As an established digital experience leader, Liferay’s DXP is designed to encourage positive customer experiences. Driving growth, companies across the globe have achieved alignment with Liferay, but how do you share the successful journeys of existing customers to others?

We talk digital strategy with Jonathan Tam, Liferay’s Vice President of Marketing and uncover the strategies for maintaining long-term business success and resilience. 

It’s time to prioritise digital mastery

‘Digital transformation’ is a phrase tossed around quite a bit in the industry, but are we past that?

Jon touches on the trap that many organisations fall into when they refer to, “This new trend in digital.” In reality, digital isn’t anything new and it’s been with us for quite a while now.

“In my previous role as an analyst I would often say, ‘all this hype around digital transformation is just a buzz, right? You're just capitalising on this, all companies are digital.’ But in retrospect, they're not. There are so many companies out there that have relied on in-person conversations, relationships and interactions, so digital and tech have to be the way of the future. Then I think the start of the pandemic back in March accelerated this because now companies that weren't digital had to be.”

But now companies are facing the challenge of not only digital transformation, but digital mastery as well. With so many different technologies out there to reach customers, organisations across all industries are trying to figure out how to unify their tech stacks with the customer journey, from that initial touch point to the post-sales experience.

Digital mastery is a step beyond going digital. Jon says, “Once you have all the technology in place, you have to make sure they are talking to each other. Are you able to use it? Do you understand what you can do with the data?”

“It's not just about having the data now, it's about how you actually utilise it, and oftentimes that switch comes from understanding the customer first and foremost. You can have the most impressive tech stack out there and the best in class tools, but if you don't know what you're using or how you should be delivering it, it's really all for naught.”

Steer clear of technology for technology’s sake

If you don’t understand the customer, it’s impossible to create a meaningful customer experience. Often companies make the mistake of implementing technology just to have technology in place. But in reality, the technology isn’t actually addressing the needs of the customer, ultimately creating a more frustrated experience.

Jon says, “Let's say you want to implement a chat bot because it's the hottest thing out there and you want to automate communication with customers and prospects. But when you roll out the chatbot, you don't know the questions your customers are asking or how to interact with them when they’re looking for something. There's really only so much automation can do and it’s programmed off of understanding the customer, so if you don’t have a good grasp of that, chances are you’ll struggle to create a positive experience.”

Do the research to understand your customer

Technology starts with analysing buyer insights. Looking at digital touch points and recognising how leads are interacting with your ads, website, landing pages, downloadable content, resource libraries and so on can help to collect user data across the journey. Once this information is collected, you can begin to map out your customer experience strategy.

B2B vs B2C marketing strategies

It can sometimes get tricky for businesses who need to build a marketing strategy based on a service or product that appeals to a business rather than a consumer. Liferay deals with strictly B2B marketing, and Jon says, “The biggest thing is making the switch from a product-focused, feature-focused messaging to more of a buyer-centric or audience-centric message.”

While IT managers or other delivery team members are usually the primary users, a lot of times it comes down to appealing to the CMO or CEO, as they’re the decision makers when it comes to what products and services are within budget. But how do you do this?

Jon details, “A lot of it comes down to understanding what are the actual challenges that they're facing. As a CMO, what I really care about if I'm thinking about generating leads and demand is, do I have the right persona? Or how am I going to increase my conversion rates to create more opportunities? I care less about if this new WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor is going to let me create this landing page faster. My team will care about that and as they're evaluating software, that's something they do. But it’s important to tie its relevance back to what the actual business challenge is.”

COVID-19 has shifted the customer experience

The ongoing pandemic has forced organisations to completely shift their digital strategy in an increasingly competitive playing field. Despite being a digitally driven business with digital strategies in place, Liferay was still forced to adapt to the ongoing limitations COVID-19 implemented.

Jon says, “Historically, we are a very event heavy company. Whether it was our own symposium, attending trade shows, or doing events with our partners, in-person events were our bread and butter. Obviously with COVID-19, all of this was no longer possible.”

“Fortunately for us, in the beginning of 2020 we had a mantra to go more digital. We wanted to utilise digital media and content syndication, strengthen our nurturing capabilities and improve our targeting. While we were ahead of the curve just slightly, there was obviously still a lot of work to be done to get up to speed.”

Mapping out a relevant marketing strategy

Jon says that instead of relying on in-person conversations to increase sales, Liferay had to try and drive engagement virtually. But with everybody going virtual, it turned into a competition to stand out.

“People don’t hate ads, they just hate irrelevant ads,” says Jon. “It's the same thing when we talk about our engagement now. With webinars, you can find a webinar on any topic. The webinars or the events or the sessions that are going to really make a difference are the ones that we know meet a customer's challenge. If it's a pain point that they have, that's where they'll find it relevant, and that's how you cut through the noise.”

“If I’m running a campaign that is advertising best practices on customer self-service versus an ad that’s promoting to ‘reduce your customer support costs by 18 percent through an integrated platform’, I may get less volume but I'll get higher quality.”

“That's where I think a lot of standing out is about relevance because instead of focusing on what I like to call ‘boardroom metrics’, defined as a million views or a million downloads, I might only have one thousand views, but if I can get 60 percent of them to convert versus one percent of ten thousand, it will still work out in my favour.”

Enhance your customer experience strategy

Struggling to keep up in this virtual market? A crisis can change everything in an instant, but as a business, it’s important to make decisions that still support the customer experience. 

Better understand your customer journey and discover the cutting-edge technology that can help you measure success along the way. Enhance your digital customer service strategy with Liferay DXP.

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