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 action.
Now consider the following questions:
Now let’s take a step up one level and think about the interaction between multiple journeys:
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:
|Session||Used 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.|
|Campaign||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 approach.|
|Flowchart||A 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.|
|Snapshot||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)|
|Strategic Segment / CreateSeg process||Save 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.|
|Offer||Often 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:
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? Please get in touch.
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