Key Lessons in Digital Transformation from MarTech2018

October 5, 2018 | By

For Aetna, digital transformation meant customer obsession- even in marketing. The team, led by Shiva Mirhosseni, VP Digital Experience and Marketing Technology, shifted from measuring leads and accounts to customer oriented goals – customer satisfaction, lifetime value, and NPS.

Shiva explained she focused the marketing team on answering this question: “How do we enable customers to solve problems on their terms so they feel empowered?”

She added, “People don’t care about a transactional exchange; they’d rather focus on a human exchange.” Putting in the customers at the center of their strategy drove traditional marketing metrics up as a secondary benefit.

Shiva and other opening keynotes at MarTech 2018 by Scott Brinker and Monique Bonner reminded of us a few key lessons. CX and ROI are a marketer’s goals. Customers are the center of why we get to do what we do. We know these mottos well.

But one thing we might overlook? Marketing technologies help us do our jobs better – but in the process, we may end up prioritizing internal benefits at the expense of customer experience. Marketing technologies and great customer experiences can go hand-in-hand if you have a vision for digital transformation.

To start your digital transformation, marketing leaders at MarTech 2018 advise:

Knowing what to fix.

Figuring out a benchmark and starting from there is critical. Monique Bonner, SVP and CMO at Akamai, said their first step for digital transformation was to take a hard look at how customers currently communicated with them. The first step: their website.

After a few clicks, they found their phone numbers listed were routing to the wrong country and chats often went unanswered. By understanding their current status and putting on a customer lens, Akamai improved customer experiences. They saw a 127% increase in high value engagement, 45% growth in lead generation, and 190 deals year to date from conversions.

Take digital transformation step-by-step. Your transformation doesn’t necessarily start with technology – it starts with a vision. Create the processes to move you forward, then lay out the technology you need to get you there.

Getting the organization behind the goal.  

Getting buy-in from your teams isn’t always so easy. David Levin, VP Customer Experience and Digital Innovation at Bob’s Discount Furniture (and a BlueConic customer) mentioned during a fireside chat with BlueConic’s SVP of Strategy, Cory Munchbach, that there are small wins you have to make on your way to accomplishing your digital transformation vision.

“When I knew a CDP was one of the first places we wanted to start, I got really nervous. How am I going to explain to people 1) what a CDP is since most people in an organization like Bob’s have never heard of it, 2) if I start really describing how we’re going to use this thing two years from now, a year from now, people are going to look at me and say, ‘oh we already have tools that do this or that.’ If anyone has anyone looked into doing a CDP, you know there are thousands of use cases.

I picked one and made it really simple. And I put in Bob’s language which was, ‘we’re going to better job at understanding and acquiring customers and activating them.’ We started with a simple use case and it was easy to sell through and get marketing behind it.”

Choosing the right technology, for you.

Bryan Yaeger, Gartner Analyst, urged marketers to audit your current technologies as a first step. Without an audit, you can’t fully understand your tech stack or get real benefits from it.  Map existing tools and their degree of effectiveness. Understand if you are truly getting the value you expect. In these audits, include how much manual time it takes to get to your end goal. After this initial overhaul of your tech, maintain your tech! It’s an iterative process and technologies will need to come and go as your needs change. (P.S. having a CDP means you can continue to connect your data regardless of the individual technologies you choose).

A key to choosing the right technology is understanding where you are, what you have, and where you want to be. Question after question posed at MarTech 2018 centered around the idea of “How can I apply this for my company?”, “What are the tips you have for getting upper management buy in?” And we’re here to help.

Technology buying decisions will vary according to your use cases and your needs.  Take our assessment to get a personalized use cases according to where you are with your customer data.

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