Today’s organizations need to push boundaries and think beyond current divisions and silos that keep them from seeing the full customer experience. The past two years have totally shattered how we typically think of digital experience. That’s why the theme of this year’s Acquia Engage event is radical innovation.
Organizational transformation starts by expanding employees’ mindsets so that everyone sees themself as an ambassador of both brand and customer experience. While there are traditional customer-facing roles like sales and technical services, many more teams contribute to the customer journey through digital interactions everywhere from websites to virtual events to chatbot requests.
To collaborate with people across department lines, businesses first need to all share a common vision of their customer experience and put themselves in the perspective of the customer at every moment. Here’s how the most innovative digital leaders are reimagining experiences with a fresh set of eyes.
First-Party Data Means Treating Customers Like People, Not Products
A critical step to fostering collaboration among employees and delighting your end customers is to implement a first-party data strategy that can give all teams access to customer information in a single profile. For years companies heavily focused on buying third-party data and customer information. Relying on third-party data meant that the customers in a sense became the product.
Digital marketers were focused on optimizing, segmenting, converting and acquiring customers rather than establishing meaningful and long-lasting relationships. It’s time to change that. First-party data that requires the customer’s consent is the key to repairing the mistrust that many people today feel toward brands and establishing genuine customer relationships.
Being a radical innovator doesn't always mean buying the fastest and fanciest tech stacks. Real radical innovators are putting privacy and data protection at the core of their experiences. Privacy, security and consent are critical to establishing trust and showing customers that you respect them. Without a baseline of trust, people won’t want to engage with you. When brands do gain this first-party data they then have the responsibility of using it in a way that brings value to the customer. Data should give teams context on how to best help their audiences rather than monetizing it.
Opening Up the Digital Experience Ecosystem
As the digital experience landscape continues to evolve, becoming more intertwined across various channels and modalities and means of interaction, digital leaders will shift to an ecosystem approach. Rather than relying on a single vendor or proprietary marketing platform to serve all their needs, companies will look to build a flexible and composable digital architecture. We’re seeing this happen already as more top companies leverage microservices, cloud-native technologies and API-first approaches in their digital infrastructure.
Looking ahead, companies will be moving toward a best-of-breed approach that focuses on individual business capabilities rather than purchasing a monolithic platform. When businesses are open to adding and adapting the tools and services they use, they gain a huge competitive advantage. A digital experience platform (DXP) then is the foundational framework that brings all of these capabilities together and orchestrates them to form unique, memorable customer journeys.
A major instance where brands must unite disparate digital properties into an end-to-end customer experience is in the case of a merger or acquisition. Bringing together multiple brand websites, content, systems and teams requires fast-acting adaptability and integrations. A great example of how to handle acquisitions smoothly was the 2018 acquisition of CloudHealth by VMware.
After the acquisition, the CloudHealth team worked with Acquia partner Third and Grove to redesign its digital experience to align with VMware’s broader product portfolio and optimize lead generation and conversions. With extensible technology and a composable content management system like Drupal to support the redesign, they were able to easily embrace change and build out new business functions that ultimately ended up with an over 130% increase in their goal conversions!
Ultimately, today’s CEOs, CIOs and CMOs should feel like digital pioneers who get to build out new worlds and business models that mold to their goals. Digital leaders have dominion over more options and paths to revenue and engagement than ever before, and they shouldn’t be afraid to explore them. Innovation begins with new perspectives and new communities dedicated to improving the total customer experience.
For even more tips on how to become a Radical Innovator for your own digital experience, join us at Acquia Engage!