Creating world class, digital experiences doesn't have to involve ripping out whatever tools an organization already has in place, so experts from OpenText and marketing firm VML put together a few strategies to help bridge the gap.
Contextualized Customer Experiences
World class digital experiences aren't much different than a cup of coffee, said Marci Maddox, senior director of product marketing, customer experience management at OpenText during the Creating World Class, Dynamic Digital Experiences webinar.
"At home, you might only spend a couple of cents on a cup of coffee," she said. "It's different at a coffee shop, though. And we're willing to pay more on the coffee because of the experience — there's a wider selection, and other added touches. But it's really that special touch that someone might put on your coffee cup — like a design in the coffee — that puts a smile on your face."
The same rules apply to the digital experience, Maddox said. If people are to be compelled to buy something from a store or website, it will often be because they had a world class digital experience before they got there.
Martin Coady, managing director of technology for VML, recommended discovering your customer's goals and motivations to identify digital touch points before introducing the technology. According to Coady contextualized customer experience is moving past targeting and personalization.
"Instead of pushing out content that you think customers will like, focus on finding out their habits and what they like," he said, "Find the right moment to start that conversation; the right moment to send that message."
Content is still king in the omni-channel age.
Companies are turning to content marketing — sometimes called affinity marketing or inbound marketing — instead of traditional advertising to provide relevant information to customers. Coady suggested organizations make use of existing content and tools before investing in new, and potentially expensive tools.
The above image shows an example of a content strategy with the underlying supporting technology. While companies need the technology, Coady urged companies to put the process in place before investing in potentially costly tools.
"We don't need to find new tools, just harness existing content for a new format," he said.
Start with existing content and measure what works, Coady added. Don't put it off just because you don't have a targeting engine, for example. He stressed the importance of maintaining proper usage of search keywords. Tools that most companies already possess, like SEO, analytics and email should not be forgotten. Email is good for starting conversations, for example, for introducing ideas.
The idea with this strategy is that content is the bedrock, and if there is alignment with what customers are looking for, the format can shift while using the same content, Coady said. If enough is known about a customer, the channel won't matter as much, whether it's email, social or Web chat.
Social and the Omni Channel
As a global marketing agency, VML employs a decentralized hub model to reach customers in many countries, Jason Bedell, technical director at VML said.
"Usually we have an integrated marketing campaign that goes out to various regions of the world, and from there it gets adjusted for those audiences," Bedell said.
This is part of the omni channel strategy. Local teams tailor messages to the audiences in their region, and that means changing the images used, and having translators ready. With social, the lines are a little blurrier, Bedell said, but in the end it's the same idea. Use the same messages, but adopt them to different formats.
Because there are so many social channels, however, it is sometimes necessary to pick the proper venue for certain messages, Coady said. If you think of a town hall meeting, where it's very formal and structured, and then think of a dinner party, where it's looser and more friendly, Coady said, that's kind of the idea.
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