Optimise to Personalise — Implications For People and Technology Platforms
by Murray Howe
posted on 04-02-2019
This is the third part in this series on Optimise to Personalise.
Here we continue to explore the implications that personalizing (or optimizing) visitor experiences at scale will have on your business — whether known or anonymous. We examine the demands of communicating with many smaller audiences with structures and processes designed to support faster and more frequent decisions being made and executed close to the point of interaction.
In our previous blog, we explored decision-making, and content creation and assembly, the first two of four key change dynamics to impact your legacy ways of working. Let’s explore the next two here.
Change dynamic 3: People and teamwork
The third dynamic is People, how they are organised and skilled to work across more functions, faster.
Established organisations are notoriously siloed, both in structure and thinking. This serves hierarchically minded accountability outcomes well but exposes customers to jarring experiences when spanning multiple departmental touch points.
Today we find teams are working around established silos to get the job done. Particularly across experience delivery teams like Marketing, Technology, Sales & Service where the functional boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred.
Where does marketing stop, and sales & service begin in a seamless digital experience journey?
New relationships are forming, new dependencies and expectations are emerging for which legacy structures and organisational expectations are ill equipped:
- Digitally sourced interaction data drives new relationships x-functions for faster decision making.
- Customer dialogue (via social media), once the domain of PR, Sales & Service, now a brand building priority.
- Decision making & execution is focused on connecting disparate systems across functions and simplifying those platforms to make data work harder, faster and with greater confidence for decision makers.
Exploring the behaviours of high performing experience leaders, eConsultancy and Adobe’s 2019 Digital Trends Report indicates that Experience leaders think of their role in Experience delivery as identifying and removing friction for both the employee and customer alike.
The commercial arguments supporting your Experience Optimisation strategy is a great opportunity to experiment with more agile customer focused organisational structures that serve to break down legacy silos.
Change dynamic 4: Platforms
“Technology IS the key differentiator for brands; it drives experience, service and marketing capability.” Andy Lark
Unfortunately for most incumbent organisations with legacy systems, technology is more of an expensive encumbrance than enabling differentiator. You find your technology environment littered with disparate, siloed, inflexible platforms that suck in operational resources and executive attention that should be better deployed towards experience delivery and optimisation.
Your ability to optimise experiences at scale depends on your ability to execute lots of decisions confidently in a timely manner, and this depends as much on technology platforms as your data & decision-making environment.
As with the Personalisation versus Optimisation confusion, do not allow this effort to be dependently linked to solving technology for the whole organisation; simplifying core operational product, service and transaction environments will mire your efforts for years to come.
Instead, look to isolate those technology platforms critical to experience delivery and create a two-speed technology transformation environment: one front end that is fast and agile; one back end that is slow, expensive, and complex. The latter will catch up eventually, just don’t let it slow you down in the interim.
Remember, there is black gold in those interactions!
In architecting a platform environment to support your Experience Optimisation program, strive for one that is as centralised and simplified as possible, affording you the opportunity to spend more time testing, learning and delivering great experiences instead of building and managing internal integrations. In doing so, consider these attributes (see Fig. 3 below):
Position Data (1) as the core underlying enabler for your whole platform and operating environment. Centralise and automate this for as much confidence, speed and scale as possible.
Group like services and capabilities for seamless integration & scale
- Key enablers (2) of analytics, data management, decision making, execution & testing. Integrate and automate as much as possible.
- Service & experience layers (3) including, applications, e-commerce, self-help, customer services should be flexible and scalable seamlessly across channels and devices.
- Marketing and engagement front ends (4) of website, mobile, media and community should enable the delivery of targeted, personalised, fast, and journey driven customer experiences.
At this point, many of you must be thinking, ‘whilst I believe we need this capability at scale, these implications sound painful. How am I ever going to convince my CEO to commit to this?’ A good question. In part 4 of this blog series on Optimise to Personalise we will introduce the commercial arguments for the commitment necessary and the framework for a business case that your CEO & leadership team will understand. Read part 1 and part 2 of this series.
Adobe Symposium is back in Sydney on the 27th-28th June, 2019. Discover the latest digital trends for personalised experiences, hear from local and global brands about their transformation journeys, and get inspired to become an experience maker. Register now.
Topics: Digital Transformation, APAC