Four Reasons Your Digital Transformation Still Doesn’t Help You Personalize Experiences
The four key pillars of applying a widespread digital technology to your company.
The “spray-and-pray” and even the slightly more targeted “batch-and-blast” approaches to marketing certainly don’t lead to a personalized and relevant experience for your customers. But the promise of a digital transformation is consistent messaging that is relevant to individual customers and their specific preferences, across all the channels they use.
Emily Moreno, multi-solution architect (MSA) at Adobe Consulting, has assisted more than 20 companies with digital transformations, helping them integrate new technologies to improve their marketing and business processes and how they acquire and retain customers.
She usually works with two types of customers — those with a new solutions purchase that need help with their digital transformation, and those who’ve been working with new solutions for perhaps a year but haven’t yet seen improved ROI. In the latter case, Emily says the tools are usually installed properly, but the company hasn’t broken down its organizational silos, and, therefore, teams are still working independently of each other. They haven’t yet changed their company culture to align with the organization’s new vision and business goals.
“It takes nurturing to build this experience for your customers,” Emily says. It’s something you have to keep investing in.
If your company is investing in digital processes, you should be sure to get the benefit of being able to have the information and systems you need to deliver personalized experiences at scale. To do that, make sure you avoid these four common mistakes:
1. You didn’t define your strategy.
New marketing tools aren’t just plug-and-play. They can open up opportunities in your conversations with customers, but you’ll need to invest time and commitment. It means thinking across product lines, departments, and channel campaigns.
There also needs to be vision at the very top of your company that unifies your organization’s strategy and makes it easier to define the correct technology, people, and processes. “We want personalization for our customers,” or “We want omnichannel delivery and consistent communication,” are just two examples of a clearly stated vision.
Emily says one of the most important words when it comes to strategy discussions is “specificity” — as in, “If we get this one [specific] thing to work, then we can build upon it, and then build upon that.”
She says that when talking about user stories, though, it’s important to use the word “detail,” instead of “specific,” to make sure you understand what happens in every moment of that customer’s story or journey.
“We want to make sure we capture the details so we can build exactly that,” says Emily.
It’s also important to publish what you are learning and doing, so others learn about it and can leverage it. “And then it’s not just the success of one group,” she says, “it becomes a bigger success for the organization.”
2. You don’t know your KPIs.
Making sure your strategies have key performance indicators (KPIs) means you have actionable targets. Your KPI might be “Did our customer view this on multiple channels? Which ones? Do we see an increase in channel engagement?”
The technology should be able to establish a design architecture that not only solves the current problem but can be extended in the future as needed without requiring a lot more work.
It’s also important that the core group of key stakeholders comes back together to evaluate the metrics and see how a campaign did, and then redesign, expand, or shift the strategy as needed.
3. You haven’t empowered your people.
It’s critical that the people who work with the technology are properly trained and enabled, and that teams work together. This includes the marketing team, content people, business analysts, the CRM team, your data team, and other key employees who will be involved in implementing or using the technology.
There is a lot of change that happens with this type of implementation, and proceeding without having all your people on board, and ensuring they’re well-prepared and can work in a crossfunctional way is taking a huge risk.
“Once you have the technology mapped, the data mapped, and the people mapped, it’s going to be a lot easier to create project teams because now you know who needs to be involved,” Emily says.
4. You didn’t define a process.
Processes are unique to each organization. Once you have your strategy, technology, and people in place, it’s easier to define the process. It’s determined by your business, the tools you have, and the goals you’re trying to reach.
Here are important questions to make sure you’re on track: Does it work for the business? The technology may work, but how is it going to be contextual, meaningful, or impactful?
Emily says it’s important to remember that digital transformation does take ramp-up time, and that’s part of the process.
“When you start with the new solutions, there’s going to be a learning period, and to expect ROI during a learning period is a bit much,” she says. “You’re still going to be figuring things out.”
Emily adds that it’s only really when you get to the business optimization stage, where you have a plan, are working the plan, and everything is going well “that you’re going to start seeing some real movement.”
Digital transformation challenges are really business challenges. By putting in the work to get the strategy, people, and processes right, your company can transform how you engage with the people who matter most to building your brand — your customers.