By Manoj Goyal, GVP Engineering for Oracle Marketing Cloud
Let’s all repeat it together – the traditional “customer journey” is dead!
Consumer expectations have changed. The real way customers engage with brands is dynamic, unpredictable, and they expect to be served with a relevant experience in real-time, every time they interact with a brand. Thus, while the problem of understanding customers continues to get more challenging, the solution to serve them these appropriate, device-centric, contextually accurate experiences also gets more difficult.
The reason for this conundrum is simple – data. Rather, the issue is the inability of brands to make sense of all this data. Do you realize that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day? This includes an enormous amount of customer behavioral, transactional, financial and demographical data, most of which resides in siloes across many different organizational and geographic boundaries. There are also various systems such as CRM, POS, Web Analytics, Service Ticketing, Marketing Automation, Commerce and many more. This separation of customer data and the inability to cultivate meaningful customer insights from it is the number one barrier preventing companies from delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Today’s Solutions Fall Short
Thousands of different marketing technologies promise a solution to this problem. And this, in itself, is a problem because the customer experience is not limited to marketing. Many of today’s solutions are too narrowly focused and do not consider the end-to-end customer experience across marketing, sales, service, loyalty, etc.
Let’s consider CDPs (or Customer Data Platforms). CDPs are a solution category that is hot right now. In fact, they are at the top of the latest Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising. Our viewpoint is that today’s CDPs fall short and do not go far enough in addressing the real concerns of CX professionals.
Today’s CDPs (along with data lakes and service providers) fall short in one or more areas. 1) they are limited in their scope to a few marketing-specific use case; 2) are “data storage” centric; 3) struggle with stitching large amounts of data and profiles together and; 4) lack the artificial intelligence/machine learning capabilities that can make sense of the massive amounts of data. Further, they tend to have limited direct integrations to marketing, sales and service applications for using the data to influence the customer experience in a contextually rich way.
But, CX professionals care about understanding their customers better and being able to use that as intelligence to engage with them in a more relevant way across every interaction. They do this with the objective of increased customer satisfaction, greater customer lifetime value and more brand loyalty.
We have been actively investing for a while in solving the problems that today’s solutions have failed to address for our customers, i.e. helping them connect their data sources and enrich this data to deliver highly personalized experiences at every touchpoint of the customer journey. More than anyone else, Oracle has a history of investing in helping our customers get more value from their data assets. We are the best in the world at data management.
A Shift in Thinking
But how should brands think about really solving this big data challenge? One thing they must do is shift their thinking from a customer journey-centric view to a data-first approach, where the customer is in the center. This enables you to change the dialogue you have with your customers from being very “CRM, predictable and transactional” to being incredibly “responsive and conversational”. Companies looking to transform customer experiences need customer data that is real-time, intelligent, and predictive in order to deliver the most relevant, in-the-moment and personalized customer experiences at scale.
Introducing Oracle CX Unity
Oracle CX Unity is a new customer intelligence platform that will be embedded within Oracle CX Cloud. It will enable contextually rich individualized engagements by connecting data, intelligence, and outcomes across the entire customer experience.
CX Unity applies data-driven intelligence to determine the next best experience by feeding those actions directly into Oracle and partner applications. For example, if a customer is interacting with a service agent to report an issue, it’s important the agent knows this is a high value customer who just made a major purchase, getting that information from the sales team. This approach enables the brand to optimize how they engage with their customers, helping to improve customer satisfaction and increasing customer lifetime value.
Oracle CX Unity offers a unique approach to enable organizations to react and respond to the unknowns and optimize the way they engage with their customers at each and every interaction.
- Connected Data: CX Unity simplifies the consolidation of offline, online, and 3rd-party individual-level customer data from all disparate systems in real-time into a dynamic and connected profile.
- Connected Intelligence: CX unity leverages AI and machine learning to add an intelligence layer on top of the data to contextually derive the next best customer experience.
- Connected Experience: Because CX Unity is embedded in Oracle CX Cloud, it can activate individualized experiences across the entire customer journey from marketing to sales and service.
We are excited about the value CX Unity will deliver to our customers and its ability to enable CX Professionals across all industries to deliver contextually aware and highly personalized experiences that delight their customers whenever and however they engage with your brand. For them, the results will speak for themselves – happier, more loyal customers who become advocates for their brand.