Marketing campaigns have always been crucial to the success of any brand as they help communicate the benefits of your products and convey why your customers should choose you over others. These past years, we've seen the emergence of Customer Journey Orchestration and how it helps brands create more customer-centric experiences. You may be wondering the difference between Campaign Management and now Customer Journey Orchestration and its impact on your current and future marketing initiatives.
Let's review the differences as I also provide some recommendations on possible adjustments you may want to consider to your marketing efforts.
Campaign Management has traditionally been defined as planning, designing, executing, and analyzing a marketing initiative. Most common marketing efforts center around new product launches or events. Here are the key characteristics of Campaign Management:
1- It is brand-centric.
2- It is batch-oriented.
Organizations usually always plan their campaigns. Campaign Management works best when planning important initiatives for the quarter, semester, or the entire year ahead. These campaigns operate in batch mode and don't adjust to how customers react in real-time.
3- It is segment-driven.
The objective of Campaign Management is to get the word out to many customers, and it relies on pre-defined segments based on historical customer data. This leaves limited space for practitioners to personalize these campaigns and to adjust based on how customers might react.
4- It is linear and discreet.
Campaign Management relies on straightforward and time-based touchpoints using one or multiple channels to communicate to customers. It is a linear process and focuses on a specific phase of a product's lifecycle and not on the customer's.
Customer Journey Orchestration
On the other hand, Journey Orchestration focuses on the customer as it follows them through all the stages of their journey with the brand and gives organizations the insights they need to interact with customers at the most crucial moments of their experience. Here are the key characteristics of Customer Journey Orchestration:
1- It is customer-centric.
As opposed to Campaign Management, Customer Journey Orchestration has the customer at the center. It focuses on addressing customers' needs as they engage with organizations and identifying any friction point preventing them from attaining their goals.
2- It is always on.
As customers engage with organizations at any time, Journey Orchestration is always on. Journeys trigger based on customer-initiated events such as a visit to your website, a call made to the call center, a cart abandonment, or the proximity to one of your stores. Since these journeys run in the background, they provide real-time insights into where your customers are in your engagement funnel, the effectiveness of how you react to their engagement, and help you identify if you're addressing their needs.
3- It runs on a segment of 1.
Since Journey Orchestration runs in real-time and for each customer, it doesn't follow the same principles as segment-based Campaign Management. You can then refer to it as a customer event-driven journey or as a segment-of-1 campaign.
4- It is focused on personas and goals.
No two customers are alike, and their needs and wants are different. It is therefore essential for organizations to know their customers and create personas. These personas will help you focus on what customers are looking for, what they expect from your brand, and how to address their goals as they engage with you. Journey Orchestration helps you map, execute, and adjust real-time engagements and make sure you delight them at every turn.
Should I stop doing Campaign Management and pivot to Customer Journey Orchestration?
As I look back at the customer meetings I've had in the past 15 years, I can testify that more marketing teams and organizations are shifting from batch/planned campaigns to running real-time customer journeys. This steady trend is happening across industries and to organizations of various sizes. However, I don't think we should entirely give up on Campaign Management. Here are my thoughts on how you can combine both and still be a customer-centric organization.
— Journey Orchestration should be the go-to and default strategy to engaging with your customers as it provides ways to address their needs and identify friction points during crucial moments of their experience with your brand.
— Use Campaign Management only for key announcements that speak to all your customers.
— Use Campaign Management in the early stages of your customer relationship (welcome series and onboarding communications for instance) as you want to make sure they understand the value proposition of your products and what they can expect from you. However, I highly recommend you quickly pivot to marketing automation and journey and marketing orchestration as you start receiving customer events that help you adapt your engagement strategy to their real-time interactions.