising a better part of the broader media experience: more flexible, iterative, agile and an ‘always-on’ part of how companies consider and engage with consumers for a more holistic and value-driven experience.”
Why we care. Are we living in the sunset days of traditional advertising? It’s too soon to make that claim, especially as many of us are increasingly surrounded by connected OOH billboards and besieged by unskippable ads during videos. It’s not all gloom when streaming TV provides an attractive way of targeting households through voluntarily submitted first-party data (not a cookie in sight).
But at the same time, it’s becoming ever more apparent that consumers are looking for a value exchange. They’re looking for information or content or just entertainment directed at their own personal needs of the moment. There are mechanisms for delivering that; forcing the audience to sit through ads they don’t care about isn’t one of them.
Quote of the day
“It’s one of the biggest ironies in business today. Many KPIs are more symbolic of a “culture of accountability” v. being representative of actual performance.” Mark Stouse, chairman and CEO, Proof Analytics