Everything is a matter of perspective. And sometimes, nothing opens your eyes more than looking at situations from other points-of-view. So today we’re wading into the big, messy world of digital-infused marketing to highlight the ideas of eight industry thought leaders.

How can you create the best omnichannel brand experiences?

What role does an app play?

How can data and analytics advance your digital transformation?

More pointedly, can you articulate the objective of the transformations you undertake?

Ready? Sit back, relax, and enjoy a sampling of interesting ideas. When you’re done, be sure to share your own thoughts in the comment section below.

Apps Support the Whole Journey

The intention of an application is to facilitate a desired end-to-end experience as part of an overall journey. No longer are organizations focused on developing for a single channel, or experience.

“Organizations need to develop a strategy for reaching users (internal and external) where they want to be and how they want to interact continuously across multiple channels. Application leaders need to understand defining and designing for the journey and how to develop for new channels beyond mobile and the web.” — Keith Guttridge, Gartner research director

Defining Digital Transformation

“The concept of digital transformation varies widely depending on the definition being used. One member of a corporate board or C-suite might define digital transformation as an investment in customer experience. But another might mean digital fueled improvements in operations or productivity. And a third might mean a complete re-engineering of the business model for digital.

“Regardless, an organization needs to define the stages of its transformation, either by borrowing an existing method or coining its own. On top of those stages, it needs to embed the entry and exit criteria for each stage, as well as the optimal results or outcomes.” — Chris Spears, Arke CMTO

In the Digital Era, Prioritize People

“Nearly 65 percent of companies are prioritizing ‘evolving customer behaviors and preferences’ as a key driver for digital transformation. Yet only 34.8 percent have mapped out the customer journey in the last year.

“This means that most companies are investing in digital transformation, but most don’t know why. They’re prioritizing technology and roadmaps over real insights into human behaviors, preferences, expectations, values, et al. . . . People are changing and most decision-makers are out of touch with humanity.” — Brian Solis, analyst, author, futurist, and keynote speaker

Data and Analytics Depend on People, Processes

“Most organizations should be doing better with data and analytics, given the potential benefits. Organizations at transformational levels of maturity enjoy increased agility, better integration with partners and suppliers, and easier use of advanced predictive and prescriptive forms of analytics. This all translates to competitive advantage and differentiation.”

However, “don’t assume that acquiring new technology is essential to reach transformational levels of maturity in data and analytics. First, focus on improving how people and processes are coordinated inside the organization, and then look at how you enhance your practices with external partners.” — Nick Heudecker, Gartner research vice president

Build Effective, Trusted Partnerships

“Most enterprise solution deployments fall short of their potential. In fact, most companies barely scratch the surface of the capabilities of even common productivity tools such as Excel. The problem is even bigger when companies replace a more modest CMS with a robust platform like Sitecore.

“Those tasked with the deployment often don’t know what they don’t know. Unless a company has in-house expertise or was fortunate enough to select an experienced implementation partner out of the gate, odds are it will struggle with the deployment.” — Margaret Wise, VP of Strategy, Arke

Deliver Holistic, Meaningful Experiences

“Many organizations are already experimenting with technologies like bots and intelligent agents to deliver immersive CX. But remember the great race to create a mobile app? That proved there’s no implicit value in developing a new channel alone.

“There’s no value in content without context, and you can’t deliver context without operational excellence too. Your services engagements should include alignment between the operational core and digital CX initiatives in order to deliver holistic, meaningful experiences at scale.” — Amanda LeClair, Forrester analyst

Balance Personalization With Privacy

“Your customers are walking, talking contradictions. Forrester data shows that more than half of them want you to value their time, follow them across channels, and answer their questions quickly and easily. At the same time, these customers are overwhelmingly worried about how they share personal data. . . .

“So given the contradictory and confusing behavior of your customers, how do you walk the line between personalized service and privacy? In the age of the customer, default to privacy. Offer your customers the option to see exactly what they’re sharing with you, and show them how sharing their data will directly benefit them.” — Ian Jacobs, Forrester Analyst

More Big Ideas

Everyone is a philosopher, albeit in his own way. And while not every utterance evokes shock or awe, a well-turned phrase always makes you think. Just remember, we all sang along to “he got feet down below his knee” and more recently acknowledged “before you came into my life, I missed you so bad.”

So we’ll close this article today with a collective nod to songwriter Edie Brickell and Arke VP of MarTech Innovation Andy Uzick. Brickell famously reminded us “philosophy is a talk on cereal box.” And Uzick views air travel through a uniquely personal lens.

About Arke

Atlanta-based Arke develops strategies and implements digital technologies for better brand experience for your customers.