From my role as Marketing and Innovation Lead, I see many CMOs - including myself - struggle with their digital customer experiences. Very often, I hear the same questions and see the same challenges recurring. In this post, I hope to reassure you, as Marketing Leaders, "you're not alone." And provide new insights and tools to keepstriving for the best digital customer experiences.
I see a lot of CMO's struggle with:
- the inability to keep up with our rapidly changing digital marketing landscape and properly assess the impact of technology on the customer journey as well as the marketing team.
- take the proper small steps to grow from a static website to an omnichannel personalized experience without losing sight of the larger goal.
- assess the value of relevant digital experiences, make them tangible and convince management to invest in them. Both in tooling and in human capital.
- making the right, sustainable technology choices that meet the big dreams, while being manageable to start small
- managing both branding, content, and the whole customer journey and the broad spectrum of digital marketing tools with just a small marketing team.
5 learnings by using an Open Digital Experience Platform
At Dropsolid, I have been fortunate to experiment with an Open Digital Experience Platform and have a front row seat to test and try out new developments. Here are my five key learnings:
1. Think from your visitor's point of view in every decision you make
First, a nuance: "THE visitor" does not exist. Every organization has multiple stakeholders who all have different needs and intentions at different points in their journey. Mapping out your key stakeholders, their needs, and their journeys is the foundation of your digital success.
- When developing your content plan, think about each piece: to which stakeholders is it relevant, and what needs does it fill?
- When developing your website structure: what are my stakeholders looking for, and how quickly will they find it on my website?
- When choosing which marketing channels to invest in: where are my stakeholders, and therefore where can I reach them?
- When working out your automation journeys: how do I create value and get all my stakeholders to the next level in their - not linear - journey.
- In devising a personalization strategy: how do I recognize my stakeholders and create value by adding personalization?
2. Start from value, not solutions and features
By value, I mean the value for your end user as well as the value for your organization. Say you have a good website, and you want to improve your digital experience. Do you invest first in personalization or first in marketing automation? Where is the most value for your organization right now? Personalization makes visits to your website more relevant and increases conversions during a visit. Marketing automation brings visitors back more often. To know where the most value is, or where you are leaving the most today, good reporting is essential.
3. Provide relevant data and insights
I know it's hard, but truly SO important. And everyone knows it, but who does it effectively? Bringing all your data together to create insights that make sense to you... Think beyond classic website conversion reporting:
- Campaign performance reporting: for the right insights into what's working and what's not.
- Keyword insights: what are people searching for, and how do you rank against your competitors?
- Relevant visitor data: data that helps you assess what kind of stakeholder is online right now. If you don't know who is online, how can your experience be valuable?
- 360 profiles across all your touchpoints: recognizing visitors across channels and feeding all the data back to an actionable
- a 360 profile: crucial to keep your customer experience consistent.
4. Grow in small steps: start small and dream big
Are all those bells and whistles really necessary? Start small and dream big. Even better: start small, measure well, and learn along the way. You don't need a very expensive marketing cloud from day one to send your visitors relevant emails.
It's essential to map out your existing ecosystem and make the most of it. From there, identify shortcomings and start looking for appropriate solutions. It's crucial to understand the impact of new technology on your ecosystem, your data governance, and your team. Because every new technology needs to be learned and operated. Don't choose based solely on features, but don't forget to validate where your data is going. For crucial technology choices, get guidance from an experienced, independent digital partner.
5. Create a foundation of support for meaningful marketing
My final learning: how crucial it is to build support for the digital customer journey broadly and deep within the organization, which is meaningful marketing.
- Sales must embrace marketing automation as a tool rather than viewing it as a panacea that delivers perfectly bite-sized leads.
- IT must be involved in the selection of digital tools early and closely enough to prevent security and compliance issues from cropping up afterward.
- All teams in contact with the customer need to be aware of customer communications and content provided along all channels and also see those channels as a tool rather than an extra burden.
- Management buy-in is needed because your customer's digital experience is not something that lives only within the marketing team.
Download the DXP guide for CMO's
From our learnings, we developed a DXP guide to help CMO and decision-makers select and choose fundamental building blocks of digital experiences. Download it below. I look forward to hearing your experiences and opinions. Enjoy the read!
Start small, dream big. Learn and improve along the way, and don't forget: enjoy the ride!