Blueprint Redefined: Building a Better Foundation for Customer Experiences

by Chris Nguyen

posted on 07-27-2016

Digital marketing has evolved incrementally over the last two decades. Marketing teams have grown from managing single websites, to managing dozens of web properties, and then to managing email marketing, search, display, social media, and mobile. New, and often disparate, technologies are implemented each time an additional channel is added.

With renewed focus on customer experience, it’s more important than ever before for marketers to rely on a comprehensive digital foundation. Businesses that have this foundation stand above their competitors because they’re prepared to respond to the rapidly growing list of challenges the experience age throws at them.

Higher Customer Expectations Impact Digital Marketing.
In an increasingly mobile world, people need to be able to complete any task in any location, or at the very least, start processes or journeys in one location or on one device and seamlessly complete them on another.

Additionally, people want experiences to be both relevant and personal. They expect the option to vote, board a plane, call a car service, order a meal, enter a stadium, check into a hotel, see a concert, buy a vehicle, ride the subway, and much more on their own terms — and all through the technology embedded in their phones, watches, or any other devices they choose.

Experiences and Campaigns Need Something in Common.
Delivering a consistent customer experience requires a common set of tools and processes. Companies must focus on building foundations that centralize the core components of experience creation and delivery: personalization and analytics along with campaign, asset, and audience management.

1. A Centralized Layer for Content and Campaign Management
By combining the processes used to assemble and deliver campaigns for websites, mobile, and email, you can ensure the consistency and quality of the experience. The goal is to allow the assets, messages, and offers attached to one marketing campaign to be easily repurposed, delivered, and optimized as the customer engages with the brand across channels or devices. Think “design once, use repeatedly” while personalizing your message for each channel and audience.

2. A Common Layer for Audiences and Personalization
Companies need ways to assemble content differently for diverse individuals and customer journeys. For example, if your webpage doesn’t change its content to reflect a search-engine query or an action in your mobile app, you’re missing opportunities to improve customer experiences through personalization. When done right, personalization can decrease the number of steps customers need to take to complete their given journeys by offering more relevant information at each stage.

Delivering personalized experiences at scale also requires audience management, which facilitates the creation of comprehensive customer profiles. The heart of audience management is a combination of powerful first-party data, augmented with relevant information from second parties, and then further enhanced with third-party data from the open market.

3. A Common Analytics Layer Pre-Engineered Into Every Channel
Customers leave fingerprints on each screen and channel they visit. If you’re actively listening, you can ensure that you assemble the right content and then target it based on the rules for each channel, campaign, and audience. But, this requires a centralized approach to analytics — an approach that understands behaviors on mobile devices, within apps, or on websites and then connects those to specific individuals whether they’re authenticated or anonymous.

4. Security for All Layers, Processes, Touchpoints, and Data
Your customer information, permissions, and preferences are gold — but only if you don’t violate customer trust! An important component of trust is communicating how you use and secure your valuable customer data. It’s important that your organization establish a policy of transparency when you communicate what you’re doing with the data you collect — and then you must manage that policy. Another important step for security is ensuring that your enterprise meets all of the relevant security and compliance standards such as FedRAMP, SOC 2, HIPAA, GLBA, and/or ISO 27001.

The key to securing customer data is to build a foundation where all touchpoints, channels, and campaigns can share the same centralized customer profiles — with a common security, authentication, and personalization layer on top of that.

These Steps Will Help You Build an Experience-Based Foundation.
As we’ve seen, there’s room for improvement with foundations based on the incremental adoption of disparate digital-marketing toolsets. Below are some steps to consider as you move toward a more experience-based foundation:

1. Prioritize the capabilities that position you for growth.
2. Determine what your ultimate core competency should be.
3. Find the common ground on which you can start building now.

The Blueprint Is Redefined — and Your Future Depends on It!
Digitally based super brands — like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Netflix, and Amazon — have created new industries by providing breakthrough customer experiences. If you want to be a leader — and not just have your business survive the digital transformation wave, but also thrive by riding it — your organization must fully embrace the complex needs of its digital experienced-based foundation. To learn more about building an experience-based digital foundation, be sure to read our guide on The Blueprint Redefined.

Topics: Content Management