Using Data to Drive a Customized Digital Journey | Sponsored Content

Using Data to Drive a Customized Digital Journey | Sponsored Content

This article was contributed and sponsored by Sitecore.

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While customer engagement on digital channels has been on the rise for years, the pandemic has drastically accelerated this trend, with over 80% of marketers reporting increased openness to the value placed on digital experiences among customers. It’s no surprise many companies are now accelerating their digital transformation.

But the question remains—what kind of digital transformation is required?

Based on over 15,000 consumer and business buyers worldwide, Salesforce’s 2020 State of the Connected Customer report offers essential insight revealing the expectations of today’s connected, digitally-savvy customer:

  • 8 in 10 agree that the experience a business provides is as important as the product
  • 69% expect companies to translate the products or services they’ve provided into new formats (namely, digital)
  • Over 50% expect companies to expand methods of engagement
  • Over 80% agree that a company’s trustworthiness matters more than it did a year ago

Clearly, a great digital experience is a top consideration for customers. And this means a tailored experience—73% expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.

Today’s Digital Customer Journey

To stand out today, the most successful brands are providing personalized experiences, delivered as timely digital journeys across channels.

Every marketer knows the importance of mapping customer journeys. But with numerous online channels, customer journeys today are not as linear as they once were. Marketers need a way to segment prospects early on no matter where their journey begins. In the digital age, this requires data that’s collected across all the channels your customers interact with.

Once you’ve collected the data, you need to connect it. From your website to your CRM to your social channels and more, connected data that can be analyzed for insight is the key to connected customer experiences.

At Sitecore, our customers are using machine learning to analyze data for powerful results. While AI isn’t necessary yet, it’s importance as a differentiator will only increase. Building out systems and processes for data collection, connection and analysis is a great way to prepare for AI.

Delivering Journeys that Connect and Inspire

Customer insight is only one side of the personalization equation. Once you understand your customer, you still need to create experiences that connect with them—and this requires content. A lot of it. And not just any content will do. It needs to be high-quality.

To deliver high-quality content at scale, efficient and collaborative creation and storage tools are essential, as is sophisticated management and easy-to-find, modular assets for repurpose and reuse. These tools should be seamlessly integrated with a content delivery solution that powers omnichannel delivery and data collection.

While customer insight is essential for delivering customized journeys, data is also critical for understanding your content performance and testing the experiences you deliver.

Moving Toward an Agile and Iterative Future

Two decades ago, brand recognition was enough, but today’s digital customers demand more. They expect brands to cut through the noise with relevant engagements on preferred channels. Because relevance is determined by in-the-moment intent, it’s a continually shifting target.

This shifting target is a major reason that marketing departments are increasingly moving toward more agile and iterative forms of marketing. Marketers need approaches and tools that facilitate real-time insight and speedy iterations without losing brand voice or consistency.

At Sitecore, we’ve been a leading thinker and developer of the strategies, tactics, and tools needed for digital transformation for years. Today, nothing is more important than delivering meaningful digital experiences. We’ve gathered a collection of resources to help you do just that.