Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Who is your customer? Is it the smartly dressed business woman shopping for a new briefcase? Is it the girl sitting on her sofa in a tracksuit flipping through your designs on a tablet? Is it the commuter on the bus ordering from her mobile?
Yes, yes, and yes! She expects a seamless, rich brand experience wherever she is on whatever device she is using. But you know that already.
What’s sometimes less clear is how you put the systems and processes in place that ensure you can deliver that engaging experience today and be primed to make that same customer connection tomorrow.
Yet to continue to deliver targeted and engaging content, your business can’t just start from scratch every time. It requires an integrated, flexible, digital management foundation you can layer with different services. And that unified digital platform needs to be scalable and adaptable with broad geographic reach – you want this to grow with you.
With a comprehensive and well-designed digital foundation, you can handle digital asset management, leverage user-generated content and ensure dynamic content delivery. It’s the only sensible way for an organisation to ensure it’s delivering relevant content rapidly while maintaining brand integrity.
The strongest and most resilient digital foundations are built with the pillars of people, process and technology. There are three steps required to get started:
Determine what you need to grow
Table stakes for genuine customer engagement are robust and responsive digital foundations that offer scale, reach and rich capability. To make sure your digital foundations will support your growth it’s important to prioritise your customers’ needs.
Do you need mobile capacity, what role will video play, what level of privacy will customers expect, what level of security will you need for the services you plan? How important is the ability to scale? What geographic reach do you need? What systems latency could users tolerate? Does the business grow organically or by acquisition – will your digital foundations support that strategy?
Armed with that sort of granular insight and understanding you are better positioned to blueprint your digital foundations.
Identify your key core competency
To deliver rich customer experiences you need to develop campaigns and content that engages with consumers on their terms.
Identifying key core competencies in the enterprise ensures that you focus on what is important in terms of your ability to deliver that engagement; if marketing and IT teams are swamped constantly building or rejigging computing platforms and marketing frameworks to meet shifting customer expectations it may dilute the effect of those core competencies and diminish your overall effectiveness.
Most organisations face limitations with regard to both budget and capacity, especially your IT and marketing teams. Leveraging a trusted cloud service can be a compelling alternative to trying to DIY, freeing your internal teams for more value add work that exploits their core competencies.
At the same time, it shifts investment in the digital foundation from a capex proposition to an opex opportunity.
Establish common ground
Marketing and IT ultimately both have the same goal – to see the enterprise prosper and grow. When IT and marketing, and other key business functions, focus on that common goal it can be much easier to identify winning solutions.
Instead of building or protecting fiefdoms, by working in concert IT and marketing can scope exactly what they need their digital foundation to deliver and how it needs to integrate with existing infrastructure.
With this clear roadmap IT and marketing can then identify best of breed digital foundations that offer scale, security and the promise of ongoing innovation.
A strong digital foundation is the critical underpinning for a long-term, sustainable relationship with your customer. The journey to a stronger digital foundation starts with just three steps – for additional practical pointers download The Blueprint Redefined.
By Chris Skelton, Managing Director, Adobe Australia New Zealand