Tailoring the Digital Experience for Your Customers

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Customers increasingly expect digital marketing to bring the best products and services to them. With an endless supply of immediate information and, simultaneously, numerous digital inputs at their fingertips, they do not want to start from scratch every time. These shoppers want faster, more economical methods of browsing that are contextual to their intentions.  

Whether it is flight times to book a trip, the best hotel for a destination or simply an item related to previous purchases, the modern customer demands proper context above all else. Ads, promotions and suggestions must be relevant, timely and practical. Irrelevant ads not only fail to interest customers but can also actively damage brand credibility for the advertiser in the eyes of that customer. 

Providing the right digital experience to potential customers requires vigilance and thoughtful planning but the methods are no mystery. Essentially, you need to get personal to build authentic relationships. To be successful in business in today’s rigorous and dynamic landscape, it is important to elevate the entire business ecosystem to new levels of frictionless operation.

The old way of conducting business - where profit was the starting point - has given way to the customer being the starting point of all enterprise. Profit is now the by-product of a customer-centric culture, agility and authentic transparency.

In short, successful enterprise today focuses on the people - your customers - first with technology, workflows and business systems supporting that focus - and profit naturally occurs as a result.

1.         Content in Context
For online enterprise in 2016, great content is not enough. Customers want the best content in the right context. Do not try to cast a wide net hoping to snare as many people as possible — instead, tailor advertisements to individuals or specific groups of people with similar behaviors. Shift the focus from the brand image and internal workflow to the end-user experience. Do not present an entirely different company to each customer but, instead, highlight relevant products and services according to individual interest levels.

2.      In-The-Moment Data
The window of opportunity to target a potential customer’s need can be very small and fleeting - in the moment. As a result, offers and promotions must be based on real-time intelligence. Analyzing statistics from multiple data systems and cross-referencing them can cause key information to fall through the cracks. Data must be real-time, comprehensive and meaningful information. If not, you may risk not only missed sales opportunities but also sales lost to competitors as quicker promoters take advantage of more current information. 

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Map the customer journey with your brand — what information draws them in, where they see it in their world, what platform they use and how they complete the exchange —  in order to plan your user digital experience. Know where and when the journey should end and make sure your digital properties are optimized for mobile to prevent lost sales.

3.         Customer Privacy
Data collection comes in two forms: explicit and implicit. Explicit collection requires active participation by the customer, such as in web surveys. Implicit collection comes without the customer’s express knowledge, such as through search habits.Use both collection techniques appropriately by being clear and transparent about what you are doing and how you are using the information. No one wants to feel like a business knows personal information they should not, so do not use data that might make customers feel they cannot trust your company to respect their privacy. 

(Note: Jahia is spearheading a significant initiative that you’ll be hearing more about  in the near future.)

4.         Proper Platform
Digital experience management, via a User Experience Platform (UXP), gives companies the analytics, customer experience management and contemporary web technologies they need to meet customer needs quickly and effectively.

The right digital platform acts as a hub for everyone from developers to end users and customers so that even non-technical personnel can contribute to enhancing the customer experience. A system’s architecture should be built for flexibility, agility and expandability — the simpler the system is to navigate, the better the results.

Online marketing has decreased opportunity costs for customers across the board. With access to so many different offers, customers can wait for the best offer instead of the first offer - and they always have an ear open to better offers from competitors. However, when done well, personalization for each user can remove competitors. Amazon is a great example of a good execution strategy — the site remembers user searches and creates an accessory experience that complements those interests. This has resulted in Amazon being second only to Google in terms of online visibility.

More knowledgeable consumers means companies have to work harder than ever to find and keep their customers… and nothing works better than tailoring real-time, relevant and authentic conversations to make that happen.

5. A Unified Customer Journey
A big key to success is to create a unified customer journey throughout their lifecycle with their brand. Following is a chart to provoke your thinking around the positive gains when it comes to transforming your business to be more customer-centric, as well as the considerations to make them happen within your organization.

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Altogether, digital experience is the beginning, middle and end of your solution for your customer. It is the basis of all of today’s customer experiences in some way. Tailor your customer’s digital experiences to put them in the center of your business. As a result, you will cultivate relationships, trust and loyalty with your customers that transcend dynamic marketplace conditions and ensure your success.

Jessica Sundström