The importance of developing compelling and engaging customer experiences does not rest solely on marketing teams. Instead, it relies heavily on the tight coordination of marketing and IT collaborating for a single purpose. No matter where you sit, understanding your customers’ engagement with your company is essential for success. One of the latest corporate trends is marketing and IT teams aligning closer together to create, develop and deliver digital experiences.
As some companies are starting to emerge from this recent economic disruption, there is a sense of urgency around customer engagement through compelling digital experiences. Those who have already initiated digital transformation projects are ahead and are reaping the advantages—they can drive business continuity with a low total cost of ownership by equipping their company with the right technology to deliver compelling digital experiences. This enables them to prosper through both economic booms and economic busts.
However, more than half of companies around the globe still struggle to deliver these digital experiences, according to a recent Progress survey. These companies struggle to mature in their digital acumen and defund or reprioritize digital transformation projects due to complexity, IT resource, or budget. Businesses like these leave their customers disappointed and on the prowl for engaging experiences to quench their thirst for innovation and self-service goal-achievement.
IT and Marketing, Today’s Digital Duo
IT and marketing teams must come together in perfect harmony if businesses ever expect to be able to deliver on their digital strategy.
IT teams need to simplify their infrastructure, speed up DevOps and secure data connections. The need to control data, along with access to data, drives digital transformation agendas with little investment into the development of its digital experience and how end users engage with applications. Adhering to a digital experience strategic alignment within organizations can help IT development resources deliver compelling, secure, applications which drive engagement.
Marketing teams must unify their customer journeys, centralize their content and distribute experiences across all channels and touchpoints. Typically, and traditionally, customers journeys are linear based on the company’s targeted conversion points on the map. With so many channels and touchpoints outside of the journey map, it’s very rare customers will follow a linear path of conversion points. Teams must think beyond their own domains and take a unified their engagement strategy across all channels. Creating and executing against their digital experience strategy will help engagement at critical conversion points while delivering on the modern customer’s expectations.
Unfortunately, at many organizations these objectives are at odds with each other. Marketing often relies on IT for day-to-day content changes, stretching IT thin. Meanwhile, the underlying architecture governs the scope and scale of these experiences. The external result is a disjointed, disparate journey leaving customers underwhelmed, confused, and looking toward the competition. Internally, marketing teams are frustrated with the limitations of their technology stack and seek more advanced and flexible MarTech applications outside of IT’s jurisdiction. This “shadow IT” wreaks havoc on data security and integrity, placing companies exposed and at risks.
The best practice is to utilize a digital experience platform (DXP) to accomplish both of these objectives. DXPs are the platforms on which experiences—or content—are created, distributed and managed. Content relates to everything you see on your device: images, video, audio, text, etc. Experiences are made up of content elements to give you an emotional connection and context about the engagement, or interaction, you have with the company.
As marketing teams become more technically savvy, they are starting to better understand how technology and content elements are put together differently for various devices, ensuring the best experience on a device to continue the engagement through to a transaction. IT teams, on the other hand, are developing the connections for content to travel from a centralized repository to different device, ensuring a seamless, frictionless, experience for the end user to transact. One team’s vision is realized by the other, and the customer is delighted to engage with the company because their expectations were successfully met.
DXP: A Bridge Between Two Worlds
Where IT and marketing teams are coming closer to each other is how they are interpreting one another. The more each team understands the other, and can “speak” their language, the clearer the requirements and outcomes will be for the end user.
Creating and aligning to a comprehensive digital experience strategy keeps both teams on task and collaborating. This strategy understands the modern customer: how, where, and when they want to engage with your company. For example, you wouldn’t want to deliver a white paper to a smart watch expecting a customer to read it on their wrist. The digital experience strategy aligns the desires of the customer to the engagement your company can offer and connected channels.
This is where DXPs come into play and brings both teams together for one common goal. As IT builds out and connects to engagement points, based on marketing’s vision, marketing is busy creating the right type of content for specific endpoints and end users. Together, both teams work from one strategy with a clearly defined vision and expectations.
Best-of-breed digital experiences inspire your customers, partners and employees to engage with your company and result in increased loyalty and big competitive advantages. As teams grow in their technical acumen, so should your digital experience strategy lay out a plan to drive the right content through the right endpoint at the right time in the right way, seamlessly.