Digital Experience

The Digital Experience Changes Everything

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Think about your last marketing brainstorming session. Did specific channels, like mobile, dominate the conversation? Was the discussion centered on specific content types, like video or infographics? Many brands focus on channels and content because they’re tangible. However, by focusing on the details, you are likely missing both the bigger picture and the bigger opportunity. And most importantly, you are missing out on preparing for a future where your brand can almost immediately adapt to changes in content and channels.

 

Preparing for the next big channel

The channels that are popular and effective today have a shelf life, and the next big thing is right around the corner. It’s safe to say that your grandchildren’s mobile devices will not look like yours, and blogs will likely not be the cornerstone of content campaigns.

But how do you plan for something that doesn’t yet exist? Is it even possible to create an engaging experience for a channel that hasn’t been invented? The answer is yes.

Many brands are now planning ahead by focusing on a creating a digital experience process and infrastructure that will let them quickly adapt to the next channel. The secret is investing in the capabilities that will allow you to keep pace with your customers’ changing demands. This means that your competitors will be playing catch up to you, instead of the other way around.

 

Creating integrated content to deliver to the right customer at the right time

Customers want the right content at the right time. But they don’t want to wade through a bunch of content to find what they need. It’s no longer enough to produce great content, but you must figure out how to deliver it in the best way for each individual customer.

A single piece of content alone isn’t typically very effective. But when the content is combined with other pieces on different channels to create a cohesive, individualized experience, the result is very different. However, creating an integrated experience doesn’t simply happen, but requires collaboration and laying the groundwork. While brands know that integrated, personalized, real-time content is the goal, only a third of brands surveyed in the Forrester Report “Digital Experiences Change Everything” are currently working on the process and technologies needed to reach this goal.

 

Collaborating together: Marketing and Technology creating the digital experience

The only way to successfully create an integrated customer experience – the right content at the right time on the right channel, while at the same time planning for the next channel – is for marketing and technology professionals to work together. However, only 47 percent of technology developers felt their relationship with Marketing was good, while 40 percent reported the relationship between the two departments as neutral or poor. Brands that are successful in the future are the ones that have a strong collaboration and partnership between the two departments.

At the same time, you must invest in content tools that will deliver the content to your customer to create a digital experience. With the tools and processes in place, you can then quickly react to the next channel and content type. Instead of starting at the beginning, you simply have to add the new channel to your tools and process, which saves significant time in getting your content in front of the customer.

By delivering today and also planning for the future through investing in tools and processes, your marketing and technology departments will not be scrambling tomorrow (or next year) to adapt to the latest channel or content. Instead, you will be able to focus your time and creativity on designing an experience personalized to your customer. And that is what is ultimately going to make your brand stand out from the rest.

 

WW Marketing Portfolio Manager, IBM Digital Experience

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