Digital experience (DX) is like happiness: Everyone talks about it but few people can define it.
But there’s little argument DX is now a business imperative. As Gartner explains, digital technologies support innovation, growth, revenue and competitive disruption.
DX is the foundation for exceptional brand experience, which focuses on the quality of a user’s experience and breathes life into the idea of customer-centricity.
Defining Digital Experience
Broadly speaking, DX encompasses the range of experiences people have with an organization on all of its digital touchpoints. Those touchpoints extend from the web and mobile devices through wearables and beacons.
In practical terms, DX starts with the interactions digital technologies enable. Then it spiders into a myriad of new opportunities to improve customer experiences and
meet exceed customer needs.
To understand DX — and ultimately brand experience — companies need to focus on the customer experience, said Scott Brinker.
Brinker, co-founder and CTO of ion interactive and editor of chiefmartec.com, literally spends weeks each year counting the numbers of marketing technology solutions on the market. But he said that technology is just a means to an end.
DX is all about customer experience. “What is the customer experience our customers expect, that we can deliver, that we can do better?” he explained.
Companies should only look for and implement digital technologies once they have clarity around those questions. “Then and only then should they ask, OK, what are the technologies we can use to realize our vision?”
FODX: Fear of Digital Experience
Mark Floisand, Chief Marketing Officer at Coveo, conceded the concept of digital experience is daunting.
“People hear vendors and peers talk about the sheer variety of things they can do — from personalization and the expectations of consumers to the data lake that we all live in.
“In trying to assimilate them, many people are just flummoxed. They’re daunted by the prospect of trying to put these things together and somehow manually craft these digital experiences. They don’t know where to start,” he said.
He said technology providers and integrators should emphasize digital experience is as much art as science. Most importantly, they should acknowledge trial-and-error is ok.
“Companies need to let certain experiences play out and learn from them. Not all of them are going to be good. You won’t optimize each one. But that’s part of the learning process.
“Overcoming that fear, that barrier, that trepidation of where to start is one of the single largest challenges to digital transformation,” he said.
Demand for Digital Experience
Whether you view it as hype or the new normal, there’s no denying there is growing demand for DX.
In a new report on digital trends in Australia, EY researchers concluded that Australians are demanding the highest level of digital experience from all brands. The report notes that 4 in 10 of the Aussies surveyed said they will walk away from companies that fail offer a seamless digital experience.
“The focus needs to be on the individual consumer, ensuring that customers feel like their needs are understood and the experiences, products, and services they receive are personalized,” said EY Partner Jenny Young.
Bob Feher. analyst relations and market intelligence at NCR Corp., a provider of consumer transaction technologies, suggests retailers today can win customer loyalty through the experiences they offer.
“Whether, its online, mobile or in-store purchasing, customers strive for a sense comfort, ease of use, and convenience around their purchase decision-making. Retailers that develop unique solutions to satisfy these different customer experiences will benefit from a greater customer loyalty,” he wrote.
DX Survival Strategies
DX is spurring a merger of digital and offline shopping that delivers a better brand experience.
Brand experience encompasses every touchpoint a company has with its customers, employees, partners, distributors, vendors, and other stakeholders.
The customer journey, physical and digital channels, and strategically important technology all support it. “It sets the priority as the quality of a user’s experience,” said , said Chris Spears, Chief Technology Marketing Officer at ARKE.
Companies that want to excel in this new environment should consider options to bridge the gap between offline and online. Apps can play an important role. Just remember customers should gain something from their use — from loyalty points and discounts to greater convenience.
Interested in learning more about ways to put your customers at the heart of your marketing technologies? Arke’s Marketing Technology Alignment provides you with a clear customer-centric roadmap as well as a technology audit of all your current marketing tools.