Beyond Personalization: Providing Contextual Web Experiences to In-Demand Consumers

Consumers today don’t just expect relevant and contextual experiences and interactions with brands; they demand it. With the amount of data brands are collecting from consumers across various touchpoints, marketers are being pressed more than ever to leverage that data and consistently deliver meaningful, relevant experiences. At a time when consumers use multiple devices during their customer journeys, brands are often challenged with understanding each customer’s current needs specifically in context, in order to anticipate their next steps.

When it comes to the Web, data-driven insights are generated when consumers visit a brand’s Web and mobile sites. Marketers must be able to apply these insights and integrate them with valuable customer data from other interaction channels. Often times, organizations rely on multiple technologies that lack seamless integration to provide the relevant data points needed to drive the customer experience. The result tends to be a disjointed brand experience in the form of sporadic, ineffective campaigns.

To provide hyper-relevant Web experiences to consumers, brands need access to the full context of every customer interaction in one place. Helping brands achieve this, my company, SDL, recently announced a new release of SDL Web, the Web pillar of the Customer Experience Cloud (CXC). With this release, SDL CXC now offers context brokering, which enables businesses to provide personal and contextualized interactive brand experiences for customers across all channels and devices.

Regardless of the technology a brand utilizes, there are four main solution areas brands should adopt to drive online presence and engagement:

  • Global web content management – A global web presence is much more than simply translating websites; marketers must ensure local relevance and responsiveness to an individual customer’s context, addressing the various elements that are dependent on culture and language.

  • Multi-channel experiences – The customer journey spans multiple touches across several devices at different times and places. Brands must ensure consistency, regardless how complex a customer’s path may be.

  • Targeting and personalization – It’s time for organizations to move beyond personalization toward contextualized experiences. By taking an outside-in approach, marketers can provide each and every visitor with an experience that matches his or her preferences, stage in the customer journey and unique context.

  • Rich media & video – Video and rich media marketing is a vitally important way to engage target audiences. Visual impact transforms imparting information into creating an experience, conveying emotion and, most importantly, desire to act

To summarize, Web plays a critical role in the customer experience and must be seamlessly integrated with other touchpoints. Otherwise, customers are presented with disjointed campaigns, negatively impacting customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and the brand’s bottom line. In my view as a CMO, context cannot be ignored, as it will play an increasingly significant role in customer experience as consumer demands grow and attention spans dwindle.