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How to stay top of mind through exceptional digital experience

Customer expectations have never been higher. Brands must harness the power of technology to make connections (and experiences) that matter.

June 25, 2019 | Adapted from a Q&A with Gene De Libero, Sitecore Chief Digital Strategy Evangelist

digital experience via mobile device

Technology is the engine that is fueling and enabling elevated customer experiences. Here’s a not-so-secret secret: the consumer moves faster than the brand. Many brands function in a constant catch-as-you-can mode, which leaves little or no time to create the remarkable customer experiences their customers expect and demand. Which begs the question:

What efforts should be top of mind to enhance your customers’ digital experience?

Be customer obsessed

How do you do this? Creating a customer-first culture. This means moving at the speed of the customer. A key way that organizations differentiate their digital experiences from the competition is by understanding the answers to the questions who, what and why.

Who? This is your target audience. You can focus on the recipients of a particular marketing campaign, a certain audience segment as defined by your personas or an existing customer who hasn’t made a purchase in the past three months.

What? Dig in and determine what the customer wants from your brand, in what channels and what format.

Why? This is where you answer the question, “Why are we doing this, and what do we expect when we do it?”

Think martech

Too many organizations are only using 15–20% of the features/functions of the martech stack, and the stack is not integrated, creating data silos and absence of a 360-degree marketing view (and 360-degree customer view). Why? Because they rush out to buy a tech tool every time they have a problem. That means dozens of tools and no way to effectively and efficiently integrate or use them to enhance their customers’ digital experiences.

The most effective way to try and future-proof is to take the time to carefully plan your martech strategy and related investments. It’s not about buying tools to solve a problem du jour. Instead, you need a longer-term POV when choosing, using and managing martech. Think about the problem you’re trying to solve. It’s about “what, why, how, when and who”—otherwise known as the “WWHWW”—understanding what you need, why you need it, how it will be used, when it will be used and who will use it. Most important, don’t take shortcuts.

Determine your data

Research shows that in certain instances, at least 10% of marketers’ budgets are being spent on analytics. Yet, when I query marketers about their biggest challenges, “analytics” is always at the top of the list. Having insights you can use to make real-time business decisions (business intelligence) requires more than simply buying an analytics tool. You need a measurement plan that aligns with business goals. This is where taking the time to explore business goals and aligning them with people, process and technology is critical. Defining success is an ongoing marathon, not a sprint!

Navigating these challenges is difficult but not impossible. Organizations that go the distance to transform—motivated by the possibilities of digital experience as a change agent—unlock limitless business potential.

Adapted from a Q&A with Gene De Libero, Sitecore chief digital strategy evangelist, originally published in Version Next Now: Digital Experience in March 2019.