Busting the Seven Myths of Digital Experience Technology
By Phil Britt
As if the explosion of customer experience and marketing technologies wasn’t enough, tools specific to the digital experience (DX) are in hyper-growth mode, as well. And, no surprise, the accelerating pace of DX technology has given rise to its share of fables and fairytales, according to Tony Byrne, founder of Real Story Group.
Byrne busted what he considers to be the top seven DX myths during his presentation the DX Summit in Chicago. He may have been referring to DX technologies, but these myths may sound all too familiar.
1. The top right is always preferred
Myriad business leaders across industries subscribe to what Byrne calls the Magic Quadrant Theory: Companies in the upper right-hand quadrant of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant diagrams are the only vendors that firms should do business with.
“The notion that there is a universal set of winners and losers is a joke,” Byrne said. “You want to evaluate your own needs, [prioritize] them, and match them up against the marketplace. It’s not about getting the best technology; it’s about getting the best-fitting tool.”
2. Working with a single vendor is best
Rarely does one vendor offer the full menu of marketing technologies a company needs—even in one specific area such as DX. On the occasions when one does, it’s likely that the vendor added many of its technologies through acquisitions. Sometimes the result is a solution that’s cobbled together and performs that way versus the streamlined flow of a truly integrated set of tools.
“A fully integrated marketing platform is as mythical as the Himalayan Yeti. You can’t assume a single company will have a coherent set of innovative offerings,” Byrne said. “There is no empirical data that going to a single vendor for all of your technology will give you any boost in performance.”
3. Small vendors are less viable
“Larger companies are more likely to pull the plug on a technology that isn’t working,” Byrne said. Small vendors, on the other hand, have to make sure their technology works and is profitable for users, otherwise those vendors will fail. In some cases, this means more attention to users from their customer success teams, faster upgrade cycles, and greater responsiveness to customer requests.
Despite the potential for a more attentive customer experience from smaller vendors, marketers should select technologies with growth in mind. Byrne’s advice: Whatever technology you choose, make sure it can scale as needed.
4. A “headless CMS” can run our website
The concept of a fully automated content management system, Byrne said, is just that: a concept. For now, companies should be working toward having actionable analytics, a solid content strategy, and accurate personalization to ensure the best DX. Those all require humans, not an automated CMS.
5. Personalization is the norm
Issues with site performance, security, and context hinder some marketers’ personalization efforts, Byrne said. The result? Personalization on companies’ websites happens much less than most marketers think it does.
One way to allow for more personalization, Byrne said, is to use tools that connect or pull from customer data across systems such as the CMS and CRM. This allows marketers to have a more holistic view of customers, thus use personalization more effectively, he said.
6. AI will make the problems go away
Artificial intelligence is not a magic bullet, Byrne emphasized. For now, marketers can use it to automate rote tasks, so they can focus more time and energy on strategy.
7) You’re behind the curve
“Eighty percent of companies can’t be behind the market,” Byrne said. He advised keeping that in mind before rushing into technology purchase decisions. For example, he said, companies will deliver a poor DX if they add technology before adding the capability to handle any additional business the technology might generate.
“You need to do an honest self-assessment of your content and strategy,” Byrne says. “Find the right fit of services and microservices that are good for you. The technology explosion will continue. You have to think in terms of business scalability.”
About the Author
Phil Britt has spent 40 years as a professional journalist, with work appearing in various newspapers and magazines, and on numerous websites. Phil is CEO of S&P Enterprises, a full-service editorial services firm in suburban Chicago. He covers financial services, technology, marketing, robotics and the plastics industry.