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.
Marketers are increasingly being asked to drive growth within their organisations by building stronger customer experiences. But with so many fragmented touchpoints and ways to connect with the customer or prospect digitally, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage a brand story consistently and with agility.
CMO’s latest webinar, sponsored by OpenText, sought to answer two key questions: What ingredients are needed if you’re to harness your brand assets in a way that ensures stellar experiences that engage customers at every moment of interaction in their journey? And what role does content and in particular, rich media, play in achieving cut-through?
Closing the gap through marketing infrastructure
For Publicis.Sapient head of strategy and consulting, Phil Phelan, the strategy behind building a brand is timeless. But there’s a gap between the aspirations of today’s modern marketer, and their ability to deliver on a brand promise. And that gap can only be bridged through a next-generation marketing infrastructure that encompasses technology, processes and people.
“With the proliferation of technology and media, it’s never been easier to connect with our customers and start to influence those purchases,” Phelan says. “But it’s created a huge array of complex scenarios that marketers and brands are expected to manage and deliver against.”
Phelan detailed five steps to creating the right operating system for marketing that makes it feasible to deliver on the promise of digital, and provide highly engaging, interactive experiences to customers:
1) Identify the immediate opportunity areas to create business value: Marketing teams need to create and demonstrate the business impact of marketing and fill the gaps with the current experience for customers in a way that’s provable and measurable. To do this, it’s important to define the multi-channel user experience then identify journeys underneath that, Phelan says. “You’re starting from the premise of what is the business case, then where are the opportunities for us to improve, and how can you go back to the business and show results.”
2) Define customer journeys and associated experiences: It’s vital to organise around customer needs in the content of journey or goal, Phelan advises. “Brands doing this well are more journey-orientated and are starting to map out user scenarios and stories to see the most important journeys for their customers and business. They break these down into the funnel and think about the experience in very granular ways.”
3) Plan for supporting experience with data: Each experience needs to be defined and paired with a measurement plan. Data informs the delivery of an experience but also if it’s working, closing the loop and ensuring activities are continuously updated and improved upon, Phelan says.
4) Define and architectural blueprint: This is about understanding how technology, content and people work together as a system to be able to deliver experiences in any customer journey identified and in a timely way, Phelan says.
5) Develop a prioritisation matrix and roadmap: A long-term roadmap informed by the customer journey and architectural blueprint then helps marketers optimise business value. Such a roadmap pairs business objectives with capabilities in order to prioritise efforts and track progress, Phelan says.
How digital media management helps build the brand story
Identifying when to engage with a customer is one thing; ensuring the right content is at your fingertips when it’s time to engage with that customer is another. OpenText senior product marketing manager of media, Michael Snow, says a foundational capability all too often missing in the mix is digital asset management (DAM).
“Every organisation today is an information business, and needs to communicate on a growing number of channels,” he says. “Those channels are supported by a growing number of digital media assets.”
As consumers, we think in pictures and images, making rich media assets an increasingly important part of digitally led interactions. As an example of how powerful rich media has become, Snow notes brands featuring video content on their website landing page can increase conversion by up to 80 per cent.
This “tsunami of assets” is not showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s rising in complexity and volume as more consumers become digital and social content creators. As a result, the assets marketers need to deliver brand messages in a contextual way must be repeatable, tied to data, portable and trackable, Snow says.
DAM platforms solve a number of key aspects of modern marketing engagement, Snow says. A big one is marketing agility and content delivery. Another is helping to deliver relevant and targeted content across all manner of channels.
“This provides marketers with an ability to use content almost as digital currency,” Snow says. “A DAM enables marketers to accelerate creativity and production cycles.”
Snow highlights the vendor’s work with UK retailer, marks & Spencer, which uses the technology to manage more than 100,000 assets.
“With up to 800 users and up to 2500 assets being submitted daily, in addition to ongoing management of existing assets, it’s imperative we have efficient processes,” Marks & Spencer product owner of visual assets, Conrad Henson stated. “Our users can quickly locate assets and make required changes within the OpenText system, Without going back to the originator and starting the process over again, helping speed up publication and keep costs down.”
To learn more about building the right marketing infrastructure for your brand and making the most of digital media management, tune into our CMO webinar on-demand here.