Sometimes the most advanced marketing technology starts with very humble, old-fashioned tech: pencil and paper.

In fact, that’s exactly what Dell did as the company got up to speed with marketing technology in a three-year process that has sped its time-to-execution 360X. But it starts with designing the customer experience, Dell’s Corey Craig, who leads customer experience design and innovation at the company, said this week at MarTech Conference.

In fact, as she shared in a rare how-to on a concept that marketers often talk about but sometimes fail to fully understand, customer journey mapping is “the catalyst for everything we’re doing today.”

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Three years ago it took the Dell marketing team six weeks to create a single email campaign. Now the company creates 360 emails in that same six weeks.

The results of that massive improvement are transformational. Over the same period, email open rates rose from 12 percent, with a one percent click-through rate (CTR), to today’s open rates of 30 percent with a 6 percent CTR.

And it’s not just marketing team stats that are up … the company is now achieving three times the average order value (AOV) it used to.

How did Dell achieve such impressive results?

Craig outlined the company’s three-stage process, which starts by identifying intent through data, then nurtures that intent with content, and finally automates reactions to that intent. For instance, if a client visits Dell’s site, that activity gets tracked. The company might highlight a downloadable whitepaper or suggest other content as the client engages with a page. Finally, the client might get an email about a relevant event in his area.

Today marketing is “always on,” as Craig put it, moving customers through their journey with little to no input other than customers’ very own behaviors. But getting to that point requires a lot of planning.

And flexibility.

“The purchase funnel is no longer linear,” she said. “It’s full of twists and turns.”

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Only the wireframes and logic for the interaction live in marketing automation, Craig said, while all of the content is within Dell’s content management system.

The interesting part?

When it comes to mapping the logic of personalization, Dell started very low-tech. Craig began with pencil and paper to build out the logic that informs personalization. On a very simplistic level, this is basic if/then logic: if customer does X, then we do Y.

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Craig started experimenting only after sketching this framework. “Through the manual work will you learn what to automate,” Craig said.

The result?

Today Dell provides up to 2,000 unique customer experiences for clients and potential clients visiting its site. In other words, the experience is so customized it may even feel personalized.