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Beyond a Buzzword: Journey Optimization & the DMP

Journey Optimization is a strategic practice that pushes marketers, agencies and publishers to be more cognizant of their customer’s journey.  In other words, this means personalizing the user experience in terms of who your buyer is and where they are in the buyer journey. At the heart of Journey Optimization is your customer and their experience with your brand

Marketing Land’s columnist Jim Yu writes, “Serving up the right type of content at a pivotal point in the buyer’s journey provides an opportunity to engage customers and move them forward in the sale.”

Journey Optimization & the DMP

So where does your DMP fit into a customer-first strategy? A DMP is essential for any brand looking to strategically implement a data-driven, powerful customer experience. Through Lotame’s DMP, your team has the capabilities & insights to:

UNIFY DATA: Collect data from any source, including online, offline, mobile, CRM, Smart TVs and beyond, and organize it into one platform for a complete profile of your customer personas

REACH CONSUMERS ACROSS SCREENS: Match billions of signals from desktops, smartphones and tablets to capture data and target consumers across devices for true omnichannel marketing (think: Lotame’s Cross-Device solution, Mobile Web or through Lotame’s SDK tag implementation for In-App)

RETARGET SMARTER: Gain insights about who is interacting with campaigns/creative/content (clicks, impressions, conversions) to retarget more effectively (think: Insights Campaigns)

SEND YOUR DATA ANYWHERE: Export your data to dozens of media platforms for ad targeting, analysis, validation/verification, inventory management, and lots more!

What Are The Benefits of Journey Optimization?

By strategically thinking about your sales funnel, and the experience of your consumer as they engage and interact with your brand, a customer journey optimization strategy takes your customer experience to the next level.

What’s in it for you? Journey Optimization is a proven strategy to help your business sell more.

  1. Understand your customer personas
  2. Leverage 1st/2nd/3rd party data
  3. Educate and connect with your customers more personally 
  4. Engage with your customer with the right message at the right time

Ultimately, the goal is to convert more users who engage with ads or content on your site, or throughout the web, to leads.

Getting Started with Journey Optimization

Understanding your customer’s persona is essential to optimizing your marketing for higher conversions.

The first step is to define your customer segments precisely:

  1. Who are they?
  2. What are their purchase drivers?
  3. What hinders them/what obstacles prevent them from moving down your funnel?
  4. What content will resonate the most?

The DMP is able to reveal key insights as to the demographic and behavioral composition of an audience in order to inform your overall media planning and audience activation strategy.

You can utilize these insights against who is coming to your site/page – or who interacted with past & current campaigns (clicks, impressions, conversions) to gain an idea of what the most successful touchpoints and effective motivators are along your customer’s journey.

Once you have an understanding of what your customer’s journey looks like and have utilized data driven insights to design a path and media strategy that will be most compelling for your consumer, you are ready  to reach your consumer with the right messaging at the right time.

Sequential Messaging in Journey Optimization

Along your customized nurture paths, messaging should speak to the stage your user is within the funnel. Sequential messaging tactics (either through your DSP, SSP or Lotame) can be utilized to serve creative or content in “stages” ensuring you are reaching your user with the right message at the right time.

Stage One: “Brand Messaging”
The objective of this phase should be to make your brand recognizable, build a reputation, connect with your personas, & transform your brand into a trusted source. (Where is my customer? Think: Website Visitors)

Stage Two: “Get Personal”
Speak to your customers interests and purchase drivers. For example, you can A/B test messaging based on your personas’ demographics, content consumption, interests and actions made up of 1st-party, second-party and third-party data ingested into the platform. (Where is my customer? Think: Product Browsing)

Stage Three: “Drive the Message Home”
Utilize your custom nurture streams to address pain points, distinguish products, and help move your customers down the funnel. (Where is my customer? Think: Abandoned Shopping Cart Selection, hesitating to pull the trigger)

Stage Four: “Act Now”
Now we’re getting to the bottom of the funnel messaging, including free trials, incentives, and anything to make them convert. (Where is my customer? Think: Ready to purchase)

Stage Five: “Always On”
Once they have converted and become a customer, your goal now is to retain and/or upsell them. Keep your customers engaged with your brand, helping foster upsell/cross-sell opportunities, or to influence product development or advancements. (What is my customer? LOYAL)

By tagging up creative/content with insights pixels, you would be able to gather actionable insights throughout your campaign, helping determine what messaging tactics are resonating the most AND most importantly, with WHO.

PRO TIP: Tag your conversion path in order to utilize data around who clicked your “Buy Now/Purchase” button or made it to the thank you page to determine which path or “customer journey” is the most effective, as well as refine content strategy to hone in on the most effective messaging or update your content/targeting strategy against any new audience learnings.

In the end, a successful Journey Optimization strategy will result in helping your business:

  • Develop insights on what messaging resonates the most with each persona across each stage of the buyer journey.
  • Maximize your marketing spend reaching your customers across multiple channels with personalized sequential messaging
  • Accelerate pipeline and increase conversions utilizing data to engage your customer with the right message at the right time!

But remember, it doesn’t stop at the conversion. The most successful brands maintain an “always on” strategy, continuing to engage converters to transform them into loyalists and advocates.

“Building brand loyalty is immensely valuable for brands and businesses because loyalty is a driving factor behind sales. Studies from the Gartner Group have shown that 80% of all revenue is derived from 20% of all customers and a study from Bain reported that repeat customers spend approximately 67% more than new customers. In fact, a mere 5% increase in loyal customers would mean a 25% to 100% increased profit per loyal customer, according to The Loyalty Effect.”

In the end, I hope your journey optimization strategy is really, quite simply, your brand strategy- focusing on the most important person in your sales funnel: the customer.

This article was written by Lana Warner, Customer Success Manager at Lotame. 

Want more information on Lotame’s DMP and how it can help you succeed with journey optimization? Let’s chat.

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