How would you rate your organization in terms of customer intelligence (CI)? You may already be “off the charts” as a CI genius or perhaps you have never heard of the term. Regardless of where you stand, customer intelligence is a continuum on which we are all traveling as marketers and organizations trying to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of digital marketing.

Part of increasing your CI means creating or improving upon what Forrester Research calls your organization’s “data stewardship program.” Ask yourself two key questions: 1) How well does your organization manage the Big Data it is acquiring? And 2) do you have the right tech tools and teams to translate your Big Data into smart data? In “Navigating the Future of Customer Intelligence,” Forrester reports:

“Customers are ignoring one-size-fits-all messages and increasingly engage only with personalized, tailored experiences and content. In this environment, marketers who personalize and optimize their campaign efforts will produce the most leads, lift conversion, and capture the most wallet share. Personalization can double response and retention rates, yielding a response rate of 15% versus 7% (no personalization) and a 16% retention rate versus 8% (with no personalization).”

Today’s blog is the third in a series covering the fundamental solutions to audience management in the era of Big Data. The first solution explored the role of analytics as a solution for creating audience segments based on data signals coming into your organization. The second solution looked at target optimization as the key to honing your content and messaging, valuing real-time data over gut instinct and intuition. In this blog, we will look at a powerful new tool for creating the optimal customer journey online: the Web experience management solution.

What Is a Web Experience Management Solution?

How does your organization create and maintain the ideal website? Who is responsible for this ongoing task? What processes does your organization go through in order to make changes, updates, and more?

The Web experience management solution is basically an integration management system for your online content, with priority given to your website.

One of the most important facets of this solution is its ability to integrate the marketing and IT departments. It is a current and all-too-common challenge for IT and marketing to work together quickly and effectively in order to respond in real time to the customer’s online journey. Without an integrated management system such as a Web experience management solution, it becomes virtually impossible to keep up. Adobe explains: “Without a common layer, business and IT often have to deal with the technical integrations of single point products, delaying time to market and missing opportunities for maximizing conversion and retention.”

Another key component that this solution integrates is your organization’s messaging—or brand consistency and content—across multiple digital channels.

Online Testing First, Then Web Experience Management Solutions

First, it is important to use a target optimization tool in conjunction with Web experience management solutions. Each of these Big Data solutions build upon one another and function more effectively when other solutions are properly implemented within an organization’s marketing strategies. Remember, this tool basically “cuts through noise and assumptions to help marketers present the most effective content, promotions, and experiences to customers and prospects.” In other words, an organization needs to test their content and messaging and receive hard data in order to better implement its next solution via Web experience management solutions.

There are many target optimization tools on the market today, including Adobe’s Test and Target, which “claimed leadership … in Forrester’s first online testing platform wave” and has maintained its leading market position ever since. After target optimization has been integrated into an organization, then it’s time to put Web experience management solutions into play.

Get Personal: Increase Customer Control and Personalization

Who should be in control when it comes to creating the optimal Web experience or online customer journey? The answer is the customer. According to the “Navigating the Future of Customer Intelligence” report, the more intelligent the organization, the greater its implementation of enterprise-wide “customer contact strategies” and increased “preference management” variables for their online customers. “Organizations find that providing consumers some level of control over subject, content, frequency, and channel of communications improves overall engagement and loyalty.”

How can organizations optimize their customer’s experiences at every touch point (Web, mobile, etc.) as channels and devices are rapidly proliferating? According to Adobe, a Web experience management solution provides organizations with a “platform to rapidly develop and deploy new templates, designs, governance, and components for web, mobile, and social channels.” This solution enables marketing and IT teams to “easily manage the complexity of creating unique customer experiences on owned digital properties.”

Hyatt Hotels | A Case Study

For example, how can Hyatt, a global hospitality company with over 450 hotels, resorts, and residential and vacation ownership properties worldwide, manage 600 websites in more than 10 languages?

Hyatt recently moved from a manual management system to a Web experience management solution that delivers “rich, customized online and mobile experiences for travelers worldwide.” In the case study, Bill Bernahl, vice president of eCommerce at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, reported that the company wanted to “make Hyatt websites the best place to plan, purchase, and manage travel and hospitality.” Through this solution, Hyatt 1) accelerated the pace of Web content updates; 2) created a website-linked mobile app where “on-the-go customers can find hotels, book rooms, review their own upcoming reservations, and check loyalty point balances;” and 3) “created a new digital press room to enable customers, hotel partners, and media to easily find information of interest.”

The Solution for 2013’s Online Challenges

With the rapid evolution of the Internet and all things digital, it’s essential for organizations to have the right technological tools at hand. When you do, you’ll be able to find solutions to the many digital challenges you face, engaging customers in personalized ways that create customer control and loyalty.

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