Alexander Dumas unwittingly touched on a tech industry nerve when he wrote The Three Musketeers. Just think of the phrase the book popularized: “all for one, one for all.”
And if you've ever tried to integrate digital experience technology in the workplace, you understand just how significant this phrase really is.
The fact is that customers connect in many ways on many devices. All of this technology is different. That can cause incompatibilities and confusion, leading to a disconnect between customers and the companies they are seeking to engage.
But how can companies seamlessly integrate various technologies — and capitalize on that old dream of "all for one, one for all?"
Sitecore recently hired Forrester to evaluate the state of digital experience technologies. The study, “Firms Seek to Integrate Digital Experience Technologies To Drive Business,” found that many companies are still struggling to integrate disparate technologies.
The study reflects data gathered from 54 US business technology decision makers. Their responsibilities included digital experience investments and/or implementations.
Based on their responses, digital technologies are essential workplace tools.
In fact, there are significant improvements in corporate revenues when digital experience technologies are implemented.
Technology enhances customer lifetime value (82 percent), top line revenue (81 percent), customer retention (75 percent) and conversion rates (71 percent).
It also helps companies save money on customer service operations (84 percent), customer acquisition costs (78 percent), marketing campaign operations (68 percent) and merchandising operations (63 percent).
In general, companies adopt digital technology to address customer expectations.
A whopping 84 percent of the respondents rated addressing such expectations as important or very important.
And no wonder: Excellent customer service is one of the biggest driver of sales.
Respondents also recognize the growing mobility, sociability and connectivity of their customers.
Most agreed that it was important or very important to have a comprehensive strategy for mobile, social, and smart products. It's not surprising: half the world's population is expected to have a smartphone by 2020, according to a forecast from GSMA Intelligence.
Array of Technologies
The study identified 14 technologies that support digital experience delivery.
Three out of four respondents rated web content management systems as the backbone of their existing technology ecosystems. Other key technologies include digital asset management (DAM) and an online video platforms.
About 68 percent of companies use some kind of email marketing and 54 percent use content marketing tools. In addition, 61 percent have e-commerce platforms.
But technology extends to the physical world as well. More than half of the respondents said they already have or plan to implement technologies like in-store beacons and physical recognition tools.
Mobile apps are almost universally accepted: 63 percent already have them in place and 31 percent plan to adopt.
Technology is a boon. But getting these platforms to work together is problematic, the survey found.
About 78 percent of respondents cited poor technology integration as a major problem. And 72 percent complained about content silos (digital content held in an excess of content repositories).
The study suggests adopting central content repositories. This could cut back on manual processes that have higher chances of human error, it noted.
Redundant systems are another problem, 40 percent claimed. Technologies that duplicate and overlap functions have adverse effects on customer analytics, targeting, and segmentation, and also prevent the personalized experience that customers demand.
A third of companies blame their own incompetence, including lack of executive leadership, for stalling full integration of digital technologies.
Looking ahead, companies want more flexibility in technology deployment (for example, the option of on-premises or in the cloud). They also want vendors to provide better cross-platform integration.