In this article we will look at Design Considerations at a high-level of what a campaign would look like in a Unica Campaign environment. Later we will look at the actual low-level build, contact and response processing, getting data in and out of your campaigns / flowcharts and scheduling (turning those lights out!)
To begin, let’s consider a single customer “journey”. This
is an end to end piece of activity to usually achieve a single goal or call to
Now consider the following questions:
What is the/are the goal(s) of this journey?
Exit Point: What happens when the customer
reaches the goal, i.e. what is their next journey? Depending on circumstances,
this could happen at any time.
Exit Point: What happens if the customer does
not reach the goal? Again, this could be another journey.
Entry Point: How and where does the customer
enter the journey?
Does the result of this journey affect the
“status” of the customer?
What is the channel sequencing for communication
for this journey?
What happens if you cannot reach a customer on
your desired channel?
Do you know or have been able to infer that the
customer has a preferred channel?
What if you do not have permission to talk to
the customer on the channels you wish to use?
Can the entire journey be handled automatically
or is there some form of manual intervention required? (Passing VIP customers
to some CRM platform instead for example)
Do we output all communication steps of the
journey upfront or check regularly to see if a customer has reached the next step?
If the former, how can we “back-out” communications that should now no longer
Now let’s take a step up one level and think about the
interaction between multiple journeys:
If a customer is in one journey, does that
prevent them being eligible for another?
If a customer is in one journey, is there a
linked journey that they need to be considered for? (One possible journey is
just to rest a customer)
From a customer point of view, is the effect of
being in multiple journeys a consistent delivery of message?
Do you need to think about customer fatigue
rules and campaign optimisation to prioritise which journeys are
appropriate at any one time? This is a separate detailed discussion and usually
a different product.
Are all of your channels covered by Unica Campaign?
For those that are not, how is the customer journey represented and controlled.
A common issue here is around Social Media as the teams are often independent
and working on their own agenda!
Are all of your product groups aligned in giving
the customer the best possible experience or are they all working towards their
The first assumption we need to make is that the customer
data you have available will facilitate all such decisions. Your customer Data
Mart is a good source for identifying that a goal has been reached, e.g. a
credit card has been activated or loyalty points were redeemed last week. Your
channel partners can provide you responses to your communications such as links
clicked, messages delivered and opened etc. All or some of this data can be
included in your Unica Campaign contact and response history (whether matched
directly or inferred).
That’s a lot of questions and you may not need to include
all of them in a campaign build but whether designing, building or approving
campaigns you will need to at least consider them.
Looking at the building blocks available in Unica we have:
for building parts of the journey that are not dependent on campaign
activity. These commonly concern channel processing (response handling) and
creation of strategic segments.
Used for grouping similar activities towards a common goal. A
campaign can run as a one-off activity or continuously over a period of time.
There are no rules, but some considerations below may help in deciding how to
collection of processes to query your data and deliver an outcome. The
outcome could be to create a re-usable segment of customers or take those
customers and deliver a sequence of messages. As this is the object that can
be scheduled using the Marketing platform scheduler, all activity at this
level should be delivered at the same frequency. For simplicity, different
frequency = different flowchart.
A method for outputting data into a table or file. This provides a
common way of connecting information derived in one flowchart and using it in
another (transitions from one journey to another for example)
Segment / CreateSeg process
the resulting outcome of some query activity in a flowchart into a list of Customer
ID’s. This improves reusability and reduces processing time. This is another
way that data can be shared between flowcharts. You can also use segments to
segregate customers at a high level into your journeys. For example,
Prospects vs Onboarding vs Retention etc. and then ensure no campaign
crossover for relevant members.
Track and Response Process
Used to load customer and channel response into the Unica Campaign
Contact and Response history respectively. E.g. Clicks and Opens will be
responses but a Send will normally be a contact status update.
confusing to define. Think of offers as messages. You can capture metadata
about the message which can even be assigned at runtime. This allows you to
ask questions about the message you delivered to a customer. Find me
customers on channel XXX who were contacted about an account type AAA for
example. When combined with the Contact and response history you can also add
in criteria such as …’where the message was actually sent, and the customer
responded with response RRR’.
There is no versioning in Unica Campaign so frequency of update for a campaign might drive the requirement for building one campaign or replicating and retiring previous versions. If auditing is important to your organisation (and is more often than not now), you may wish to remember which selection logic was used during a period of time. In this case, ensure that your campaign is time or version-stamped in some way (Bespoke campaign attribute or built into naming convention). Once you create a new version you will need to determine what happens to customer in a previous one. Do they switch to the new version or do you keep them in the previous version to completion and only inject new customers into the new build?
Keep your flowchart build at a sensible level of complexity.
Large flowcharts are more prone to error, more difficult to audit or explain
for approval purposes and more difficult to restart in case of processing
difficulties. Different parts of the process can be linked together via the
scheduler, passing customers from one piece to the next. If it looks like one
piece will need frequent updates compared to more stable elements, then that
probably suggests a separate flowchart.
Run frequency is also important. Scheduling will be
considered in a later article but for now, automation allows you to set your
schedule frequency as high as makes sense, but this will be driven by:
Frequency of change to your source data
Capacity of your channels to deal with
fragmented, more frequently updated data
Run times of your Campaign flowcharts
It can be daunting to fully embrace marketing automation,
particularly if you have a lot of (potential) activity. Start small and get
each piece right, as once implemented and running smoothly move on and consider
the next piece of the automation puzzle. Next time we’ll be looking at Contact
and Response History in Unica.
Interested in hearing how our experiences can help with your Marketing Automation challenges? Pleaseget in touch.