By Rick Bauer, Lead Technical Consultant, Perficient
It’s a familiar refrain: “We want to personalize the customer experience,” said every digital marketer this year, last year, and several years before that. For good reason, too, because personalization can lead to better content, increased conversion, and lifetime customers. So, I am here to say to you, Well done! You are ready to stay relevant in a world where Amazon, Netflix, and many other CX-forward companies are leading the way to increasing their bottom line and changing what consumers expect from an acceptable customer experience strategy.
Whether you are in the C-suite making big-shot decisions, leading the IT organization, or the marketing director responsible for driving personalization and are now holding a fresh new bag of money to drive your company forward—the mantra you need to get comfortable with is: “This is a journey.” Even after you make it through re-platforming or upgrading, have your governance in order, content loaded, marketing workshops under your belt, and analytics flowing in to drive decisions—you will always be testing, improving, upgrading, connecting, building, rewriting, and finding ways to improve CX to drive ROI. Repeat it now: This is a journey….
Now exhale: You’ve got this personalization, customer experience thing
Let’s suppose you have made the wise decision to go all-in with a digital experience platform (DXP). Good for you! With the right partner, you have the tools available to deliver personalization and customer experience success. You can now have a 360-degree view of your customers, drive user journeys, test content, track campaigns, measure results, and continue to cycle through the customer journey to complete customer loyalty and ultimately lead to world domination! For now, let’s just shoot for customer loyalty, please.
You will note that I did say tools for success. That is key. You need to know how to use these digital marketing tools, not just from a technical standpoint, but from a theoretical one. Even if you are completely comfortable with the functionality of your customer experience platform, you also need to look at your high-level customer experience strategy. You may know how to build personalization rules, but what are your goals, what are they worth, and why are you personalizing?
The customer experience platform is the toolset in a broader personalization strategy
You need to take a holistic approach in your journey. You need more than development and system integration support. You need strategists, analysts, marketing technologists, and content experts—to name a few. Success will be a shorter road when you adopt this approach.
Pause and think about the complex role of today’s digital marketer. Today’s modern marketer doesn’t just manage a website. Instead they need to be able to reach across all channels, connect the dots across data points, improve customer satisfaction, and increase conversions—not to mention using connected data to constantly improve these interactions over ever-evolving touch points.
Rick Bauer, the lead technical consultant at Sitecore Platinum Solution Partner Perficient and Sitecore Digital Strategy MVP, provides insight, training, and a passion for maximizing the potential of customer experience and digital marketing solutions.