The customer and content journeys needed to power digital experiences are complex and touch numerous functionalities within a brand. Each team brings its own goals and needs to the project, and this diversity of viewpoints makes for the strongest and most accessible experience for your audience. No matter the size of your organization, you are going to need these internal teams’ cooperation and assistance to fully realize digital transformation and optimization goals.
We used these five steps to great effect when rolling out the digital experience on sitecore.com:
1. Lay a strong foundation
The right foundation starts with the three Ps of digital transformation – Platform, People, and Process. While all three are important, to get buy-in for your digital transformation program, one of them is slightly more crucial than the others, as it enables everything else to happen. It’s all about having the right people.
It’s essential to have a central team of digital experience leaders with strong executive sponsorship, close working relationships with your IT partners, martech vendors, and other agencies, and syncing closer with your business and other teams. This is the model we’ve used at Sitecore - we have a strong Digital Experience Team, encompassing content operations, inbound growth, strategists, and development, design & UX.
Once you have your team in place, or at least planned, it’s vital that you define what is important for your team. Without this step, you won’t get alignment and your priorities won’t be their priorities.
Everyone on the team must know where you’re going, and roughly how you’re going to get there, so they can make the right decisions on a day-to-day basis. You can’t make every daily decision for them – you must empower them to choose what’s important when those emails hit their inbox. This is not just about KPIs and OKRs and other TLAs, it’s about the philosophy of the team and the approach you take to deliver what you are focusing on.
To do: Create and socialize a set of team principles that allows your entire organization to understand your team’s approach to DX.
The goal is to open and build channels of communication to bring a diverse set of viewpoints to the table. Every member of your wider team has a different set of concerns and priorities, and understanding what they need - and how they’re trying to achieve it - will help you build a long-lasting set of solutions that people will use and improve. Actively listening to them and asking good questions can help uncover challenges and generate better solutions.
This focus on communication works closely with cooperation and collaboration. Different teams have different priorities, and bringing those priorities together creates a better experience for employees and customers, as well as raising questions that may call for interesting solutions. Bringing more viewpoints to the table powers creativity like nothing else. It will also give insight into what other teams are struggling with. Pain points are a fabulous place to start looking for quick wins, and they can also create a great entry point for other teams within your organization.
To do: Set up listening sessions with your wider business. Establish that you want to hear their opinions and ask open-ended questions to elicit feedback on the site and digital experience.
3. Focus on pain points
Building a data-driven culture of iteration and innovation through problem-solving means talking about pain points. When gathering info about the pain points, you’ll hear about lots of them. Look at your CX pain points and your EX pain points and look for commonality – this is where the gold of DX is.
And once you’ve found the pain points to focus on, be decisive - but remain flexible. Know your data and structure your tactics to gather more. And recognize that tactics don’t always deliver expected results – the ability to pivot is essential to a data-driven strategy.
To do: create a list of customer pain points and combine it with a list of employee pain points based on your listening sessions. Look for the common areas and focus on fixing these first.
4. Find evangelists and internal champions
After laying the foundation, listening to subject matter experts, soliciting feedback from users to incorporate into the digital experience, and identifying quick wins and long-term goals that respond to and solve pain points, use that momentum to build out a wider team of evangelists. Look for opinion leaders, problem solvers, and conversation shapers. Passion, energy, conviction, and sincerity come in many shapes and forms.
Once you’ve found them, define clear opportunities and be responsive to ideas and feedback. Provide all the resources and tools that will help them accomplish their goals, and make sure to acknowledge the work that they are doing. Give them clear credit for amazing ideas and solutions, as well as consistent shoutouts for participation and innovation. You need to make your champions feel like a valued and valuable part of this process - they are key to long-term success.
To do: identify the members of your wider organization who want to understand and use DX, and reach out to them about enablement and evangelism. Give them what they need and make sure you shout out to everyone about the results they are getting and that those same results are available to anyone who wants to put their hand up.
5. Keep moving forward
If you are doing all of this and still hitting roadblocks, it’s essential not to let it stop you. There’s always another option, another idea, another way to try.
Involve the business in planning and executing optimization. Share your activities so the whole business can become part of the process.
Teach internal teams how things work and make your process a part of their campaign development activities. Make sure that your marketing teams have access to the data they need to assess their campaigns, keep track of their target markets, and discover opportunities for optimization. Keep evolving tactics and embed data-driven decision-making in your day today and be sure to draw attention to the things you are doing and the results you are seeing. There is no advertisement like success, and you must be your own best champion when it comes to optimization efforts.
To do: get a regular cadence of updates to the organization in place – be that in a meeting, email, intranet, or all hands. Get involved with other teams’ meetings as a way to get the results in front of them. Talk about what’s worked and what hasn’t, the plans on the table, and the data available to the teams.