5 Steps to Achieve Great Digital Experiences

Get digitally fit. Great digital experiences are seamless, timely, connected, consistent, thoughtful and personalized.

 Digital fitness is like, well, regular fitness. What do you want to see staring back at you when you’re done?

Great digital experiences are seamless, timely, connected, consistent, thoughtful and personalized. Easy, right?

In my years as a consultant I’ve seen a clear and consistent theme: Everyone knows they need to work out their flaws, but it’s hard to get off the proverbial couch.

So, as your digital fitness trainer of sorts, here are five steps to get you moving:

1. Have a vision

In your personal life, maybe you have visions of running a marathon, competing in the Ironman or conquering the Alps during the Tour de France.

In your professional life, you want to be ahead of the pack as well.

Your vision will get your organization to believe in the possible, and feel the inspiration to change at every level.

The goal is an unadulterated, limitless, and creative customer experience. The time is now.

2. Make an honest assessment

Maybe you haven’t exercised in two years. Maybe you’re not quite the “before” picture and certainly not the “after.” It’s OK. Everyone starts somewhere.

The key is honesty. This is about you and your customer – not the other guy.

I’ve heard a senior analyst say, “Marketers continue to disappoint me. They just don’t get it.”

It’s time to own it.

Here’s what to assess:


  • What skills do they have?
  • What are the skill gaps?
  • What is their appetite for change?
  • How are your people organized?
  • How is your team being measured?

What you might find: Silos, competing agendas, and lack of understanding and vision.


  • Do you speak differently to your various audiences at different points during your relationship with them?
  • What are the gaps?
  • What needs to change?

What you might find: Redundant content, content for the masses but not for your audiences, and disconnected content.


  • What data are you collecting?
  • Why are you collecting it?
  • Where are you housing it?
  • Does it paint an entire picture of customer engagement with the brand?
  • What are you doing with it?

What you might find: Disconnected data, data without action, dirty data, and limited data.


  • What does your stack look like?
  • Does it work together?
  • Are you getting what you need out of it?
  • Does it evolve with you as your digital maturity increases?
  • Are there gaps in features?
  • Are you supported?

What you might find: Disconnected technology, redundant technology, shelfware, and gaps.

3. Develop a strategy

Get everyone in the organization to know what they need to do, when they need to do it, and why.

I often tell customers to start with things they control. Establish a proof of concept, define what success looks like, execute the plan and measure its impact. Count the wins and move to the next phase. The wins allow you to continue to make changes while keeping teams motivated and eager.

Acquia's Melanie Poitras at 2017 Engage

Acquia's Melanie Poitras leads a 2017 Engage session titled, "Digital Experiences Are Made Not Born: Becoming Digitally Fit"

4. Execute your plan

Eliminate silos by creating a communication plan. State how your efforts will lead to change and expected outcomes.

If you own lead generation, for example, define what your best leads look like, and look at what content those leads are consuming. So, instead of creating 1,000 variations of a piece of content, look at the largest audience, segments or personas within those best leads. Then create a few variations and serve them to site visitors who look like your leads.

Track the performance of those variations. Did you see more consumption of content making the lead a more-informed buyer?

Share the results and next steps with stakeholders.

5. Optimize based on results

First, celebrate. You need community support to make change a habit.

Change takes time and perseverance. Sometimes you take different paths that you didn’t see at the beginning.

Maybe leads are getting better and the time to conversion is getting shorter. Could you apply what you learned from the first exercise to another audience? Is there valuable content you can present within the customer journey that will help leads make a decision?

What does the second phase look like?

What adjustments should be made? Just like healthy living, it’s not one and done. Keep moving, keep evolving, and keep at it.

Exercise must be a continuous cycle. So must success.

Why not start both of those today?

Featured Resources

View More Resources