If “digital experience” is a term you’ve heard but have yet to incorporate into your business, you aren’t alone. Creating digital experiences is a powerful, strategic, and smart way to improve the connection between customers and brands. Many organizations don’t know where to begin in building this link between the physical and digital world, so they never start. If this sounds like your company - whether B2B or B2C - enjoy this introduction to digital experiences.
What Are Digital Experiences?
In its most basic definition, a digital experience is any customer interaction that happens through a brand’s digital channels.
A digital experience happens when a business communicates, markets, supports, or otherwise connects with their customers and potential customers through an online or interactive platform. The digital interaction may happen through:
- Online Content
- Social Media
- Interactive Signs
- Apps and Mobile Content
- Patient Portals
- Digital Signage
- Online Schedulers
Digital experiences are often seen as campaign-drivers, generating interest for physical experiences. But digital experiences can stand on their own to provide value to both customers and brands.
How Digital Experiences Change the Way Companies Engage with Customers and Prospects
The Connected Interaction to Power Brand Attraction (CIPBA) study, put together by Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and IBM, surveyed 198 global senior marketing executives to see how digital transformation has impacted their marketing and ability to grow and profit.
Here’s a look at 3 ways incorporating digital experiences strengthened the marketing strategy for the surveyed companies, while improving their customer engagement:
1. Reinforces the Need for a Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy
60% of marketers surveyed said incorporating digital experiences, “altered content strategies and heightened the need for more types and formats of content.” Embracing digital experiences helped businesses identify places of opportunity while exposing gaps in strategy. And, when businesses began focusing on digital experiences, they created plans based on what they learned.
2. Reveals Important Data and Insights About Customers
43% of marketers said incorporating digital experiences “revealed cracks in [their] systems as data is difficult to aggregate and centralize for a clear view of the customer.”
3. Improves Impact of Marketing and Decreases the Overall Cost of Marketing
29% of marketers say incorporating digital experiences “lowered their costs and improved the impact of their marketing.” When, asked, “Where do you anticipate allocating the greatest amount of resources (budget, technology and talent resources) to power the digital experience in the coming year?”, respondents listed the areas they planned to focus on:
- 59% content marketing development and deployment
- 47% metrics and analytics to measure campaign performance
- 46% social media (advertising and engagement campaigns)
- 39% data management (including data cleansing, data aggregation and collection)
- 32% digital advertising (including retargeting, asset management and placement)
- 31% personalized campaigns across multiple digital channels
- 30% marketing automation platforms and solutions
This shows where businesses are focusing on building their digital experiences to better serve their customers and improve their profits.
Does Your Marketing Plan Focus on Integrating Physical Experiences With Digital Ones?
While businesses and organizations are beginning to understand the value of digital experiences and starting to build these connections, many still struggle with accomplishing the task.
CIPBA Study respondents were asked, “How effectively have you integrated physical experiences with digital ones?”
Only 6% said that they had “fully integrated and aligned, with all touchpoints and experiences tying to and informing our next engagement with an individual customer.”
Most were still struggling with connecting physical experiences with digital ones.
- 49% say alignment is selective, with some ties between physical and digital being made and others remaining totally disconnected.
- 26% say strategies and messaging are aligned, but we are challenged to align platforms, measures and data related to each online or offline experience.
- 8% say we have not started the process of even attempting to integrate physical and digital experiences, but we are looking to start.
Many marketers are in the early stages of implementing strong digital experiences that benefit both customers and organizations. They see the value in this communication method and are setting plans in motion to build and strengthen their digital connections.
If you want to keep up, you need to start doing the same.
To learn more about connecting digital and physical experiences, check out our other posts on the topic.
- How To Bring Omni-Channel Marketing Into Your Store
- How To Integrate Social Media Into the In-Store Experience
- 9 Ways to Use Interactive Digital Signs to Connect with Customers and Visitors