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Importance of one to one Customer Journey

Achieving personalization for brands 

In the last note, I have touched upon the broad features of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Platform. In the current blog, I harp on the emergence of personalisation, a guideline for creating unified customer communications across a distributed organisation. And finally, an exhibit demonstrating the customised email based on customer data.

Understanding the emergence of Customer Journey

In the current era of digital marketing, every effort of marketers drives the concept called the customer journey. With market insights, companies try to resonate with customer preferences and built products or services around it. Successfully shifting this focus from being brand-specific to customer-centric requires a great deal of change management. Hence, Customer interactions with a brand are paramount, and survey monkey defines this as 

The customer journey is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand. Instead of looking at just a part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the full experience of being a customer.

In other words, having a siloed approach towards customer interaction would cause more harm than good for any brand. For example, providing great experience during purchase and inadequate customer response would have an impact on brand loyalty. To mitigate these risks,  distributed organisations require to work synergistically to achieve customer-centric objectives. 

Driving personalisation

In the customer journey, personalisation is the key, and every brand tries to achieve this with the help of technology. Journeys are completed only because of the surplus of information available about customer behaviour. Success in the availability of customer data is connected to the success of eCommerce platforms. Besides having a presence on the leading marketplaces like and ebay, all brands tend to have a platform for selling products only to get a hold of customer data.

While personalisation is available at all levels with machine learning and artificial intelligence that promote product recommendations, dynamic content and other capabilities, we primarily focus on the marketing communication channels like email, mobile and push notifications. In the early days of digital marketing, batch and blast was the only available option for marketers to send an email. This is very straight, obtain email contact lists and hit submit to all the people in the list. Soon, this earned a bad reputation with scammers exploiting this space. In addition to this, with a lack of relevant information and exorbitant internet prices, customers soon lost interest in the emails.

The customer journey revolution has evolved personalization from being a batch and blasts, two channels to too many and brand-centric to customer-centric. Customers have come to expect the brands to communicate and act on their preference.

Fortunately, the modern-day marketers have data on the customer digital footprints from the brand websites. By using this subscriber data, the brands can build personalized email communication based on the audience attributes. For instance, based on the previous order, the brands can send product recommendations and greeting messages to the subscribers. Customers have come to expect the brands to communicate and act on their preference and hence business have no choice other than to adopt these measures. The framework for building personalized content includes a simple formula.

Create Personas: Understanding the target audience is a key and building a persona around it forms a foundation for creating personalized content. Persona is the profile of a typical client with attributes like demographic information, hobbies and behaviour. Email studio is a beautiful application in the Marketing cloud that comes with a lot of personalization capabilities. Marketers can create dynamic content that generates relevant information to subscribers upon receiving the email like the media content. While AMP scripting (%%) helps the user to send the email with a username, Product, Order name and redeem points balance and location-specific information. Segmentation Testing: With the available customer persona, it is essential to test the marketing content and product offerings with the audience. This will provide comparison and feedback on the customer preferences about the product and services. Contact and audience builder enables the brands to segment the collected data on various attributes. Thus, providing power to the Email studio dynamic content and other personalisation efforts. Lastly, we have AB testing feature that embarks on finding the appropriate version of the copy that is relevant to the segmented audience. This application dynamically selects the content for the email based on the subscriber’s purchase history, shopping cart and items viewed etc., Data about subscriber behaviour and preferences, content catalogue form the basis for defining rules in the personalization builder.

Take a look at the below-personalised sample email. 

Salesforce Email Personalization Example
Salesforce Email Personalization Example 

1:1 aspects achieved in the above exhibit with Salesforce 

Context: Salesforce sends this email to an exam participant covering the exam results and percentage of merit achieved in individual knowledge areas of the certification. 

1. Subject Line: This area can be customisable based on the attributes of the customer. However, in the current example, it could be static content. 

2. Email Address: information related to the email address can be made available from the related data extensions. Also, though not applicable in this particular instance, configuring of send classification per the exam type would ease the rating for delivery compliance. 

3. Customer Name: Customer name shall be an API call from the Data Extension selection like indicated in the email address. Choice of first name or last name based on the requirements with AMP scripting shall help in automation of the email send activity upon completion of certification. 

4. Test Taker Name: Refer to the above description 

5. Result and Completion Date: Exam completion date and status of certification based on the milestone achievement, the email split feature determines the type of email used for the customer journey. 

6. Section level scoring: There are six sections in the certification, and the display of merit-based percentile dynamically based on the candidate can be made in the tool.

In the next blog, I would focus on the compliance aspects for designing and sending transactional and promotional emails.  

Sai Hari is a consulting professional who primarily practices in the area of strategic planning, Business analysis and Marketing Automation. He is a certified Salesforce Marketing Cloud practitioner helping businesses to design, build and implement CRM solutions


(All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site)


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