2020 and beyond: Is your brand orchestration-ready?

Richard CalvertMarketing orchestration is nothing new. In fact it is really quite old. It first came to prominence back in 2013, the year that HMV first went bust, the horse meat scandal shocked the country, Prince George was born and Facebook and Twitter both went public. Seems like eons ago, doesn’t it?

Over the intervening six years you’d have thought that the concept which focuses not on delivering standalone campaigns, but on optimising a set of related cross-channel interactions that, when added together, make up a personalised customer experience, would have become common place. Particularly since the cult of the customer journey has become so prevalent.

And yet it hasn’t.

Quite the opposite. In fact, when I carried out a quick Google search, it revealed the most recent article on the topic was written back in March last year. Having just completed another Google search to find (and read) said article, a new piece popped up, which adds credence to my assertion that orchestration is on the rebound.

Resulticks, a martech company based in the US, has just released a new AI-powered orchestration solution which helps brands better manage outcome-focused omnichannel user experiences. It does this by auto-mapping the entire customer experience based on key occasions, communication goal and type, product type, and benchmarks.

After my first Google search, I was concerned that Forrester was wrong back in 2013 when it wrote the seminal report “The rise of orchestration”, as it didn’t appear to have risen anywhere. However, I believe that back then the market wasn’t mature enough for orchestration.

It demands the recognition of individuals and identities across channels, realtime capture and management of interaction data, responsive customer journey design, testing, and optimisation, right-time, cross-channel campaign automation and execution, rules-based and predictive selection of next-best journey and responsible preference and permissions management. Certainly the last requirement has only come to the fore because of GDPR.

In 2013, orchestration was a good idea, but in practice it was all but impossible. It’s like the single customer view. For years, organisations eagerly pursued it, but most failed to deliver. It is only recently through the triumvirate of better data, better computational power and better technology that SCV is now achievable. The same is true for orchestration. As we move into a new decade all the stars are aligned.

However, to become orchestration-ready organisations must:

– Have a customer-focused culture

– Be organised around the customer life cycle

– Invest in technologies that can manage the customer journey from end-to-end

– Move from canned responses to next-best journeys

The most recent research from McKinsey shows that leveraging the customer journey – which is the output of orchestration – has its benefits. Across industries, successful projects typically achieve revenue growth of between 5% and 10% and cost reductions of 15% to 25% within two or three years.

Moreover, companies offering an exceptional customer experience can exceed the gross margins of their competitors by more than 26%, while they make their employees happier and simplify their end-to-end operations.

All in all, making orchestration a priority for 2020 should be a no-brainer.

Richard Calvert is co-founder of The Thread Team

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