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Unify The Digital Experience Across Touchpoints by Stephen Powers and John R. Rymer, August 22, 2012

KEY TAKEAWAYS An Explosion Of Customer Touchpoints Is At Hand Digital customer experience today is defined primarily by websites, with mobile applications on smartphones not far behind, and the future will include as many as 10 additional customer touchpoints. Deciding which channels to incorporate into your strategy is crucial to defining your organization’s future in digital customer experience. A Unified Experience Requires The Right People, Process, And Tech Foundations Customers love their devices but also want consistency across the devices and apps they use. Unified experiences that cross touchpoints demand improved yet common designs, common content assets and application code, and delivery processes tuned for speed and harmonized skills and roles. Investments In Unified Experience Foundations Will Pay Off Now Investments in foundations for unified customer experiences will pay dividends in the short term. Firms typically run dozens of different and uncoordinated web campaigns. Unified experience foundations will drive efficiency into these situations while setting the stage for unified experiences across web, mobile, and other touchpoints in the future.

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AUGUST 22, 2012

Unify The Digital Experience Across Touchpoints Future Look: The Digital Experience Playbook by Stephen Powers and John R. Rymer with Kyle McNabb, Ron Rogowski, and Vivian Brown

WHY READ THIS REPORT Today’s rush to reach customers on their smartphones and tablets is just the beginning of an explosion of software-fueled digital touchpoints. Smartphones, tablets, eReaders, games, smart TV, goggles . . . there’s no end in sight. Each touchpoint represents a distinct opportunity to engage, service, and support customers but cannot be an island. Customers expect a unified, consistent experience across the several touchpoints they use when engaging your firm. Your role in a unified customer experience strategy: Lead the search for the right common practices, talents, and technologies to meet the challenge of unified customer experience. This report discusses the technology, skills, and organizational future of digital experience and how application development and delivery professionals can bring about that future.

Table Of Contents

Notes & Resources

2 Digital Experience Vision: Continuous, Consistent, And Unified

Forrester interviewed 18 user and agency companies for this report. This report is part of Forrester’s digital experience playbook.

7 Vital: Unified Foundations For Digital Customer Experience 11 Vital: Your Plumbing Skills 12 Vital: New, Coordinated Organizational Structures RECOMMENDATIONS

13 The Path To Unified Digital Experiences Starts With A Vision 15 Supplemental Material

Related Research Documents Drive Business Transformation With Digital Customer Experiences May 22, 2012 The Future Of Mobile eBusiness Is Context May 1, 2012 The Unified Customer Experience Imperative April 30, 2012 Mobile Is The New Face Of Engagement February 13, 2012

© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®, Technographics®, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. To purchase reprints of this document, please email clientsupport@forrester.com. For additional information, go to www.forrester.com.


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DIGITAL EXPERIENCE VISION: CONTINUOUS, CONSISTENT, AND UNIFIED Software-fueled digital touchpoints enable continuous relationships between enterprise and customer. As Internet-connected devices spread and people adopt them, companies can now reach and engage with their customers wherever they are and in new ways not possible through brickand-mortar stores, television advertising, and catalogs. Digital touchpoints allow firms to design customer experiences that:

■ Converse with customers “in the moment.” Smartphones are intimate, personal devices that

allow interactions at moments that matter. While shopping: At the moment of curiosity or decision to buy. At work: In the moment of product installation or sales objection. At home: In the moment of financial decision or medical activity. For some people, a tablet has the same intimate connection to their personal lives as a smartphone.1

■ Wrap business in appealing services. Customers use mobile devices, in particular, for many

functions — to communicate, entertain, manage activities, and learn. This fact opens the door for enterprises to provide interesting services, tools, and games to introduce brands and offers, build interest and intimacy, and deepen relationships. Examples include Nike’s Nike+ FuelBand apps (which wrap the Nike+ FuelBand product in extra value), Hipmunk and LinkedIn (which are engaging and fun), and GasBuddy.com and Untappd (which incorporate games and rewards to generate useful new information).

■ Participate in compelling conversations. Compelling conversations range from social network activity that drives product choices and indicates shifting consumer sentiment through to lifeor-death messages utilities send to their customers. Intimate digital channels provide the best insights and immediate reach for these conversations, and intelligence about the surrounding physical environment enriches the conversation.

■ Take advantage of context. The GPS, camera, and gyroscope in a typical smartphone can

perform double duty, as sensors reveal the location, surrounding environment, motion, and position of the device. This contextual information alone can simplify and help organizations target interactions with customers but is even more valuable for informing an interaction when combined with that person’s profile, stated preferences, and history in addition to information gained from nearby quick response (QR) codes, barcodes, or other devices. Lastly, this contextual information can suggest the customer’s feelings or emotions.2

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Opportunity: Leverage The Right Touchpoints For Powerful Interactions Most enterprises, fixated today on smartphones and tablet devices — “mobile” — as new digital customer interaction channels, continue to invest in websites. But the future of digital experience spans an even greater number of customer touchpoints — e.g., apps, TVs, eReaders, and games. Some of these additional touchpoints exist today and are poised for adoption (see Figure 1). When planning your digital experience strategy, consider a variety of touchpoints:

■ Desktop-laptop web still has tremendous upside. The traditional browser running on a PC,

while inherently limited in its reach, intimacy, and intelligence about the physical environment, cannot be overlooked. Among digital touchpoints in our recent survey of 4,501 US online adults, the browser showed by far the greatest upside as a future digital touchpoint for purchasing.3

■ Smartphone and tablet usage comes on strong. In the same survey, smartphones and tablets showed growing potential in eCommerce — both as a vehicle for making purchases and even more so as a means of investigating purchases. Younger consumers (ages 18 to 34) showed a greater preference for researching product purchases using mobile and smartphones than did older age groups.

■ Internet TV and other nascent touchpoints are longer-term bets. Internet TV, set-top boxes, game consoles, and eReaders — the other major digital touchpoints in circulation today —are much less widely adopted. And new touchpoints — for example, digital eyewear, head-up displays in cars, and smart home appliances — are nascent.4

As you craft your organization’s future vision of digital customer experience, smartphones and tablets will play a big role in the nearer term, but no investment in a new digital customer touchpoint should be an island. Less-widely adopted and intimate touchpoints may have extremely high value to certain business models, customer segments, and business processes. Your digital customer experience strategy should position you to take advantage of whichever of these touchpoints best enhance your organization’s business model (see Figure 2).

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Figure 1 Digital Touchpoints Are Slowly Advancing As Purchasing Channels “Thinking ahead, how likely is it that you will buy a product or service in the following ways over the next 3 to 6 months?” (6 or 7 on a scale of 1 [Not likely at all] to 7 [Very likely]) 61%

A traditional (offline) store 53%

The Internet on a desktop/laptop/netbook computer The Internet on a tablet computer

13%

A print catalog/magazine/newspaper

12%

The telephone, speaking to a call center

10%

The mobile Internet on a cell phone/smartphone

10%

A shopping application on a tablet computer

9%

A shopping application of a cell phone/smartphone

9%

The television (e.g., shopping channel, infomercial)

8%

The Internet on an eBook reader

8%

The Internet on an Internet-dedicated TV set-top box

7%

A game console

7%

The Internet on an Internet-connected TV

7%

Base: 4,501 US online adults Source: North American Technographics Consumer Deep Dive: Investigating The Customer Life Cycle (Buy Phase) Survey, Q1 2012 (US) 74821

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Figure 2 Intimacy Versus Adoption In Digital Touchpoints High Smartphone

Smart eyewear

Tablet Game console Social network

Customer intimacy

eReader Laptop/PC web

Head-up display in car

iTV

Set-top box

Kiosk

IVR

Low Level of adoption 74821

High Source: Forrester Research, Inc.

Required: Unified Customer Experience Across Touchpoints Whichever digital touchpoints best extend your enterprise’s business model, assume you’ll have more than one and as many as half a dozen in the future. Separate, disconnected digital experiences for these several touchpoints will be unsustainable in the long run and, in the short term, harmful to your organization’s brand.5 The future is unified experiences that traverse multiple touchpoints. Why?

■ Customers demand unified experiences. Customers will interact with most enterprises

through a variety of means, both digital and nondigital. They see your firm as one entity and expect the same experience of its products and services, policies and processes, and personality regardless of channel. They expect not only experiences appropriate for the channels they use but also consistency across those experiences.

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■ Speedy, continual innovation demands leveraged development. Most organizations innovate

most rapidly in their customer channels, creating new campaigns and offers, new products, and new experiences many times each year. In a cross-channel world, rapid innovation demands common visual and architectural designs; reusable content, platform logic, services, and application platform elements; and common, iterative, and flexible delivery processes. Moreover, common assets and architectures will promote the consistency vital to delivering unified customer experiences.

■ Optimizing experiences demands common data collection and analysis. Actionable insight

will set future digital customer experiences apart from today’s web experiences. Analytics of various descriptions produce those insights, whether they are an understanding of the customer’s physical surroundings, an assessment of brand sentiment on a hot social network, or the path of a transaction through syndication partners. Cross-channel experiences demand that data gathering and analysis occur across channels and touchpoints, not just within individual touchpoints.

Required: Shift From Personalization To Contextualization The future of digital customer experience depends on a key transition from the design of today’s web applications: Context replaces personalization as the way to achieve relevance. The difference?

■ Personalization tailors content. Personalization approaches seek to put the proverbial right

information in front of the right person at the right time. These approaches mostly address the first part of that equation by either selecting or generating the web page(s) a customer sees upon arrival at a website. Many organizations apply personalization techniques deeply within their websites, making recommendations, for example, when a customer selects a product for purchase. Most firms and sites base personalization on a customer’s profile and history with the company.

■ Contextualization tailors the entire experience, including content. Contextualization uses

a greater range of more personal information than the customer’s profile and history with the company. Contextualization adds data about the customer’s situation in the physical world, including location and motion, available social information, and signals indicating how the customer may be feeling at that moment. This additional data comes from a variety of sources — devices, social networks, recent messages — and it continually changes. Contextualization also utilizes other factors such as past behavior, past purchases, language, and device used.

Gaining maximum benefit from investments in digital customer experiences will require mastering contextualization. The segment and profile definitions accumulated to date don’t go away; rather, the organization needs to supplement them with additional categories of data.

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VITAL: UNIFIED FOUNDATIONS FOR DIGITAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE The vast majority of companies don’t yet have the design disciplines, technologies, and organizations to support contextual, unified digital experiences. We consistently observe two gaps:

■ Technology silos. Organizations source an array of technologies from multiple vendors to

support digital experiences — and, generally, these technologies don’t support cross-channel campaigns and analytics very well. The primary reason: At best, technologies such as web content management, eCommerce platforms, web analytics, search, and mobile platforms live in silos and are partially integrated — if they are integrated at all.

■ Organizational silos. Also, most companies suffer from functional or channel organizational

myopia. They remain stuck in functional application development and delivery, marketing and channel (e.g., direct marketing, interactive, eBusiness, and call center), and business-leadership silos, which prevents them from achieving the unified experiences of the future.

Barriers To Unified Foundations: Two Examples A major travel and hospitality chain typifies the challenges and barriers consumer-oriented organizations face when moving to the future of unified digital experiences. This company faces significant delays in evolving its web and mobile websites because it lacks a unified technology and organizational foundation. The firm has multiple technologies for managing both structured and unstructured content, for delivering content to the web and to mobile devices, and for measuring results. The result? The marketing team must use a variety of tools to create and launch content for basic campaigns and has no real way to measure results. Moreover, the firm uses multiple technologies to manage contextualization, such as mobile web presentation and recommendations. The result: Inconsistent digital experiences across channels — the consequence of using a different approach for each digital channel. In addition, the firm’s traditional IT/marketing organizational divide has created a lack of trust between the two organizations, and its inability to decide on appropriate technologies to support a better digital experience strategy has further slowed progress. A financial services firm was able to overcome its organizational silos by creating an independent digital experience group. The group includes technical, marketing, and business personnel, all reporting up through a common organizational structure. This resulted in a well-communicated and coordinated digital experience strategy. The new team has also reduced priority conflicts. However, the firm quickly found that its technology stack was dated — producing static web pages with limited ability to contextualize, very plain mobile websites, and limited multilingual support. The team had to limit the number of segments it was targeting in the web channel to 10, because any more required an unsustainable amount of manual effort to publish contextual web pages. Ultimately, this company wasn’t able to execute its digital strategy plans because it simply didn’t have the technology to support them. © 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited

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Design Foundation: Get Up Close And Personal Made up of several distinct design disciplines, digital experience design centers on the customers your enterprise will engage with (usually defined as personas).6 For each customer persona, the experience design answers four questions:

■ Who is the customer, what are her goals, and how does she behave? ■ How should our brand be expressed throughout all of our interactions with this customer? ■ What content and functions does the customer need to accomplish his goals? ■ Where do we reach this customer (which touchpoint or channel)? The answers to these questions provide the foundation for experience design — distinct from page or site design. Digital experience design addresses five distinct domains: content, functionality, interaction design, visual design, and information architecture. Ultimately, each digital experience must be both functionally relevant and emotionally satisfying. At the same time, each experience must fit within a unified digital customer experience strategy that spans touchpoints. AD&D pros sometimes will lead digital customer experience design projects, in which case they must become competent, even expert, in experience design.7 In many cases, however, AD&D pros will provide a supporting role for designers and outside contractors (e.g., interactive agencies) who design the digital experiences. In this supporting role, AD&D pros should provide advice and services to achieve three vital goals:

■ Provide design conventions for each of the five design disciplines. Leading firms start with visual design and content conventions and then move on to common functional services, information architecture, and interaction designs.

■ Guide the shift from web to mobile. The rush to mobile apps — the marketing rage of the

moment — can lead to substantial resource waste. The biggest immediate issue is ensuring that mobile projects are tied to the business model rather than implemented as a disconnected reaction to a perceived gap.8 Longer term, AD&D must help guide the move from today’s native apps and mobile websites to a model that provides the task-specific experience of a native app, but on the cost-efficient base of HTML5, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Representational State Transfer (REST), and JSON.

■ Provide common services to support experience designers. The consistency demanded of

unified digital customer experiences drives an obvious need for new digital asset repositories and management life cycles as well as common services to provide access to ordering, pricing, customer management, and other core business systems in addition to access to feedback on designs. These common infrastructure services are a natural responsibility for AD&D pros.

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Technology Foundation: Manage, Engage, And Measure Leaders of AD&D must think about the technology foundations of unified digital experiences as services. The people using those services will be marketing and eBusiness professionals, not just professional developers, as marketing and eBusiness pros have taken responsibility for much of the delivery of content behind web experiences. In the world of digital experiences that are consistent across channels, marketing and eBusiness pros will need tools that allow them to easily administer, support, and optimize contextual cross-channel experiences in order to achieve their company’s strategic goals (such as increased conversion rates, higher click-through, brand consistency across multiple channels, lower call center costs, and better customer self-service). To do this, they will need tools that allow them to:

■ Manage the components of the experience. Web content management and digital asset

management tools help turn unstructured content and product catalogs into structured content. Presentation management tools allow developers to create and manage look and feel for websites, mobile applications, smart TVs, and kiosks. These tools also enable nontechnical staff to continue to optimize presentations without developer help. Some content management vendors already offer what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) presentation management tools. Many vendors have begun work on tools that enable marketers to manage basic elements of web pages that follow responsive design standards. Marketers also need tools that enable them to deploy and remove content as part of cross-channel, interactive campaigns as well as to manage customer segments. Additionally, arming marketers with support within the devices and channels they use — e.g., laptops and desktops (for content creation), tablets (for more minor content and presentation modification), and smartphones (to advance workflows and publish) — will help firms keep pace with their customers.

■ Engage customers with hyper-targeted experiences. An ideal engagement application for

multiple channels will take structured and unstructured content from various repositories and dynamically transform it for the appropriate channel and context. Marketers will have some ability to manually optimize context, but given their relatively limited bandwidth, a good deal of this contextualization will need to be automated. The analogy: Contextualization will work the same way that recommendations use “wisdom of the crowd” rather than “wisdom of the expert” to create context.

Automated digital experience delivery systems will work across customer touchpoints, relying on metadata and search algorithms and creating additional contextual information by learning from previous customer behavior and outcomes. Automated systems will also handle delivery of content, applications, and services to appropriate channels among the range of possibilities.

■ Measure customer experience to learn and fine-tune. Marketing’s tools to measure web experiences tend to be siloed and, often, underutilized. Measurement tools for unified digital experiences simply cannot suffer from these same limitations and must be useful in day-to-day operations.

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Unified digital experience measurement tools must provide marketers and eBusiness professionals with actionable insight. These tools include an array of testing analytics tools to optimize digital experiences, assess business results in light of customer experience (e.g., brand health measures), and measure individual experiences. To glean actionable information from these results, business leaders need them in actionable forms. Sometimes that means key performance indicator dashboards, but often business leaders will need to slice, dice, and explore data on their own. Some firms will also need to trace transactions across channels, which gives marketers the ability to see in aggregate where one channel drives behavior in another (for example, to identify potential shortcomings on the website that drive customers to a call center).9 Digital Intelligence Must Be A Top Priority Connecting the enormous amount of data in and across digital channels — and making sense of it all — will be paramount to success. Most firms struggle to collect and analyze vast amounts of information in a form that allows action. Unified digital experience success requires digital experience intelligence strategies that take into account increasing numbers of devices, interactions that span channels, and dynamic interactions.10 A digital experience intelligence environment:

■ Aggregates from multiple channels and touchpoints. Digital experience intelligence

initiatives won’t require a single, all-encompassing analytics platform. Instead, they will need to accommodate data collections across a variety of channels and touchpoints. Data collections will include results of other analyses, including web, social, and predictive analytics as well as search logs, product catalogs, and customer profiles.

■ Provides real-time operational insight. AD&D pros will need to enable marketers by

providing access to real-time data beyond just traditional dashboards. Digital intelligence must be baked into day-to-day operational processes, and marketers will need tools that proactively detect trends and patterns rather than force them to pore over endless amounts of data.

■ Is embedded into delivery. AD&D pros will also need to utilize digital intelligence software —

such as multivariate testing and predictive analytics — directly in the engagement layer to better automatically contextualize and optimize experiences.

Technology alone won’t fill today’s digital experience intelligence gap. Most firms also need more people adept at discovering the insights that matter to sales, product usage, ongoing support, and avoidance of fraud. Expect these people to fall into two broad categories:

■ Data-literate marketers. Marketers tend to be big consumers of data who are comfortable

exploring whatever data they can get their hands on to gain new insights. In the future, these

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people will be comfortable working with much more data and much more-volatile data.

■ Data-literate developers. While some in the industry call these people “data scientists,”

often associating them with so-called big data technologies such as Hadoop and MongoDB, don’t be intimidated.11 Data-literate developers will be the designers of algorithms for these environments. In essence, these development pros will specialize in sophisticated analysis of large and varied data pools and presentation of results to drive business action.

VITAL: YOUR PLUMBING SKILLS The full complement of AD&D specialties — solution architects, business analysts, developers, relationship managers, and quality assurance (QA) pros, among them — has something to offer to digital experience initiatives; these roles can often act as advisors and brokers in finding the platforms and tools required to build and broker digital experiences that cross channels. But the prospect of buying all of the platforms, tools, and services in a nice neat suite is a pipe dream. There’s much work for AD&D pros to help broker, build, and integrate the full range of technologies needed for unified digital customer experiences:

■ Solution architects and business analysts can help broker cloud solutions. As many areas of

the organization often do today, marketing and eBusiness teams will source cloud technologies with less input from AD&D than they would for on-premises software. Already, many vendors have taken analytics, testing and optimization, content delivery, and customer relationship management (CRM) technologies to the cloud. In these cases, AD&D pros can provide input on integration, scalability (up and down), and compliance.

■ Solution and technical architects can help vet the reality of vendor suites. Over the past two

years, vendors such as Adobe Systems, IBM, and Oracle have invested in digital-experiencebased technologies — both natively and through acquisition. Their goal of creating a suite of solutions that can cover “manage, engage, and measure” across multiple channels remains just that — a goal. Though vendors such as Adobe Systems, IBM, and Oracle have made acquisitions to complement their existing portfolios, no single vendor offers an integrated suite of all customer experience management (CXM) technologies, such as content management, marketing, search, commerce, customer service, and measuring and optimization tools.12 Given how quickly this space is evolving, it’s unlikely that one will any time soon, and even if the ideal suite existed, most organizations have already invested far too much in existing technologies to make a rip-and-replace scenario financially feasible.

■ Web architects will manage planning and integration of full environments. Where

technologies have commonalities, organizations may source them from a single vendor. Think web content management (WCM) and digital asset management (DAM), WCM and commerce, or web analytics and testing and optimization. Adobe Systems, IBM, and Oracle

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have announced intentions to head down the integration path with their acquired technologies. However, other legacy, entrenched technologies — such as CRM — will drive multivendor sourcing needs. Integration will be the byword in digital experience for the foreseeable future. Web (and mobile) architects, integration specialists, developers, and project managers will help weave together these connecting disparate systems and data sources. VITAL: NEW, COORDINATED ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES Organizational silos — particularly ones that separate AD&D, marketing teams, and digital agencies — present a major impediment to achieving unified digital experiences. These barriers exist for many reasons: politics, legacy issues, established advertising practices, and industryspecific concerns (such as regulatory approval in the financial and pharmaceutical sectors). Some organizations are actively engaged in silo-busting, but many are not. As one executive from a digital marketing agency explains, “It’s difficult to make changes in inherently risk-averse industries, such as financial services, government, and energy.” Some organizations we’ve spoken with have set up a dedicated technology team focused on partnering with business and marketing teams to support digital experiences. This dedicated digital experience technology team often still reports through IT, though one major financial services firm we interviewed combined its dedicated digital experience technology and marketing teams to report through a single organizational structure, with common goals. In the next several years, the emerging role of the chief customer officer (CCO) will become increasingly important, as the CCO will act as an evangelist and stakeholder to promote integrated teams of AD&D pros, marketing pros, and agency partners.13 One interviewee told us: “The CIO/ CMO partnership didn’t bust any silos. We don’t see the marketing department having the authority to support a true cross-channel experience initiative — they don’t have the framework. A chief customer officer may not own a big team but can set up the ground rules.” How? In the classic case, the CCO will:

■ Set the ground rules for integrated planning and execution. The CCO defines customer experience planning and work processes, including roles and responsibilities, and communicates priorities to those responsible for supporting experience projects.

■ Direct digital customer experience work. The CCO may have operational responsibilities and

manage unified teams of technical and nontechnical staff with common customer experience goals.

■ Advise and cajole teams working in silos to cooperate. Established companies tend to favor

CCOs in advisory, rather than operational, roles. In this model, the CCO role has little or no direct control over digital experience teams and their agencies. Rather, advisory CCOs rely on personal and/or top-executive influence to effect change.

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Regardless of the CCO’s exact role, putting one in place seems a promising approach to driving the team integration that’s required to overcome functional and political barriers.

R E C O M M E N D AT I O N S

THE PATH TO UNIFIED DIGITAL EXPERIENCES STARTS WITH A VISION AD&D pros will play a vital role in supporting unified experiences across multiple channels and touchpoints, largely focusing on sourcing technologies, collecting the right data, and developing an enterprise vision with other stakeholders. Your strategy to support unified digital experiences starts with a view of the future and extends to the services, talents, and organizations required today to provide unified experiences across your chosen channels. Specifically, when planning for the future of digital experience, AD&D pros should:

■ Reach across organizational boundaries to determine which digital channels are vital.

Many organizations today are allowing events to control them by leaping blindly into mobile applications. Mobile is urgent, but not so urgent as to justify executing badly. Work with marketing leadership to create models that clearly describe how the digital channels your organization uses will drive key business goals (e.g., grow the top line, cut support costs, prevent fraud, or drive brand loyalty). In those models, include costs and risks as well as a position on when and how your organization will introduce new channels and/or expanded use of existing channels.

■ Work with the customer experience team to understand the contextual road map. As

one-size-fits-all experiences give way to hyper-contextualized experiences, organizations need to support the concept of “converse in the moment” by understanding how they will contextualize experiences using factors such as demographic, environment, channel, language, and behavior. Technology will be particularly important in the journey to contextualization, as providing this context to customers can’t be an entirely manual process. Understanding which contextualization factors your firm will use and when it will use them will inform your sourcing of appropriate technologies.

■ Develop a basic supplier orientation — integrated versus best of breed. Larger vendors

will focus on tying together their multiple products into comprehensive marketing platforms, with the primary value of integrating engage, manage, and measure activities. Best-of-breed vendors offer advanced function, as opposed to integration, as their primary value. Both approaches are valid, but whichever you choose, preserve your flexibility to change your mind in the future.

■ Own integration. Watch for some of the big players to continue to add to their arsenals. Adobe Systems will likely add commerce functionality, and IBM will improve or acquire

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web and digital content management tools. Oracle and Microsoft will need to tie together what they already have before making any more CXM acquisitions. But we haven’t spoken with any client in a position to rip and replace its existing digital experience technologies; instead, organizations prefer to source their technologies from multiple vendors. Packaged connectors, proven and referenceable field integrations, open architectures, and welldocumented application programming interfaces (APIs) will be important factors in technology selection.

■ Leverage development efforts across channels and keep point solutions in check. Pulling

content from multiple sources and contextually transforming it to support unified digital experiences will be one of the biggest challenges in this space in the next several years. Keep an eye on vendors that focus on the customer engagement tier as their differentiator, enabling you to use a single set of technologies to serve multiple channels. You may be tempted to use point solutions — such as cloud-based microsite tools — to reduce time-to-market and score quick wins in your digital experience strategy. However, a purely siloed technology approach can result in disconnected experiences and increased development and operating costs, as you will have to take a separate approach to contextualization with each solution. Understand the limitations of point solutions and work to communicate where your firm should and shouldn’t use these solutions to prevent them from going viral.

■ Create rules of the road for buy-versus-subscribe decisions. Expect that just about every

supplier will offer your organization the option of either installing its software in your data centers or using its software deployed in a cloud under a subscription. Understand the difference between software-as-as-service and hosted models. Balance the time-to-market advantages of cloud services with the integration and potential cost advantages of onpremises installations.

■ Prepare for organizational changes. More-progressive organizations will simply tear down the IT/marketing wall and create new digital experience (or even broader) organizations composed of technology, marketing, and eBusiness professionals. The more risk-averse organizations that can’t stomach such radical change will at least need to have a centralized experience team that can act as a bridge between IT and the business. This team will not only set digital experience priorities but will also be in charge of marshaling ever-changing requirements — both short-term and long-term — and act as a liaison between design teams, marketing, and IT. Also, clients often tell us that their use of interactive agencies for experience design often falls short of overall digital experience delivery expectations as well as on use of existing technology portfolios. Prepare to educate these partners on your technologies’ abilities and limitations.

■ Put measurement first. One interviewee told us, “We don’t create any experience without

first understanding how we’ll measure customer response.” But the analytics gap is the most

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urgent problem in most unified digital experience strategies. Even leading firms acknowledge that their efforts are primitive, oriented to web metrics only, and ultimately inadequate. All AD&D groups — even those with only minor involvement in creating digital customer experiences — urgently need to tackle the analytics gap. How? First, by finding people with the data-literacy talents necessary to interpret this data and act on it to improve digital experiences and generate more revenue from those experiences. Second, by brokering or building tools that allow marketing and eBusiness pros to make sophisticated analyses on their own without the direct involvement of “data scientists.”

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL For Technographics Clients How To Get More Technographics Data Insights Forrester’s North American Technographics Consumer Deep Dive: Investigating The Customer Life Cycle (Buy Phase) Survey, Q1 2012 (US) of 4,501 US individuals ages 18 to 88 includes many additional questions and parameters by which you can analyze the data contained in this report. If you wish to subscribe to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics services, please contact your account manager or data@forrester.com. If you are an existing Technographics client, please contact your data advisor at consumerdataadvisor@forrester.com ENDNOTES 1

Forrester forecasts global tablet sales to increase from 56 million in the year 2011 to 375 million sold in 2016, a compound annual growth rate of 46%. For more on the business drivers of tablet growth, see the April 23, 2012, “Tablets Will Rule The Future Personal Computing Landscape” report.

2

For a full discussion of opportunities to obtain contextual information using mobile devices, see the May 1, 2012, “The Future Of Mobile eBusiness Is Context” report.

3

Source: North American Technographics Consumer Deep Dive: Investigating The Customer Life Cycle (Buy Phase) Survey, Q1 2012 (US).

4

Google Project Glass is a pair of glasses that provides information and takes commands from the wearer. Source: Adario Strange, “Brin Offers Close-Up View Of Google’s Project Glass,” PCMag.com, May 30, 2012 (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405014,00.asp). Automobile head-up displays project visual advice, directions, and warnings into the driver’s line of sight. BMW, GM, and other car manufacturers are actively engaged in adding this technology to future models. For an example, read Horatiu Boeriu’s blog post: “Head-Up Display 2.0 — Augmented Reality,” BMW Blog, October 7, 2011 (http://www.bmwblog.com/2011/10/07/head-up-display-2-0-augmented-reality/).

© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited

August 22, 2012


FOR APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT & DELIVERY PROFESSIONALS

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Unify The Digital Experience Across Touchpoints

Smart grid appliances incorporate displays to help customers manage energy usage but also provide a variety of other relevant information. For an example, read Paul Ridden’s article: “LG Launches First Smart-Grid Appliance: The Smart Fridge,” Gizmag, April 27, 2011 (http://www.gizmag.com/lg-smartfridge/18502/). 5

For more on the risk to brands of siloed digital customer experiences, see the April 30, 2012, “The Unified Customer Experience Imperative” report.

6

Companies need a digital customer experience strategy to ensure that they build the right experiences to suit their customers’ needs and expectations — especially in a world of proliferating interaction points. For more, see the June 25, 2012, “Develop Your Digital Customer Experience Strategy” report.

7

For AD&D pros, new rules of application development are required for digital experience: 1) design dopamine experiences; 2) be everywhere your customers want you to be; and 3) be first at innovation. Doable? Definitely. See the December 15, 2011, “Digital Experience Strategy: Follow These Three Mega Rules To Beat The Competition In 2012” report.

8

Forrester recommends using the POST (people, objectives, strategy, and technology) method to guide mobile development strategy. In essence, technology selection is your last step in building your strategy — after determining your business objectives. See the August 24, 2010, “Define Your Mobile Development Strategy” report.

9

To read about the approaches of Southwest Airlines, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Royal Bank of Canada, and Progressive Insurance, see the May 4, 2012, “How Four Firms Measure Customer Experience” report.

10

Because subpar analytics put customer relationships at risk, Forrester is redefining the modern practice of web analytics as “digital experience intelligence.” This new approach to analytics brings a set of expanded requirements and calls on firms to consider their technology frameworks, organizational structures, metrics, and optimization practices. See the February 10, 2012, “Welcome To The Era Of Digital Intelligence” report.

11

IBM defines “data scientist” on its website, starting with an association with big data: “Rising alongside the relatively new technology of big data is the new job title data scientist. While not tied exclusively to big data projects, the data scientist role does complement them because of the increased breadth and depth of data being examined, as compared to traditional roles.” Source: IBM (http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/ infosphere/data-scientist/). The term “data scientist” has also begun popping up in job postings. For an example, read the Kim Nash’s blog: “Desperately Seeking Data Scientists,” Strategic CIO Blog, June 21, 2012 (http://blogs.cio.com/ business-intelligence/17184/desperately-seeking-data-scientists).

12

13

Organizations use increasingly complex cross-channel strategies to drive customer response, and more will take advantage of CXM solutions — particularly in the online channels — to drive optimized experiences, improve service levels, and increase sales. See the August 10, 2011, “Harnessing The Convergence Of Customer Experience Management Solutions” report. Forrester studied 165 executives in charge of enterprisewide customer experience to create a composite profile of this relatively new position of chief customer officer within companies. See the January 20, 2012, “Three Organizational Models For Chief Customer Officers” report.

© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited

August 22, 2012


About Forrester A global research and advisory firm, Forrester inspires leaders, informs better decisions, and helps the world’s top companies turn the complexity of change into business advantage. Our researchbased insight and objective advice enable IT professionals to lead more successfully within IT and extend their impact beyond the traditional IT organization. Tailored to your individual role, our resources allow you to focus on important business issues — margin, speed, growth — first, technology second. FOR MORE INFORMATION To find out how Forrester Research can help you be successful every day, please contact the office nearest you, or visit us at www.forrester.com. For a complete list of worldwide locations, visit www.forrester.com/about. CLIENT SUPPORT For information on hard-copy or electronic reprints, please contact Client Support at +1 866.367.7378, +1 617.613.5730, or clientsupport@forrester.com. We offer quantity discounts and special pricing for academic and nonprofit institutions.

Forrester Focuses On Application Development & Delivery Professionals Responsible for leading development and delivery of applications that support your company’s business strategies, you also choose technology and architecture while managing people, skills, practices, and organization to maximize value. Forrester’s subject-matter expertise and deep understanding of your role will help you create forward-thinking strategies; weigh opportunity against risk; justify decisions; and optimize your individual, team, and corporate performance.

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ANDREA DAVIES, client persona representing Market Insights Professionals

Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 17 key roles at major companies providing proprietary research, customer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 29 years, Forrester has been making IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For more information, visit www.forrester.com. 74821

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