Your Experience Business is Built on a Digital Foundation — Start the Technology Transition Now
Multinational corporations in every time zone are eager to access FranklinCovey’s world-class content and solutions, and the only realistic way for the leadership brand to deliver its courses is through digital offerings. FranklinCovey’s strategic vision and desire to deliver lasting results for their clients were the impetus for a digital transformation. This has enabled FranklinCovey to serve its global clients in the most effective manner.
In the next 10 years, 40 percent of today’s Fortune 500 companies will cease to exist — largely because they didn’t provide for their customers’ needs. However, enterprises, like FranklinCovey, that effectively leverage technology, are able to deliver the personalized, relevant, and real-time experiences that keep customers engaged and coming back for more.
Not only will your company survive by investing in technology for digital experience delivery, but it will also thrive. Research by American Express found that 70 percent of Americans are willing to spend more with companies that provide better customer experience. And by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
To leverage the “experience business” wave, you need foundational technology to help tame a complex array of system challenges.
Establish a technology foundation to be a true experience business.
Many businesses think they are delivering exceptional experiences with the technology they have, but according to Doug Anderson, senior product marketing manager for Adobe Experience Cloud, they are not. Doug says, “Your technology should help you deliver everything to the customer in a cohesive package — you want them to know that you know who they are, you understand where they’ve been, and you have a good idea about where they want to go.”
Melissa Webster, program vice president for Content and Digital Media Technologies at IDC, highlights several aspects of a digital experience — visual quality, relevancy, connectedness, and immediacy. “Add all this up and it’s easy to see why you need integrated technology to deliver exceptional experiences,” she says.
In your efforts to deliver personalized experiences and high levels of customer satisfaction you’ll run into a handful of problems. Some of the most common issues are as follows:
- You need an automated way to reach new customers across a multitude of media and social channels.
- You need to streamline how you produce and deliver personalized content to audiences at a growing number of touchpoints.
- You need a common language to define data fields like customers, audience segments, promotions, campaigns, and assets so the systems in your organization can talk to each other and give you a unified view of the customer.
To deliver all of this with precision and performance, Shantanu Narayan, Adobe’s CEO, believes an experienced business not only needs content, data, and machine learning, but also a foundation that understands how those elements combine to deliver customer experiences. He says, “The right technology foundation will help you learn about your audience and their interests, engage customers with personalized messages, create relevant, cross-channel digital experiences, and focus on marketing instead of IT administration.”
At FranklinCovey, technology enhancements allow marketers to deliver content and campaigns quickly and directly. Carol Fineagan, chief information officer at FranklinCovey, explains, “People no longer have to come to IT to get their solutions delivered. We built systems with the infrastructure so well isolated from the content delivery, that business units can deliver content and solutions out to their customers in a more rapid-fire manner than you could with a traditional custom-developed system.”
Five steps to build the technology foundation every experience business needs.
When creating and delivering customer experiences, being able to deliver personalized content to each of your customers is impossible without the assistance of technology. Melissa likes to think of “content and data as strategic assets, and analytics as the intelligence layer.” Here are five ways that having the right technology foundation will help you manage and deliver your strategic assets with intelligence.
1. Integrate digital marketing tools with your content management system (CMS).
The first step is to integrate all your digital marketing tools with a scalable, reliable CMS that has workflows, approvals, and versioning, and lets you run campaigns, experiments, and quickly update digital content without heavy IT involvement. Integrate your marketing tools using dynamic tag management. For FranklinCovey, digital asset management (DAM) is key to maintaining brand quality and integrity to give customers a consistent brand experience around the globe.
2. Implement analytics data collection and reporting.
After you integrate your marketing tools and have basic digital content tracking, the next step is to build an analytics foundation. Integrating data at every step in your marketing process and from across the enterprise is essential to acquire new customers, retain customers, optimize conversion rates, and measure content velocity.
3. Create a unified customer profile.
A unified profile lets you personalize your marketing message across the many touchpoints used by your customers, and gain a holistic view of your customers’ engagement with your brand. A unified profile is the foundation of cross-experience marketing and identifying customers across web and mobile apps.
4. Discover and build audiences.
Segmenting audiences and understanding how individuals move between audience segments, give you actionable, data-driven audiences that you can reach at multiple touchpoints.
5. Personalize content.
Content personalization is the foundation of the customer experience. With a unified digital foundation, you can focus on the experience journey of every customer, and not just basic optimization at each touchpoint.
For FranklinCovey, building a technology foundation allows them the opportunity to meet their clients’ needs in a more distributed and timely way. “Now everyone’s on the same playing field with the most current assets and product information,” says Carol. “It has taken us to a different level with our products.” FranklinCovey is also able to deliver content in a variety of formats. “We can give them content and templates on their desktop, tablet, or phone — however they want it. The sky’s the limit.”
Strategies to justify your technology investment.
Any technology investment must be carefully planned to understand the benefit and help set expectations for how it will improve your business revenues. In doing so, ensuring that your digital foundation is unified is an important aspect of getting the most out of your investment. According to Doug, “Over the years, analysts have come to the conclusion that enterprises will typically spend 27–37 percent less on a marketing platform than on a passel of loosely associated parts.”
Finally, it’s not necessary to switch out all your technology at once. “When you look at doing everything at one time, you think, ‘I can’t climb this mountain,’” says Carol. “So, we didn’t actually have to climb a mountain. We put stepping stones in place to make the transition without having to disrupt the things that were successful and didn’t really need immediate attention.” FranklinCovey staged its transition by identifying the high-value products first — those that would make the biggest impact on their business. This strategy not only made the process manageable, but also gave the company confidence along the way that their investment was well spent.
“There’s a trend toward delivering data-driven experiences,” says Melissa. “And that trend requires the right systems to launch personalized experiences at scale. Technology is the answer for how to anticipate and address customer needs.”