Use Business Scenarios to Differentiate Journey Orchestration Engine Vendors

Journey orchestration is an organizational practice where customers enjoy coherent experiences across all touchpoints—online or off, proactive or responsive. It’s what customers expect and what every organization wants to deliver.

Yet enterprises often find efforts to achieve this ideal thwarted by the symptoms of their own success: sheer scale, organizational silos, an abundance of tools and technologies across a growing array of customer touchpoints—each tool with its own business logic, personalization rules, content, and data.

Journey Orchestration Engines, or JOEs, are designed to help. Real Story Group’s newest set of hard-hitting vendor evaluations will help you navigate the evolving landscape of JOE offerings, with 13 solutions covered.

A Functional Look

At its core, a JOE should join ongoing and contextual awareness of prospect/customer activity to an ever-growing knowledge of those prospects/customers in order to make timely and informed decisions on what best to do next, and to effect that action. I’ll post later about some of these services, but today let’s examine a more fundamental, business-focused approach to differentiating JOE platforms.

Identify Business Scenarios

At RSG we never identify the “best” technologies in any particular category, rather we help you the technology buyer identify the “best fit” technology for your situation.  So foremost we evaluate JOEs in the context of these six important customer journey scenarios. Which ones apply at your organization?

Six JOE business scenarios
RSG evaluates JOE vendors according to the extent they fulfill six key business use cases. Source: RSG

Digital Customer Acquisition

This scenario covers how effectively the JOE provides journey planning, activation, and optimization for specifically digital customer acquisition marketing scenarios, e.g., audience building/segmentation, anonymous profiles, media buying, search/display ads, retargeting, web, email, voice, mobile, social, ecommerce, and content.

Offline/Online Customer Acquisition

This scenario addresses a JOE’s suitability for customer acquisition journeys that are not only digital, as described above, but that also include offline touchpoints (e.g., in-store, sales agents, direct mail, and so on) and so require cross-channel coordination spanning off- and online interactions.

Sales Enablement

This use case covers how well the solution provides journey orchestration for considered B2C purchases, B2B, as well as ABM scenarios that include lead nurturing, sales processes, account management, and otherwise require omnichannel / interdisciplinary coordination.

Channel Partner Orchestration

This scenario reviews how well the solution accommodates the orchestration of journeys via channel partners or distributors—including marketing, sales, and service in scope.

Revenue Optimization & Retention

This scenario evaluates revenue-oriented services, including upsell / cross-sell / loyalty / retention / win-back efforts as well as coordination with service and back-office to effect a seamless and sensical customer experience.

Service and Support

In this use case we look at whether, how, and how well the solution orchestrates customer service and support interactions (offline, online, social, etc.) in context and coordination with sales, marketing, and other omnichannel stakeholders. Note that this scenario affects all others, as without coordination with and visibility to service and support, no other journey scenario can be fully orchestrated.

What You Should Do

To be sure, your key business scenarios could represent hybrids or extensions to these use cases.  In a true omnichannel strategy for a diversified enterprise, they may all seem pertinent, but I’ll encourage you to focus on your highest business priorities.  One reason: vendors almost never excel across all scenarios and, for historical or technical reasons, will inevitably focus on some more than others.

RSG subscribers can use our “RealQuadrant” decision tool to match key JOE business scenarios to the right vendor short list (log in for full results).


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