Connections is always a crazy, but exciting week. This year, the main theme of the conference seemed to be all about the journey.
But when I say Journey, I don’t just mean the customer journey. This year, speakers like Congressman John Lewis of Georgia and Good Morning America news anchor Robin Roberts spoke about the importance of reflecting on the personal journeys we all take in life.
Even though we know Connections is all about marketing, it was nice to take a break to think about things beyond the marketing world. Congressman Lewis shared powerful stories about his experience fighting discrimination in the South and working with Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as the impact events like the walk from Selma to Montgomery and Bloody Sunday had on his personal journey, and how these events shaped the path he took to reach his goals.
In keeping with the theme, Robin Roberts shared a powerful message about the paths we take to reach our dreams. As a girl, Roberts had dreamed of competing at Wimbledon, and despite never making it to the court, she still feels her dream came true, as she did in fact get to attend Wimbledon during her time as a sports reporter. Her advice? Don’t be disappointed in the path, because sometimes you’re able to reach what you want, but just in a way you didn’t expect it.
One thing I didn’t expect in my personal journey during Connections was to run into Fabio.
But we can’t forget the other star of the show this year—Journey Builder, a tool from Salesforce Marketing Cloud that gives marketers the capability to create personalized, relevant customer journeys.
Marketing messages are all around us—on TV, on the radio, in magazines, on social media, in your inbox, on your smartphone, and of course, online. In other words, there’s a lot of noise. The best way to cut through it all? Make marketing personal by sending your prospects and customers on a journey that is shaped around their preferences, needs, and wants.
This is exactly the topic we tackled during our breakout session—Journey Builder: Build Your Own Adventure. The main takeaway? Determine your goal and use that as the guiding light for your journey. Because technology is great, but without the right strategy, all the technology in the world won’t be much help.
If you’re getting started with Journey Builder, here are a few steps to keep in mind:
1. Consider the goal. Again, customer journeys are all about the goal. So make sure each journey you create starts with this step.
Ex: Convert a first time customer into a long-term, loyal customer who recommends and raves about your products.
2. Consider the entry event. What does a customer or prospect need to do in order to be entered into a journey?
Ex: Customer makes a first-time purchase.
3. Consider the event timing. When the entry event (or any subsequent events occur) what duration of time will you wait to move them to the next step in the journey?
Ex: Customer makes a first-time purchase and a week later receives a promotion code for their next purchase. And the journey continues…
Think about all the steps someone could take with that initial event, and decide what messages, as well as what channels, will be used if and until they complete their journey. Finally, the content of your message needs to have a clear, single focus—one that is concerned only with moving your customers through the journey at hand.
Technology is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to building a customer journey. Like most digital marketing efforts, there’s a lot of strategy work you need to do in advance to get the most out of it.
If you attended Connections this year, I hope you found it as informative and inspiring as I did. And we hope to see everyone next June at Connections 2017 in Chicago!