In a world where consumers are empowered with unlimited access to information and ever-growing expectations, brands need to deliver remarkable experiences in order to differentiate. To meet customer expectations and rise above the rest, it’s important for brands to consider the total customer experience, which you can think of as the sum of all the moments a brand creates, delivers to and uses to interact with its customers.
Companies like Adobe are accelerating their efforts to deliver the technology needed to provide the kinds of experiences customers demand. But brands still need to apply that technology in the right way—failure to deliver the “total customer experience” means being left behind. In response, innovative brands are focusing on three key areas: identity, content and commerce.
Solving the Identity Puzzle
It’s important to remember that customers are human beings. They aren’t cookies, social media ID’s or devices. Yet these are often the keys marketers use to identify their customers in the digital ecosystem, causing them to fall short in really knowing who their customers are, and what they really want. Instead, brands need to develop private first-party “identity graphs,” that stitch together various customer identifiers into a single key, and augments that identity with as much data and insight as possible.
Moving from a cookie-based world to a world of persistent PII-backed (personally identifiable information) identity gives brands insights into their customers, enables real-time personalized delivery of content and experiences, provides attribution and understanding of the performance of those experiences, and becomes a real asset to the business across all online and offline engagement with customers.
Delivering Relevant Content at Scale
Knowing the customer is critical, but you also need to think carefully about the content you deliver and the experiences you provide. Focusing on the total customer experience requires an in-depth re-engineering of every interaction with customers, and these interactions require meaningful content.
Given the sheer amount of content that brands are expected to deliver, this can be challenging. An Adobe CMO survey showed that it takes an average of 12 days to get a piece of content to market, and that marketers are now creating as much as 10 times the amount of content they were creating just a few years before.
As brands are challenged to create more content than ever before, they’re responding by combining technology with a variety of improved workflows, machine learning, automation, AI, delivery, asset management and content licensing. They’re also structuring the right resources to handle everything from content ideation to production and distribution—all to help produce content at scale. This allows them to deliver the right content to the right person at just the right moment—across all aspects of the total customer experience.
Bringing Shopping to Where Consumers Are
We are fully immersed in a convenience economy. More and more people are carrying out at least part of their buyer’s journey online, and commerce is rapidly evolving to adapt and accommodate new buyer behaviors. It’s no longer brick-and-mortar, or even ecommerce—it’s “total commerce,” bringing transactional capability to wherever the customer is, whenever they want it.
Embedding transactional functionality into advertising, engagement, social, servicing and loyalty moments means the consumer can make purchases in a more frictionless way than ever before. By leveraging technology like headless commerce, brands can seamlessly bring opportunities to purchase into any moment they provide to their customers—on a screen, via phone or voice-activated device, or even with augmented and virtual reality. Brands that understand and deliver on these customer expectations will outperform those who don’t.
Today’s consumers expect brands to provide relevant moments and experiences on demand. It’s not always easy, but brands that frame their efforts around the total customer experience—bringing the right people, processes and technology to every moment—are the brands headed down the right path. These are the brands that will delight us, and keep us coming back again and again.
Interested in learning more about Dentsu’s Adobe work and point of view on the total customer experience? Check out this report, "The Forrester Wave: Adobe Implementation Services, Q2 2020."
—Adam Lavelle, Chief Solutions Officer, Global Alliances, Dentsu