Digital interactions between brands and consumers were on a steady upward trajectory before the pandemic. But as stay-at-home orders and in-person capacity limits have become a standard part of pandemic life, the need for a seamless and engaging digital customer experience has never been more important. This rapid adoption of digital strategies demonstrates that brands are recognizing technology’s strategic importance as a critical component of the business, not just a source of business efficiencies.
With the increased awareness and adoption around brand digital transformation, it’s surfaced the question of how a brand can create a point of difference in a digital world. The answer comes down to the customer perspective, according to Paige O’Neill, Chief Marketing Officer at Sitecore, a leading digital experience platform (DXP). She explained in a recent interview with eMarketer that it’s key to deliver on a customer-first digital experience by understanding customer behavior and shaping a content strategy to meet the customer needs.
“The customer has got an urgent need they are trying to solve; they are looking for information,” O’Neill said. “They are not looking to be bombarded with a product or a service, so we have to take a step back and understand [the experience] holistically from the customer’s point of view.”
By having the technology to leverage data, brands have the right information to optimize their interactions with the customers and serve up relevant content, regardless of channel. This allows for brands to have a better understanding of customer wants and identify opportunities for improvement or deeper engagement.
One example of a brand’s digital transformation shifting their experience to a customer-first strategy is Not Impossible Labs (NIL). This brand is a nonprofit technology incubator that creates technology innovations to address societal challenges, such as enabling the deaf community to have an enhanced experience a concert. With their new website updates NIL achieved near perfect accessibility scores and increased engagement.
“As many nonprofits often see, sometimes they’re not providing the right experience on their website or on their digital channels,” O’Neill said. “So the combination of Sitecore and Verndale was able to help Not Impossible Labs build out a content strategy, present it in the right way on their website — to be able to leverage the right SEO strategy and the right marketing strategy — to then be able to get traffic to the website, so people could experience all the amazing things they were doing.”
Digital transformation is here to stay with 74 percent of consumers saying they’re not going to go back to the way they did things before, O’Neill shared in the interview. Understanding the customer needs is the starting point to mapping out the journey and delivering an effective brand digital experience.
“This isn’t going away when we come out of the pandemic; it’s just accelerated the need to go digital,” O’Neill said. “It’s hypercritical for every business right now.”
Click here to watch the full interview with Paige O’Neill.