Digital Experience Management is a relatively new discipline has taken the world by storm over the past decade. This notion is not unexpected, given the rapid, global acceleration of breakthroughs in software technology in this time, and the consequent digital platforms that have been birthed. With a lot of companies now looking more closely at how they represent their brands digitally, it is highly beneficial to explore and better understand the landscape of knowledge and discourse for this field.
Digital Experience Management looks at how brands are represented online, and the beginning-to-end journey that users take when engaging with brands’ digital touchpoints. Examples of digital platforms include: a website, an app or even an email account interface, and these platforms all provide types of experiences for the people that interact with them. Regardless of your online status as perhaps: a user, a brand, a consumer or a digital creator, Digital Experience (DX) is an important concept for all to consider. Nowadays, an obvious way of efficiently finding various information, products and services is through digital means. Furthermore, understanding and managing Digital Experiences effectively is extremely worthwhile.
The concept of Digital Experiences – created by many and consumed by the masses – is certainly not a vast, uncontainable idea. On the contrary, in present times digital experiences are arguably equivalent to – if not more commonplace – than physical ones. Currently the number of smartphone users across the globe is in excess of 3.8 billion, with an additional several hundred million projected to add to this total, over the next few years (O’Dea 2020). Smartphones do not carry out the sole function of calling another person on a separate phone. Rather, smartphones are complex digital devices that contain operating systems, apps and many other features which individually and collectively deliver digital experiences. In a fundamental sense, smartphones are digital experience hubs. To the opening point, digital experiences are all around us.
Considering the existing state of the world amidst the global pandemic, digital experiences have multiplied substantially, in comparison to before March 2020. Many people are relying on digital and virtual modes of communication and connection; the world has significantly digitised over the past 12+ months. In parallel, this change has bolstered the value proposition of leveraging Digital Experiences and building effective strategies with DX as a focal point.
In conjunction with DX, the wider area of Digital Marketing should be introduced briefly. The term ‘Digital Marketing’ describes:
advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Using these online media channels, digital marketing is the method by which companies endorse goods, services, and brands (Marketo, 2021).
It is alongside this discipline that Digital Experience Management exists and provides value, as Digital Experience Management concentrates on all that the end-user experiences in their complete digital journey, from start to end. DX Management considers the nature of the experience overall, as well as at different touchpoints. However, it is important to note that the crux of Digital Experience Management is the focus on the overall efficacy of the main digital platform (app, website, or online system) that the user settles onto and engages with. The user’s journey before landing on the focal digital platform is important, but the central point of analysis is on the efficacy of the main digital platform. The digital platform acts as a central point for traffic to be driven to from all other marketing activities, be it offline or online activities. Moreover, a digital marketing strategy would consider how to direct the user to the digital platform that contains the ‘solution’, whatever this may look like. Building on this, Digital Experience Management looks at optimising that solution to provide the best digital experience for the user, meeting key performance indicators, and driving the required conversion.
3 Top tips to improve your Digital Experience
Digital Experiences can be created and optimised in various ways and at different stages of the ‘Define, Design, Develop, Disrupt’ lifecycle process. These optimisations can range from clarifying Business/ Strategic objectives for a client’s digital experience, looking at the Information Architecture of the client’s platform(s), or implementing technical builds that have proved successful in a completed CRO testing plan.
Here are 3 top tips for beginners, when creating and working through the strategy for a Digital Experience
1. Don’t rush the ‘define’ process, but do not take too long at this stage either; balance is key.
The define stage is an essential part of the overall strategy process, as it is here that the digital vision and accompanying experience is established. This stage lays the groundwork for the following three stages, assisting in the creation of a new or optimised digital experience that is directly valuable and powerful for the user. It is good to operate with due diligence, asking the necessary questions to determine key definitions. On the other hand, the Agile framework facilitates smart working, use of expertise, and future optimisations. Furthermore, all acute potentials do not have to be endlessly proposed at this point, but can be ironed out throughout the process, as more insight becomes available.
2. Prioritise measurement initiatives.
As more recently discussed, measurement provides invaluable insights that can steer the digital experience forward, and should not be ignored. Instead, plans for measurement of the digital experience should be built out in the Define stage, constituting the backbone of Digital Experience implementations.
3. Enable users to give feedback easily.
To empower the authentic value of the digital experience; user feedback is vital. Users should be able to provide feedback with ease. The easier and more effortless it is to provide feedback; the greater levels of feedback are likely to be received.
Not all digital experiences are created equal, and resultedly not all digital experiences can be optimised with the same approach and amount of effort. This is because various digital platforms inevitably exist at differing levels of digital maturity, and this reality greatly affects what can be strategically recommended at a given time, with a particular budget, for the digital experience. The most important thing is to consider how a digital experience can be optimised to better serve the users and meet identified business objectives with the resources available.
If you would like to learn more about Digital Experience and what we covered in our blog, then do get in touch:
Marketo. (2021) Digital Marketing: What is digital marketing? Available from: https://www.marketo.com/digital-marketing/#:~:text=At%20a%20high%20level%2C%20digital,goods%2C%20services%2C%20and%20brands. [Accessed 3 March 2021].
O’Dea, S. (2020) Smartphone users worldwide 2016-2023. Available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/ [Accessed 31 March 2021].