Making an impact

Three must-haves for long-lasting DX change

Upgrading digital experience is more than just replacing outdated technology. Embed long-lasting transformation across the organization with these essential principles.

By Alison Sainsbury

4 minute read

You need to make decisions knowing that you have the data – data about the pain points that need addressing, and the data to check the results.

AI Summary

Many organizations try to overhaul their digital experience, but the changes they work so hard to deliver don’t become business-as-usual, the skills gained are lost, and the impact is short-term. There is a long list of reasons that this can happen, including team churn, lack of executive support, organizational resistance, and more.

In my experience, these reasons are the symptoms of a central cause: the changes you’ve achieved haven’t involved and inspired the organization broadly beyond the core team. If your colleagues don’t understand the process, don’t feel ownership in the outcomes, and don’t know how they can replicate it for their priorities, it doesn’t take hold and become part of your business-as-usual. Simply put, the change doesn’t stick.

To help address this, I’ve distilled my experience working with Sitecore customers and with the Sitecore team itself into three must-haves for creating long-lasting change in DX. Get this right, and you’ll get the buy-in you need — from the C-suite to the interns.

1. Choose your pain points carefully

We all know to look for areas of friction and pain in the customer experience (CX), and sometimes we also look to the employee experience (EX) to find and solve a pain point, such as the inability to find the right content to offer customers or a form that keeps sending bad data through.

But to make long-lasting changes in the digital experience (DX) requires looking between the two. Find the pain points that overlap for both your customers and your employees. Prioritize addressing those and your changes will be sticky because they help everyone.

For Sitecore.com, this meant improvements to functionality like the Request a Demo page, the Contact Us page, designing and implementing a new navigation experience and information architecture, creating new components to help the marketers deliver the experiences they want, and other improvements we’ve made since June 2021 and continue to make.

2. Embed data-driven decisions in your day-to-day

You must do the work to make data-driven decision-making a daily reality. Of course, saying that is as easy as saying “embed regular exercise in your day-to-day”, and requires similar levels of discipline and organization.

To drive your decision making from data, you need to have the tools easily available (for us it’s our data dashboards and a recently launched multi-touch attribution model, plus of course the optimization results in Sitecore XP and Sitecore Personalize) and then you can find the data to check your decisions and make a habit of it.

Sometimes that’s easy and sometimes it’s not, but it’s worth doing – just like regular exercise.

3. Be decisive and be loud

And third – last but not least – be decisive and be loud.

What do we mean by this? People will dither if you give them too many choices, and if you’re always looking for someone else to sign off, you won’t be moving fast enough.

You need to make decisions knowing that you have the data – data about the pain points that need addressing, and the data to check the results.

Embrace the chance of failure, because you’ll be able to prove the outcomes and learn from them.

Then, loop back around and be “loud” – demonstrate the results and the insights you gained to your teams.

This cycle of identifying important, shared pain points through close working relationships with your team and access to data on your digital experience, taking action to address those areas, and then using the data to analyze and publicize the results, will keep you in a virtuous loop of continuous improvement, involvement, and iteration which will provide great returns for your investment of time and money in digital experience.

Alison Sainsbury

Alison Sainsbury

Senior Director, Digital Experience

Sitecore

Alison Sainsbury is Senior Director of Digital Experience for Sitecore, leading the team who are "connecting the experience" for Sitecore's own customers on our own channels.