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Glossary Index

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Glossary term

Journey orchestration platform

Quick definition

A journey orchestration platform is a tool used to understand the customer journey and deliver personalized experiences that encourages the customer to continue engaging with a company.

Key takeaways

 

Journey orchestration focuses on creating experiences for an individual, rather than a segment of the audience.

The three main features of a journey orchestration platform are data, content, and delivery.

A journey orchestration platform can help a company avoid siloing teams and deliver omnichannel experiences to customers.


Jeremy Finch is a product marketing manager for Adobe Campaign. Before coming to Adobe, Jeremy worked as part of HubSpot's sales enablement team and as an operations manager and design strategist for Altitude Inc.

Q: What is customer journey orchestration?

A: Industry analysts talk about customer journey tools in these terms: journey visioning, journey mapping, and journey orchestration — which is having the technology, tools, content, and strategy to actually take the present state of how a customer interacts with your brand and move it to some ideal future state.

Mapping the customer journey — understanding what the different customer journeys look like and which touchpoints to use to reach each customer — is the start, but companies need to look beyond visually mapping the current state of the audience and examine how to move customers to the next stage of the marketing and sales funnel. Customer journey orchestration looks at a customer who has visited a website or signed up for a free trial, for example, and determines what messages or experience they need to take the next step.

Journey orchestration differs from traditional marketing automation or campaign management because those operate on a segment-based level or an audience-based level, where a company might create a segment or audience of people that fit a certain criteria or match certain conditions that are set in advance. Journey orchestration, on the other hand, focuses on the individual. Rather than looking at a customer as a member of a segment that has 5,000 other people that share some qualities, journey orchestration looks at the customer as an individual who opened an app or looked at a product. It considers what the company will do for one person at this moment in time versus what they will do for a segment of 5,000 people.

Q: What features does a journey orchestration platform need?

A: The three main things a journey orchestration platform needs are customer data, content, and the ability to reach people through a variety of channels. Data looks at where people are in the evaluation or use process, who they are demographically, and what they're interested in. A journey orchestration platform needs to be able to store that data in a single place, connecting different sources by creating data pipelines from your company’s website, point-of-sale system, mobile app, etc. then aggregate that into a single space. It should pull in real-time data from a variety of sources to create a complete view of a customer.

The included content could be a variety of multimedia assets, like text, images, videos, tutorials, or advice following up a support ticket. A journey orchestration platform should help you make sure you have the right kind of content for the right moment in time, because it's going to look different for every person in every stage of the journey.

Delivery is the third element. The delivery feature lets you reach people in exactly the places and moments where you want them to take an action on whatever device, screen, or touchpoint that works best for them. That touchpoint could be online or offline. The message could be delivered through a person or it could be through a mobile or push notification.

Q: How does a journey orchestration platform work?

A: In general, it starts by pulling together multiple different data sources. You could have a data pipeline coming from your email tool that says, “these people have received these emails and they've opened the email or clicked through.” You could be pulling data from your CRM tool that says, “these people are a lead, or an opportunity, or at stage six in your evaluation cycle.” You might be pulling from your analytics tools, which could be hooked up to a mobile app or a website.

Once you have all the data, there are three component parts — events, conditions, and actions. The event would be defining a signal that shows when the customer has taken a specific action or showed interest in a product. That is going to look different in every business. The event then would trigger a condition that looks at the customer's journey and their interactions with the brand. Based on whether or not the customer meets certain conditions, which the company can customize, the company can trigger a next action, which will be to send customer-specific information, like a coupon or push notification.

Q: How do journey orchestration platforms solve potential problems?

A: For a lot of companies, the biggest challenge is getting the right data, cleaning it up, making it accessible, and doing this all in a way that helps internal teams collaborate with each other. Many companies keep their teams separated, with the email team never talking to the mobile or social teams.

But the customer doesn't care which team they're talking to — they just want their question answered. A journey orchestration platform can help a company collaborate internally more tightly and provide a more unified, cohesive customer experience. Technology can actually bring organizations closer together, so they know when they're looking at the same customer and everyone gets a more complete view of who they're actually trying to serve.

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