Six Tips for Improving Your Customer’s Digital Experience

Jun 15, 2018

Article ImageThe past five years have seen an enormous expansion in the digital experience (DX) technology landscape. Last year alone saw a 39% uptick to nearly 5,500 DX solutions over 2016, according to the Marketing Technology Landscape. That’s an explosion from only 350 solutions in 2013. Unfortunately, this “flood” of new DX solutions has resulted in many disconnected applications across companies’ DX ecosystems that has increased rather than simplified digital complexity. The result is that companies end up with poorly integrated DX tools that make it difficult to provide the digital experiences their customers expect.

To better understand the state of DX ecosystems, e-Spirit conducted a survey of more than 200 marketing and IT professionals in global companies across key verticals in the U.S. and EMEA. The goal was to learn how companies are developing and managing their DX ecosystems. The results are very telling.

Here are six key insights to help you move the DX dial in the right direction at your company:

  1. Be Content-Driven: Orchestrate and Distribute Content Globally--The new differentiator for marketers and their companies is the digital experience, and the ability to deliver content anytime, anywhere and via any channel or device is the cornerstone of creating a great digital experience. The Content Marketing Institute estimates that 83% of B2C and 84% of B2B marketers’ content marketing investment will either stay the same or increase in the coming year, and they’re experiencing solid results: 73% of B2C and B2B marketers rate their approach to content marketing as moderate to very successful. If you are looking to improve your digital experiences, know that not all digital experience platforms and vendors are created equal. Even the best-known DX platforms lack the ability to support content management on a global scale and/or require significant customization.
  1. Get Personal in Real Time--The DX Ecosystem study found that 51% of DX leaders deliver personalized experiences in real time, which is a good thing because 52% of consumers indicate that they are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t personalize communications to them, according to the 2017 State of Marketing study by Salesforce. Customers want a personalized digital experience, rich in content that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations. It’s no surprise, then, that 58% of digital laggards do not personalize in real time. The survey results found that 23% of companies delivering digital experiences in real time are cutting across silos to get data from multiple sources. While this isn’t always easy to do, it often makes the difference between being a leader or a laggard.
  1. Go Omnichannel: Mobile, IoT and Beyond--The ability to deliver content across channels is key. The rapid rise of IoT devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa, is challenging digital marketers tasked with delivering seamless omnichannel digital experiences. Gartner estimates that over 20 billion connected IoT things will be in use across a range of industries by 2020. That growing diversity of customer touchpoints presents a tremendous business opportunity and a logistical challenge for marketers and marketing technologists. What’s needed is a more agile method of content delivery, one that dynamically delivers content in a channel-agnostic manner. A good digital experience platform will enable this level of personalized content delivery.
  1. Be Agile: Deploy a Future-Enabled Infrastructure--DX leaders find it easy to add new digital marketing tools to their infrastructure, with 73% citing an open architecture as the reason. Seventy-six percent of companies that found it hard reported being limited by past technology decisions, including too many tools that don’t integrate. The world is moving towards open, agile platforms that easily interoperate with each other based on a microservices architecture. This type of architecture not only makes technology more scalable but also more flexible. Part of the drive toward microservices is fueled by the adoption of cloud technologies that have enabled companies to go to market faster at a fraction of the cost of traditional approaches.
  1. Get Integrated: Make It Easy For Your Team Members To Do Their Jobs--The study finds that digital leaders have largely integrated their DX ecosystems.
  • 73% of digital leaders have integrated their commerce system into their DX ecosystem (versus 6% of laggards)
  • 62% of digital leaders have integrated their CMS into a DX ecosystem to manage content (versus 9% of laggards)
  • 54% of digital leaders have integrated their analytics into a DX ecosystem (versus 18% of laggards)
  • 39% of digital leaders have integrated their marketing automation system into a DX ecosystem (versus 6% of laggards)
  1. Use What You Pay For--Sixty-nine percent of DX leaders report they use most of their DX ecosystem capabilities. Of the DX laggards, only 7% of them used the majority of what they paid for. It should be noted that there is a correlation between high DX ecosystem usage where there is a future-enabled, interoperable approach versus a lower usage of all-in-one digital experience platforms. Companies that purchase all-in-one platforms simply don't use what they pay for. But DX platforms that are highly interoperable enable companies to satisfy their exact business requirements and can be customized as business needs change.

Key Recommendations

When looking for integrated solutions, ensure your vendor has a core set of solutions that enable you to create a platform with a powerful level of flexibility to interoperate within your existing ecosystem and enable changes across your system in the future. To deliver content-driven digital experiences at scale across any device, companies should seek out digital experience platforms that include enterprise-class content management (CMS), AI-driven personalization and omnichannel marketing capabilities coupled with deep interoperability to integrate within any digital experience ecosystem. This strategy will give companies a unique, future-enabled platform with rapid time to value.

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