Measuring the Success of Your Digital First Strategy
Until recently, digital transformation was considered-forward thinking. But in today’s new normal, it’s a matter of survival. As customer journeys increasingly begin online, organizations must adopt a digital first strategy to thrive. That requires putting customer experiences first, embedding global readiness into your offerings, and creating new business processes that enable you to provide exceptional service worldwide.
Yet measuring and evaluating the success of a global digital-first strategy can be a significant challenge—even for digital-first organizations. During a recent virtual roundtable, Vistatec’s Aoife Murphy hosted a cross-functional, multi-industry panel that took a deep dive into:
- Experiences and perspectives of global digital transformation in recent years.
- Challenges and solutions for measuring success.
- The future of customer experience in a digital-first world.
Whether you missed the event or just want a refresher, we put together a recap of insights from:
- Bruno Herrmann, Global Digital Content Operations Leader
- Astrid Illum, Director & Tribe Lead of Customer Engagement, DFDS
- Louise O’Conor, Founding Partner, Beta Digital.
Here’s what our panelists had to say.
Table of Contents
Digital Transformation in a Post-pandemic World
It should be no surprise that companies have quickly ramped up their digital initiatives due to the pandemic. A McKinsey & Company study found that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation by an average of seven years.
Today, digital isn’t just a stopgap—it’s the new model for business. Customer expectations have changed, and they’re not going back. Even people who historically haven’t spent much time online are moving into digital spaces. And like digital natives, they now prioritize convenience and the customer experience above all else.
How to Measure the Success of Customer Experiences
Most companies invest significant time and money into creating customer experiences that keep people coming back. Yet to truly understand what customers want, you need a framework to measure success. Here’s what our panelists recommend:
- Start by mapping out overall business goals. Sometimes departments get siloed, leading to communication breakdowns and broken customer experiences. Marketing teams will be better positioned to create realistic customer expectations by understanding how departments work together.
- Decide what you’re going to measure. Metrics such as the number of unique visitors, engagement rates, and customer conversions are essential to track. But don’t forget about less obvious metrics such as the time it takes to turn a lead to a customer, costs of production, and the workforce it takes to deliver. By measuring each stage of the business cycle, you’ll not only calculate a more accurate ROI, but will better positioned to set realistic goals and customer expectations.
- Define and manage success. While this may seem obvious, it’s essential to define what customer success will look like. And that may differ by product, market, or even the audience. Measure each customer experience separately and evaluate each step they take along that journey. This will help you close gaps that could lead to a broken experience. Last but not least, synchronize the customer journey with the supply chain to ensure customers know what to expect.
However, a measurement framework is only part of the equation. A global digital-first strategy is powered by localized content that keeps customers engaged.
Creating Digital-first Global Content
Since the pandemic, companies have learned to develop digital-first global content quickly. This involved evaluating:
- Global readiness and effectiveness
- Language preferences
- Cultural differences
- Local customer ecosystems
Given how important content is for customer experiences, companies must carefully determine how to adapt different aspects of their content strategy to each market. Here are a few tips from the panel on how to do it:
- Consider how customers want to be talked to throughout the customer journey. Some messages may only need to be translated, while others should be localized to match regional or cultural preferences. The type of product may also make a difference. For example, B2C customers tend to be more sensitive to culturally relevant messaging than B2B customers.
- Personalize content based on language, culture, and customer preferences. The days of broad, generic messaging are over. Thanks to the rise of data-driven marketing, customers now expect content tailored to their interests and preferences. The more targeted the campaign, the better it will perform.
- Consider the channels available in each country. Each channel’s availability, popularity, and ease of use varies by country. Some channels may be banned or highly restricted in specific markets. Or they may simply be unpopular. For example, WhatsApp ads are unlikely to make much of an impact in the U.S because it’s not a popular messaging app there. At the same time, no Chinese campaign would be complete without a WeChat strategy.
- Watch what competitors are doing. Because localization is subjective, it can be challenging to determine how much content needs to be adapted. Take a look at what competitors are doing in the target market to determine what customers expect. Is the competition going above and beyond with personalized content? If so, you’ll need to do the same. And if not, surpassing their efforts may give you an edge.
The Future of Digital-First Strategies
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that consumers and companies can quickly adapt to an online business model. As more companies become digital-first, here are some trends that our panelists predict will continue:
- Data privacy and security policies. Regional laws such as the European Union’s GDPR limit the types of data companies can collect and how they can use it. As a result, they need to find more ways to build trust and encourage customers to opt-in and share their data. Data protection strategies that meet local and global regulations will soon become a new must-have.
- Refining customer segmentation and experiences with data. As data becomes a larger part of marketing, creating multiple customer experiences will no longer be optional. Brands will need to tailor each experience to a highly refined customer segment. Data from existing customer journeys will also help brands further refine customer segments using metrics such as location, interests, preferences, and behaviors. This cycle of measurement will lead to the continuous, data-driven refinement of both customer segmentation and journeys.
- Improving success metrics through automation. As we already noted, companies need to go beyond traditional metrics to measure success. Automation tools will allow them to track time spent, evaluate efficiency, and automate repetitive tasks. This will help companies develop sustainable business models that can be replicated globally.
Ready to launch your digital-first strategy in a new market? Find out how Vistatec can help.