By Anatoly Roytman and Aseem Chandra
Digital is no longer a channel. It is the modus operandi for consumers and successful marketers. In today’s world, as customers make their way from anonymous browser to engaged buyer they may interact with a company multiple times in different ways. At any one touch point 30 to 300 milliseconds may be all the time there is to make a connection and secure customers’ intent to purchase before they click away. Presenting the right content at the right time and right place is critical to driving relevancy and delivering the most personalised experience possible. Efficient production, personalised delivery and reuse of content across platforms, countries, languages and agencies are required to drive superior marketing performance.
Digital Platform Building Blocks
Contemporary digital marketing platforms are highly flexible and facilitate a seamless and relevant end-to-end customer experience across continually evolving digital channels. At their core, integrated digital platforms consist of four building blocks: data, content, analytics, and optimisation. Each of these components plays a significant role in helping companies create greater relevance and a superior customer experience.
1 Data: The Foundation of the Integrated Platform
Enterprises have an abundance of data on prospects and customers, but it is often locked in a variety of function-specific applications and channel-specific databases, or stored in third-party systems. In order to drive a seamless and relevant customer experience, the data needs to be brought together, in a way that complies with relevant laws and regulations, to form actionable insights that will drive desired outcomes.
Integrated platforms should be able to collect, manage, and execute on the data that is captured through the dialogue with the customer. By bringing all this data onto one common platform, marketers can analyse their entire digital marketing investment and drive optimisation.
2 Content: The Substance of the Conversation
Content is what drives meaningful, relevant connections with customers and, as such, is a mission critical asset. To support this complex environment and deliver the experiences demanded by today’s consumers, the digital platform should provide the capability and flexibility to manage content in a multitude of ways.
3 Analytics & Reporting: Insight to Deliver Relevant Experiences
Within integrated digital platforms, analytics builds on the data and content foundation. Interactive channels generate an enormous amount of statistical information. Being able to interpret this information and direct content to satisfy consumer intent is essential for companies wanting to compete in today’s digital marketplace. An integrated analytics infrastructure provides the insight critical to deliver relevant experiences, monetising content value and maximising return on marketing investment.
4 Optimisation: Taking Action to Maximise Return
The final building block of the integrated platform, optimisation, is about taking action on rich data and content to deliver the highest return on marketing spend and efforts. That action may be delivering personalised experiences in real time that engage and ultimately convert customers in ways not otherwise possible. Alternatively, it could be effectively executing multichannel campaigns—be it search, display, social media, mobile, video, or games—that optimise ad dollars to deliver the highest return possible.
To truly give the customer centre stage in the organisation of tomorrow, it is imperative that executives embrace a technology strategy driven by customer-centric digital platforms. This is a significant change of mind-set from how enterprises have functioned for decades. Executives should challenge their current thinking that limits their world of possibilities and prevents them from taking a leap in new directions. A first step toward mind-set change and organisational readiness is to educate the organisation on the full capabilities and benefits integrated digital platforms can provide.
While there is no one “right” organisational approach to govern the customer experience, many companies are finding that CMOs are naturally positioned to evolve into the chief customer experience officer, or “CXO”, because the data that is necessary to understand the customer typically resides in the marketing organisation. The integrated platform approach also demands a complex mix of skills across product groups, geographies and functional areas that may be hard to come by.
Some companies are using a Centre of Excellence structure to leverage valuable skills most effectively and efficiently across the organisation and optimally engineer the customer experience.
Outsourcing the management of integrated digital platforms to an external provider is another organisational option; helping to work across functional silos, provide hard to find skills, and manage the complexity of the rapidly evolving digital world. Choosing a cloud environment managed by a technology and services provider may be the most direct path to delivering results. But it is important to consider a technology solution that is integrated, flexible and available in the cloud or on an as-a-service basis.
About the authors
Anatoly Roytman is leading Accenture’s digital and marketing transformation capability in EMEA. He has led large-scale engagements with clients in the following industries: pharmaceuticals, automotive, financial services, consumer packaged goods and high tech focusing on digital marketing enablement, content management and advertising infrastructure.
Aseem Chandra is vice president of the Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target business for the Digital Marketing Business at Adobe where he is responsible for articulating and evangelising the value of these two solutions that are in Adobe Marketing Cloud. Chandra has more than 20 years of general management, marketing, and partnering experience that he leverages to bring the most relevant products and services to current and prospective customers
About Accenture Interactive
Accenture Interactive helps the world’s leading brands drive superior marketing performance across the full multichannel customer experience. Working with over 4,000 Accenture professionals dedicated to serving the marketing function, Accenture Interactive offers integrated, industrialised and industry-driven marketing solutions and services across consulting, technology and outsourcing powered by analytics.
About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences.
For more information, visit www.adobe.com.
About Adobe Marketing Cloud
Now there’s a place that puts everything digital marketers need in one spot. It’s called Adobe Marketing Cloud. It includes a complete set of analytics, social, advertising, targeting and Web experience management solutions and a social-enabled UI that brings together everything marketers need to know about their campaigns. So marketers can get from data to insights to action, faster and smarter than ever.