Digital is becoming more and more central to how businesses operate and market themselves, and essential to the products they make. At the same time, achieving this transformation and thriving in the current digital environment is becoming more complex and less attainable.
How do you keep up with the rapid pace of innovation, and use this to your advantage to deliver key business outcomes, when the landscape keeps changing? As new technologies emerge, when should you adopt them?
Competing on the basis of customer experience
In a recent interview, Keith Weed expressed a sentiment that many marketing teams are beginning to realise. Traditional, full-service, digital agencies are focused on branding, creative execution and digital marketing, mostly within the realms of search and social. Yet, businesses are starting to compete on the basis of customer experience and there are many more elements needed to do this successfully.
The main challenges that senior marketers are looking to address:
- 74% want to tackle digital measurement and optimisation
- 65% want to look after data management
- 64% want to get help measuring and managing media and engagement.
Businesses are taking a back to basics approach to figure out what is (and is not) working, starting to organise the overall customer journey and placing a greater emphasis on the interaction at each customer touchpoint.
Delivering a consistent customer experience across all channels can only be achieved once you bring together your marketing activity with your customer data. Doing this requires deep CRM integration to deliver relevant and personalised content, both online and offline, supported with excellent analytics and metrics. When approached successfully, combining these elements will powerfully change how a business is perceived.
Brand and creative remain an essential part of how customers understand a business, but the best customer experience can only be delivered using flawless technology that takes all touchpoints and customer data into consideration.
Bringing specialists together as the need arises
Is it possible that a single agency can deliver both the latest technological advantages and correct brand expression? More and more, business stakeholders and marketing teams are saying, no.
It is simply not feasible for a single agency to attract the right talent, build the right culture, deliver work across multiple technological and creative planes and, at the same time, keep everyone busy on billable work in every department. This realisation has led to a recent shift, with companies and agencies bringing the best specialists together for a specific project, as and when the need arises.
Our company has been collaborating with companies and agencies, on multiple-stakeholder projects, for 18 years and we have found that the collaboration creates a valuable partnership, as long as expectations and communication are clear.
The approach we take is to ensure everyone has access to a shared roadmap, project tracking with JIRA, shared source code and UAT servers. We also plan our projects as a series of week-long sprints and reviews, using Agile practices to change course and reprioritise if dependencies change. We use these weekly iterations to ensure that stakeholders can see regular weekly progress and that their feedback can be incorporated immediately.
Giffgaff and their new agency model
The mobile telephone network, giffgaff, announced their new agency model, in 2015, which engages different specialist agencies as, and when, a need arises.
As companies like giffgaff understand, being able to easily extend your team with complementary specialists is highly beneficial. For an idea to thrive, you don’t need to rely on whether your existing team has any experience in that field, you can simply call upon your ‘go to’ specialist network.
Breadth and depth of knowledge and experience
Specialist agencies have built their culture around doing one thing well and, in doing so, they attract the best digital talent in their respective field.
We are, as a specialist technology, are a ‘T-shaped’ team. The horizontal bar underscores our team’s breadth of knowledge and the vertical bar illustrates their depth of experience.
‘T-shaped people’ are accomplished at solving complex problems and creating unique solutions. From reinventing the customer experience in a retail store environment, to creating digital signage you can interact with, to building a platform for a new TV station. These are ideas born from the culture and passion of a highly-focused and specialised team.
They are also the team that works well on a complicated project, as part of a collaboration, that requires multiple specialists, from different areas of expertise.
With access to this depth of knowledge and breadth of experience, you will be working with people that create new and bespoke technology solutions to successfully achieve your business goals.