Want to fix the customer experience? Start with the marketer's experience.

As marketers, we take the essence of what our companies do and turn it into storylines that stick in the minds of customers and prospects. Somewhere along the way, though, the technology we adopted to do this started to hurt us rather than help us.

Author:

Kirsten Allegri Williams

  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Optimizely

At this moment when the business environment is volatile and customer expectations are ever-increasing, we can't afford to have our teams wasting their energy babysitting broken and disconnected processes. We need technology that serves our creativity and vision, and helps us fix the top-three digital experience tactics that need it most:

  1. Personalizing the digital experience to each customer
  2. Understanding who our customers are
  3. Managing our content

It is time to realize that organizations cannot achieve these goals without fixing the marketer’s experience first. Marketers feed the creative. They feed the campaigns. They feed the content. They feed the digital experience. So it’s time for a total digital experience that caters to creators and customers alike.

Experimentation is inevitable. Here's how it can make you smarter.

Every marketer needs to understand how their actions impact their customers. But with all the creative and technological choices available to us, we have to find an intentional, systematic way to reach that understanding.

What if we could take the experimentation that is an inherent part of any creative process and turn it into a way to learn at scale? What if every click and swipe of customer and marketer alike helped optimize the digital experience? As a leader drawn to the art and science of marketing, I couldn’t be prouder that Episerver is bringing just those capabilities to market with last week’s announcement that Episerver intends to acquire Optimizely, the leader in experimentation and optimization. Optimizely’s proven at-scale platform has run over 2 million experiments to eliminate guesswork across the user journey and optimize the customer experience for some of the world’s most prominent brands like Peloton, Nike and Uber.

Combined, we will introduce a smart system to create and optimize outcome-driven digital experiences. Every element of the digital experience – from copy and campaigns to promotions and products – can be created by the marketer, tested by the marketer and published by the marketer.

What's getting in the way of creating a customer experience that's memorable, meaningful and measurable?

For marketers, every minute spent fixing a broken tech process or doing unnecessary routine work is a minute not spent gaining deeper insight into markets and customers, or bringing to life their vision for a brand.

With Episerver's integration with Optimizely, we are building a platform that enables that vision by giving marketers easy control of every aspect of the digital experience. Here’s just a sampling of what can be created, experimented with, and recommended on both the front-end user interface and the back-end features:

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And it’s not only for retail. In recent years, B2B customers’ expectations have been ratcheting up. When shopping for their business they expect digital experiences like the ones they encounter when shopping for themselves.

Add to this the speed and volatility that has arisen because of the coronavirus. The need for tech solutions which can pivot quickly and reliably has never been more urgent. We don't know what consumer demands will be in the near term – outfits for the office now versus outfits for home, office products now versus office personal protective equipment in the future. So we need solutions that can help us quickly create memorable, meaningful and measurable experiences in any situation.

Integrated for the marketer, integrated for the consumer.

Somewhere right now our peers are futilely trying to create the perfect aggregate customer journey when it is a fact that no two purchasing paths are the same because no two customers are the same.

This is the beauty of combining content creation, content optimization and experimentation. Marketers get a smart system that reacts to the customer's patterns, not a customer persona based on stale research and guesswork. And consumers get a system that has creativity and personality, but which responds to their needs.

As with any system based on the accumulation of data, its effectiveness increases at compound interest. Episerver’s end-to-end personalization suite already boasts a 397 percent ROI because it accelerates the path to purchase by suggesting content uniquely relevant to an individual’s interests and purchase readiness. Imagine the possibilities of introducing experimentation to ensure every possible outcome is accounted for.