Using martech to prevent a poor digital customer experience

A drawing depicting online customer experience.
Using martech to prevent a poor digital customer experience
Jake Athey, VP of marketing and customer experience at Acquia.

“Content” – as Bill Gates once famously said – “is king.” And yet, despite this, 83% of marketers claim to struggle when it comes to creating and managing content that can be rapidly released across their digital platforms. The digital experience management (Digital XM) systems most organisations use are complex, expensive, and outdated, holding businesses back from creating the ideal customer experiences (CX) that result in sales and provide insights into customer behaviour.

By definition, digital experiences create marketing and customer experience opportunities that physical channels can’t. They automatically generate significant amounts of operational data and offer a quieter, less intrusive way of collecting feedback. They also provide a controlled environment that makes it much easier to improve experiences at scale. And, of course, digital is now a – if not the – primary channel of interaction that most companies have with their customers and prospects.

It (CX and omnichannel) is about to get more complicated…

Shoppers expect a seamless, personalised customer journey via rich and dynamic media, whenever and wherever they want it. In particular, they expect to have access to any device or channel they happen to be using during the course of their day, whether it be a smartphone, PC, tablet, or television. Shoppers may return several times to a site before buying. In fact, the average conversion rate for a first time visit to a website is less than 3% — and with each visit, the brand and customer service must be consistent and user friendly. Omnichannel marketing isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ – it’s essential to doing business.

The digital experience is producing huge volumes of data. According to Statista, global data creation is projected to grow from 64.2 zettabytes in 2020 to more than 180 zettabytes by 2025, so the problem of storing, managing, and utilising it is only likely to get worse. In addition, the potential for digital engagement is only going to grow as 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) increase the number of connected devices and experiences.

It’s common knowledge that more people are buying online now. Covid-19 accelerated everything about omnichannel: tech development, consumer and shopper behaviour, and an urgent need by vendors to reach sheltering and socially distanced consumers. In the era of lockdowns and socially-distanced shopping, online retailers saw a massive jump in sales compared to their physical counterparts. Amazon, for example, made £23.6 billion in 2021, up from £19.6 billion in 2020 – a jump of 20%.

According to a 2021 consumer survey in the US, 83% of respondents said that the most important factor of browsing a website was simply being able to “quickly accomplish what I came to do” and 64% of respondents had been “frustrated or struggled with” an online transaction in the previous six months.

Integrating all the required marketing technology solutions to make online shopping a hassle-free experience that also provides customer feedback for improvements is one of the biggest challenges that brands face. That’s why companies are turning to a combination of digital asset management (DAM) and digital experience platforms (DXP) to power their ever-evolving customer journey. Brands are relying on their DXP to learn more about their customers and personalise content at every touchpoint of the customer journey, while DAM software helps brands deliver the right content, at the right time, to the right person, on the right channel.

DAM

The first component of a successful CX strategy is DAM, which is the practice of administering, organising, and distributing media files. A DAM solution enables brands to develop a library of photos, videos, graphics, PDFs, templates, and other digital content that is securely accessible, searchable, and shareable. DAM software originated in publishing, brand marketing, and broadcast media, but has evolved to become a foundational tool for Digital XM. A DAM platform is much more than just a single place to store content: it keeps assets organised; it offers secure permission structures and access control; it connects related information and data, and it integrates with other systems to become the source of truth for digital assets.

The role of managing digital assets is a difficult — and usually manual — one. Retrieving files stored in multiple locations, managing several different platforms, sharing media quickly, and trying to prevent the wrong versions of files being used, makes keeping tabs on assets a cumbersome and often error-prone task. DAM tools can make this job a lot easier.

Imagine preparing for a product launch but your content, such as social media ads, blog images, product images, and more, is scattered across desktops and folder structures. Using this system of organisation to create a cohesive campaign with on-brand materials is possible, but not without a lot of effort. Using a DAM system allows teams to organise content with metadata, integrate with publishing tools for easy distribution, and implement a secure permissioning structure to protect themselves from accidentally using the wrong or outdated assets.

DXP

The second component of a successful CX strategy is a DXP. Essentially, a DXP is a combination of integrated tools that enables businesses and marketers to quickly and efficiently develop websites, create portals, manage content, launch landing pages, build apps, and more. Connecting the tools teams are using helps eliminate technology silos and provides businesses with one central hub from which to create, manage, deliver, and optimise content-driven experiences across any and all digital channels.

Using Martech to Improve the Digital Customer Experience

The digital experience is more than simply taking a real-life customer interaction and replicating it precisely online. It’s a new way of delivering better experiences to customers, it helps companies differentiate in a crowded market, and it creates new customer journeys, needs, and expectations. This is why — to be truly relevant, personalised, and seamlessly omnichannel – digital experience management also requires implementing the tools, technologies, content, and data that help employees deliver it.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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