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Connecting the dots – why personalised experiences are the holy grail of CXM

(Image credit: Image search: Shutterstock/nenetus)

With the number of devices, channels and platforms continuing to grow, organisations have more opportunities to engage with people than ever before. Just this week at Mobile World Congress, a number of smartphone manufacturers, including Samsung and Huawei, have announced their plans for foldable phones, bringing yet another format onto the market.

As well as being an opportunity, this acceleration of different touchpoints also brings with it more chances for an organisation’s customers to engage with rival brands. As a result, businesses are under pressure to ensure they are delivering an unrivalled customer experience (CX), as customer loyalty hangs in the balance and a rival brand is only a click away.

In order to deliver the digital experiences consumers currently expect, organisations must develop the emotional intelligence (EQ) of the most socially evolved humans. To achieve these intelligent experiences, ensure they are personalised to each and every customer at scale and targeted to their preferred channels with the right creative at the opportune moment, data, and the insights derived from that data, are essential.

But this is easier said than done. Connecting the dots across all devices and creating an engaging experience for consumers across every touchpoint is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today. So much so, that our own research revealed only 10 per cent feel they are very advanced when it comes to the maturity of their customer experience.

With intelligent tech-driven capabilities entering the market by the day, organisations face plenty of opportunity to create the stand-out customer journeys that drive loyalty and sales. But what are the core elements of making joined up customer experience a reality? How can they be achieved? And, how can an organisation ensure they utilise these new technologies effectively?

The vertical landscape

The multi-platform delivery of customer experience, and ensuring it’s optimised to each device at scale, is becoming harder to orchestrate. Vertical video usage on channels such as Instagram and WeChat requires organisations to edit video footage differently, and as recent announcements suggest, the challenge of presenting content for square, foldable phones is not far away.

To ensure optimal content delivery, organisations must look to the latest tools. For example, the latest Adobe Experience Manager update can automatically identify and crop the most important parts of a video to ensure a great user video experience no matter which direction they hold their phones or what the screen size is.

Look beyond the small screen

Marketing and sales teams have become well-versed in the benefits of digital channels to engage with customers, whether it’s a mobile, tablet or desktop device. But businesses are increasingly looking elsewhere to improve the customer experience they provide, from large format digital displays in public venues, or in-store screens and kiosks.

A screen in a public space, for example, could be dynamically personalised with content that reacts to the weather. In a store, a retailer can share personalised product recommendations that are available.

To create the intelligent experience that consumers now demand, businesses can then send push notifications that integrate these large format experiences with one of the four or more devices consumers now typically own, whether it’s a targeted discount on an item displayed on a smart mirror, or an Out-Of-Home ad.

Content velocity

It’s not enough for organisations to exist and integrate across these channels however – content needs to reach these channels at pace. However, finding, modifying and reviewing these assets requires creative teams and marketing departments to toggle back and forth between different solutions. As organisations look to increase their agility for experience creation, it’s essential that they integrate their content management system with creative tools, streamlining workflows and resulting in content velocity. 

Additionally, tools with automated video discovery and intelligent tags which correspond to actions, attributes and objects, allow for the content delivered to be personalised and specific.

The power of AI

To help deliver this level of seamless personalisation across all digital and physical channels, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is key. By taking customer data, analysing the insights, and automating the desired response at scale, AI enables organisations to effectively talk to an audience of one. It takes the pressure off, meaning a business can focus on the big creative ideas that drive customer loyalty further.

For this to be effective, however, organisations must assess the quality of the data they hold, standardise it and clean it to ensure that the content they push out isn’t misinformed.

Investing for the future

Whilst new technologies such as AI offer plenty of promise to businesses looking to deliver better experiences to their customers, it’s not as simple as just buying an AI tool. They must ensure they’ve undertaken the necessary investment in their infrastructure and personnel to guarantee that, if they implement new tech-driven capabilities, they’re well versed in what each tool can help them achieve. This is vital, especially given how competitive the industry currently is.

To the future of experience

As device ownership and usage continues to grow, the challenge for a business to have a joined-up experience across each one will only increase. However, thanks to AI, and advanced content management systems, businesses now have the tools in their arsenals to make this a reality, when they’re implemented effectively. 

Organisations should also look beyond traditional channels to emerging smartphones and large format displays. They should marry this technology with creativity to ensure experiences are truly memorable, and that personalised and localised content sits across these channels instantaneously when required. The organisations that get this right will be the true champions of customer experience, ensuring ongoing customer loyalty and sales.

Jamie Brighton, Head of Product & Industry Marketing, EMEA, Adobe
Image search: Shutterstock/nenetus