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Build a DX foundation to beat your competition in 2021

What does best-in-class digital experience look like in the new decade? Businesses that build a strong foundation of strategy, culture, and technology today will be the digital experience winners of the future.

CHAPTER 1

Strengthen your digital experience foundation

The race for a better digital experience is already well underway. Those businesses winning (and retaining) customers today are those offering unforgettable, frictionless, and overall consistent digital experiences (DX). But that’s not the only thing these businesses have in common — they’ve all built their competition-beating solution on a solid foundation of strategy and technology.

If you want to beat your competition in the 2020s and beyond, you need to engage with your customers in new, exciting, and more personal ways. You need to be able to predict their desires and needs, shift from transactional relationships to long-term ones.

For those businesses early in their digital transformations, this can seem like a big ask, and there’s no denying that getting to this point will require a lot of work, especially from IT leaders like the CIO (40% of whom say they are now responsible for digital strategy). But if you lay the groundwork now, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can start delivering — and winning.

Chapter 2

Breaking down internal digital transformation barriers

To compete on DX today, internal barriers need to come down. Robust collaboration between IT, Marketing and other lines of business will be essential for delivering memorable digital experiences.

Your Marketing and IT “dream team” is the cornerstone of your DX foundation. This cross-functional team will use their collective insight to:

  • Deliver on organization-wide objectives
  • Choose and implement the right technology solution for your business
  • Target the right customers
  • Deliver personalized content that transforms digital touchpoints into engaging experiences

IT teams must work hand-in-hand with Marketing (and other lines of business) if you want to beat the competition. By combining their expertise — Marketing’s content development and consumer data with IT’s technology and experience delivery — your “dream team” will be able to turn your vision into reality. With your teams sharing a common mission, effective leadership, and goals, you’ll be well on your way to standing out as a DX leader.

Chapter 3

Be firm, but flexible, with digital strategy

Roughly 67% of customers say their standards for good experiences are higher than ever, and 51% say that companies are falling short. To meet and exceed these high expectations, your DX strategy needs to be fit for purpose.

Your strategy for delivering digital experiences must allow for speed, flexibility, efficiency, and robust collaboration. You’ll need to be able to respond quickly to trends and create new content at speed. And you must be able to do this as efficiently as possible, cutting down duplicate work and eliminating unnecessary processes.

Because things can change so quickly, you can’t lock your business into one way of doing things. Develop and implement tools and techniques iteratively and be prepared to adapt as you learn — either from your own experience or the successes and failings of competitors. 

Your solid foundation will make it easier for you to change. If you have a strong culture of collaboration and efficient processes underpinning your efforts, you won’t have to bounce back from zero if you discover something isn’t working for you.

Chapter 4

Technology should complement strategy

Your DX strategy should allow your business to rapidly scale workloads, channel offerings, and digital experiences. It should also inform what technology you put in place, and how to use it to your full advantage.

An experience platform will provide your organization’s various business units with coherent, accurate data, enabling you to deliver personalized experiences at scale. This platform will be, perhaps, the most important technology investment you could ever buy in terms of improving your digital experience.

But technology alone does not make for a solid DX foundation. Fostering a positive culture of collaboration and educating teams on how to get the most out of the technology will be as important as sourcing and implementing the solution itself.

Chapter 5

Mitigate the risks to DX growth

Every business and every project face different risks. When customer experience is involved, failure is not an option if you want to seriously compete.

When it comes to building your DX foundation, there are three key areas of risk you should be aware of. CIOs and IT leaders will be largely responsible for mitigating the majority of these risks. Here are some quick tips:

Implementation risk

  • Conduct thorough research and testing, taking an iterative approach to technology implementation
  • Train teams on new technology
  • Consider a managed cloud solution

Security risk

  • Make sure you understand the security tools available to you and the roles that will be needed for these to function
  • Create a secure platform in which to test, experiment, and innovate
  • Come to a consensus on acceptable risk — and be realistic

Culture risk

  • Facilitate broad executive communication to keep the project aligned with company strategy
  • Ensure that best practices are shared via training, especially for recently onboarded teams
  • Use analytics to demonstrate impact and ROI
  • Keep teams “in the loop”, sharing successes and best practices

Chapter 6

Future-proofing your DX foundation

As with any physical construction project, you want to build your DX foundation to last. It needs to be strong enough to support add-ons, expansions, and evolutions to your digital experience delivery.

No one can predict exactly what the future will hold, but businesses with a solid DX foundation in place will be those that will be able to pivot and adapt the quickest.

Be sure to get your 3-to-5-year growth strategy on paper, and hold teams accountable for delivering on milestones. Then, begin with quick wins aligned to key business objectives, using the ROI from these activities to get buy-in for future innovation. You should aim to invest continuously in people, training, research, and expertise if you want to keep up with changing expectations.

Remember, although you should set your foundation now, making it as solid as possible, you shouldn’t be afraid to change when it’s warranted and embrace new technologies as they arrive.

If you want to beat the competition, you should get started now. Lay the groundwork today and continue delivering unforgettable digital experiences into the new decade.

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