The reason for this project was to create and develop a customer journey, to step away from batch and blast and to benefit from the powerful marketing automation platform that is Eloqua.
I think it is fair to say at some point in our career we have encountered the dreaded batch and blast. We tend to send an email to the pot and hope for the best. But as we are now Modern Marketers, times have changed. As part of the marketing automation team in a global events and exhibitions company, it was up to us to not only educate the regional marketing teams as to why it is so important to design the customer journey through the capabilities of Eloqua, but to create, deploy and report on these campaigns. Through the course of this project, I uncovered additional learning such as the need for process change, to ensure that we are utilising the analysis made by making relevant changes to improve the overall journey and to align teams such as sales and marketing.
With over 50 brands/exhibitions worldwide, our challenge was to create a customer journey that could be utilised across all brands with slight tweaking per show.
- Stop inundating contacts with multiple emails
- Reduce opt out
- Improve ROI
- Efficient structure and time spent on relevant copy
- Align brands around a common cause
- Speak a universal language with content and branding
- Identify and update inefficient touch points and processes
- Understand our customer and their interactions with us
- Increase egagemnent for visitors and exhibitors
The approach – How to get there
It was decided to use one show cycle as a pilot (9 months communications plan). I met with a number of teams initially to discuss the previous years results by focusing on unsubscription rates, unique click throughs, number of emails received per email address, conversions, in this case registrations to the exhibition, and feedback from surveys, after I reviewed the results against industry standards, these steps were taken.
- Choose the persona/segment to focus on
- Identify the timeline
- Use previous results like behavoiur flow reports/surveys and the goal flow report
- Map touchpoints of the persona and put yourself in their shoes, when and where
- Visulaise and map out the flow
- Ensure some requirements are made like:
- Write copy weeks in advance before sent date
- Sign off of emails weeks in advance – activate campaign and let it run
- Test, report, refine and evaluate
- Share and use
The Focus – Eloqua Campaign Structure
We sat with multiple teams to understand the focus of specific shows, to identify the objectives for example awareness, persuasion, commitment up sell etc., the messaging themes, the timelines and checkpoints. From there we were able to identify the types of campaigns needed for this journey to work….using Eloqua Modern Marketing best practices. We incorporated AB testing through subject lines, timings, messaging tones, personalisation and segmentation.
Awareness & interest, Persuade & commit, Behaviour & persona and Archetypes
The Types of campaigns we used based on engagement and trigger points
- Introduction to the Exhibition
- Registration boost
- In show comms
- Monthly newsletter
- Remarketing on social
- Thank you and survey
Once all of the touch points were agreed, the campaigns were created, tested and the contacts poured in -- I turned it on and waited with bated breath to see what happened next.
We found through testing and analysis how many of our contacts were converting and registering off the back of the marketing automation email campaigns, who were engaged and who were not engaged. We developed trigger based campaigns to those who needed to be spoken to in a different way and how we could improve this journey for other exhibitions and shows. It highlighted specific emails that were not performing as well as others; it allowed us to tweak images and change subject lines. Overall, this journey created a better customer experience. How?
- Increased unique open rate by 12%
- Feedback from customers – “Relevant emails with relvevant copy and the right time”
- Internal marketing teams had more time to focus on additional marketing activities as opposed to writing email copy the day of send.
- Marketing automation process were reviewed and improved
- Highlited gaps in the data for lead scoring such as geo location, product type etc.
- Createda cycle of analysis and adjustment
Modern Markeing Eloqua courses which helped me to achieve the customer journey were:
- Targetting and segmentation
- Lead Scoring
- Campaings and Assets
- Conversion and Analysis
- Email deliverability
The customer journey creation became a catalyst for change, not only for our customers but for our company and marketing structure. It aligned teams and subsiquently built stronger relationships.