Marketing and customer experience touchpoints have been transformed dramatically in the last couple of decades. But when the number of digital channels started to increase, most industry professionals thought it was ‘just another channel/method’ along with the existing ones. Some only gave effort to “be in there”, but not actually to drive a holistic conversation and engagement through the customer lifecycles, and developing a decent digital strategy.
No Time, Many Messages
Today, path to purchase is not linear. Millions of different interests and micro-segments exist, and consumers live in (micro) moments. Thus, brands have a very limited time/window of opportunity to communicate messages as audience attention is fragmented due to channel chaos and message bombardment from multiple sources. The challenge for today’s brands is to create an exceptional customer experience as well as a sound brand experience to get out of this chaos.
Then, suddenly, ‘an unseen’ driver of change arrived. COVID-19 accelerated these transformation drivers. Efforts were increased, even in companies reluctant (or afraid) to change. In a matter of months, consumer behaviour has been digitized, introducing many first-time users or escalated usage of existing digital services. Companies started to address these needs in various ways.
It is important to note that this requirement of change is not new, but only stimulated with these ‘unfortunate motivators’. All digital transformation roadmaps are now at the top of the agenda and the road to innovative customer experience is accelerated.
DX is the “Growth Driver”
Today, marketing and digital transformation efforts are inevitable and must be turned into growth drivers. Metrics should also be set to connect digital activities to these drivers. Customer experience and marketing efforts shall go beyond communicating sales promotions, or brand awareness only, but towards creating more qualified leads for sales teams as well as generating more customer insight while providing meaningful customer journeys to all designated audiences.
With this in mind, Labrys developed a 5-step roadmap for designing a ‘Digital Customer Experience (DX) Strategy’.
- Define Personas & Journeys
- Align on Segregation of Duties with IT & Marketing
- Think Omnichannel with “Customer” Being at Centre
- Attain New Skills for Your Team
- Plan & Invest in Connected CX, AdTech & MarTech
5 Step Methodology for a Successful DX Strategy
1. Define Personas & Journeys
Customer journeys are no longer linear, thanks to the variety of digital channels uses by customers. What’s more, one customer has ‘many facades’ when it comes to buying behaviour. Thus, the same person may act with different behaviour patterns, i.e. a “father’s buying behaviour and interest categories is very much different than a ‘husband’s’ or a “business owner’s. All three might turn out to be the same person, i.e. for a single retailer! That’s why traditional segmentation approaches do not work anymore. In order to respond to this reality, brands must clearly define buying personas and their respective journeys, even before starting to plan channel communications.
2. Align on Segregation of Duties with IT & Marketing
Long gone are the days of antagonism between marketing and technology teams. Today, success comes with effective collaboration of both parties. Marketing professionals must associate themselves with technology and upskill themselves quickly for working with AdTech and MarTech.
Labrys offers a ‘segregation of duties framework’ for marketing and technology leaders within the organization when it comes to aligning in a digital customer experience strategy.
3. Think Omnichannel with “Customer” Being at the Centre
Single channel, multiple channel, cross-channel … these are all outbound perspectives which put the brand/company in the centre of planning which are designed according to existing budgets and skillsets. But the customer wants an omnichannel experience. Period. So, you must redesign your talent, organization, marketing strategy, digital assets created, etc. and try to create an omnichannel digital customer experience, where there is only ‘one single brand’ in the customer’s perception and ‘one single connected experience’ with that brand, regardless of who is responsible for that channel in the organization.
4. Attain New Skills for Your Team
The Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic by @chiefmartec contained 8.000 solutions by 2020. This is a 5,233% growth since 2011! Google and Facebook should not be the only “technologies” in your world. Look out and incorporate any technology and process into your marketing efforts that would enable you to design a connected and omnichannel digital customer experience. In order to get there, marketing people must attain new skillsets each and every day and get closer to the technology that resonates to their world.
5. Plan & Invest in a Connected CX, AdTech & MarTech Architecture
Your new generation architecture must utilize your existing operational technology but shall be completely flexible and architected for use of marketing professionals. Pieces of this architecture must be brought together with a holistic Digital Customer Experience Strategy but in a ‘Lego-like’ approach, where pieces of it might be put together brick-by-brick.
Connecting anonymous and known behaviours of personas and optimizing journeys is key in a successful DX Strategy. So, one should start with defining what data is for their organization. Data is the fuel of all successful DX strategies and must be processed well if you want to get any returns. Hence, it would be your strategy on ‘data’ that will drive your phasing in creating your modern Digital Customer Experience Architecture.
Take a look at the categories of marketing technology that grew since 2019 in Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic by @chiefmartec. You may access his detailed blog post by clicking here.
All these growth categories might signal where to steer your wheels and assess what’s missing in your existing landscape.
Labrys provides its clients with a comprehensive ‘Digital Customer Experience Strategy’ and a ‘Customer Experience & Marketing Technology Architecture’ Framework. If you think you need to consult and review your existing investments and need to move the extra mile, please click here to contact us.
This article was first published on the Labrys website in June 2020.