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Ian Lowe Posted by Ian Lowe July 28, 2020

Accelerating digital transformation and maximizing marketing agility during disruption

In a previous webinar in this series, which focused on presenting insights and learnings on how digital marketers and their organizations can cope with the uncertainties of disruption, we had the good fortune to be joined by two Scotts.  This time around, to keep things from being any less confusing, we were joined by two Nicks

Nick Barber, Forrester Senior Analyst, and Nick Chugg and Traci McKinney, both Digital Product Managers at doTERRA. The main topic? “Marketing Agility in the Disrupted Economy: Guests from Forrester & doTERRA on Digital Transformation and Adopting Headless CMS”, with the four of us digging into four areas:

  1. Why agility and streamlined operations are essential to digital success
  2. How a headless web CMS fuels best-in-class, multi-channel digital experiences
  3. How to scale in a multi-country, multi-language digital environment
  4. Managing brand, content and communications in a complex martech landscape

The dangers of digital sameness 

Nick Barber kicked the conversation off by exploring the strategy organizations need to be considering in these very fluid and unpredictable times when it comes to digital transformation and customer experience.

It might have disquieted some in the audience, but Nick had a very straight-from-the-hip assessment of how digital transformation has progressed over the past several years.

US Customer Experience graph

As measured by Forrester’s Customer Experience Index, he said, “while we see the companies that fall into that ‘good’ category have slowly increased over the past couple of years, actually no companies have moved into the ‘excellent’ category in terms of creating...excellent customer experience.”  Nick pointed out how “in fact, in four years running since 2017, zero companies have broken into that ‘excellent’ space. And part of the reason that we think that is, is because this idea of digital sameness is pervasive.”

What’s “digital sameness”?  Sites and digital experiences begin to look very much alike; he used retail as an example, where luxury brands like Nordstrom, Gucci, Barney’s and others offer digital experiences that are so similar, he said, “it's hard to tell here where one website ends and another website begins.”  This defeats a brand’s ability to, simply put, effectively brand itself and stand apart by delivering a differentiating digital brand experience.

60% of consumers say they’re unlikely to return to a site that delivers an unsatisfactory experience, Nick Barber pointed out.  What builds a positive experience?  Not just knowing their demographics, but understanding their pain points and concerns, providing value and relevance across the customer life cycle, and anticipating customers' needs, rather than being reactive.  That builds goodwill, he explained, especially during times like these, that gives a marketer latitude to experiment with new experiences without fear of being punished by consumers.

Solving the CX complexity puzzle

It’s not as easy as just committing to delivering surprise-and-delight personalized experiences to consumers, though.  The proliferation of touchpoints – “I even spoke with one company, they had a connected grill,”  Nick said, “they were delivering content to a screen on a grill” – the addition of content segmentation for different types of users on different channels, are all in growth overdrive right now.  Two other dimensions have made it even more complicated: reaching people at the right location at the right time.

His comparison?  Overcoming this challenge is like solving a Rubik’s Cube, but that leads to another analogy: Much like a recent AI that can solve a Rubik’s Cube in just one second, marketers can take advantage of technology.  “There’s hope,” Nick said, in using “technologies like headless and agile CMS that can come in and help you manage that complexity across those channels.”

Success, in his view, means focusing “on digital experience as an architecture” that goes beyond touchpoints; the infrastructure, data, analytics, development teams, services, automation and AI underpinning them roll up into a superior digital experience that’s consistent everywhere the consumer interacts with your brand.

The potential of a headless CMS as a cornerstone in that architecture?  From a single source of truth repository, content can be delivered to a huge range of touchpoints. “As you linearly increase the number of connection points,” he said, referencing Metcalfe’s Law, “you exponentially increase the number of connections.”  Offering huge potential for a marketer who’s able to deliver content that’s consistent, yet appropriately targeted to each of those instances.

How to start? His recommendation: “It starts with a journey map,” outlining customer pain points and sources of delight, allowing a marketer to deliver the digital experiences that can improve engagement and elevate that CX Index Score.  “You still have time to move from good to great,” he said, or even to “excellent,” where you’ll have very little competition.

“Particularly during this global pandemic,” Nick Barber explained, “marketers had the chance to refine efficiencies and fine-tune digital experiences so that you're better positioned to leapfrog your competition when we pop out of the other side.” 

Helping doTERRA cope with explosive global growth

Then it was Nick Chugg and Traci McKinney’s turn to show how headless architecture delivered on the promise Nick Barber had laid out in the real world –  a world where doTERRA markets essential oils through 5 million global wellness advocates in 53 countries, a number that’s on the rise.  In just over a decade, they’d become a multibillion-dollar, multinational enterprise, with accompanying growing pains.

The company’s website and digital marketing were based on the work of a provider whose platform was too limited for how doTERRA needed to evolve.  They had an ecommerce engine but no real CMS, and changes could require weeks or months – or might not even be prioritized.  But the company found itself marketing hundreds of products across 43 languages, and needed to be compliant with health and advertising regulations in all its regions.

“So we looked for a content management system,” Nick Chugg said, and decided on Crownpeak because of its cost versus other platforms and how “it minimizes software maintenance because it's a SaaS based program. You don't have to do upgrades and things like that. It's a first-in-class headless, (and) doesn't require a lot of support to integrate things. It was very flexible.”

Programmers found it easy to work with, as well, “so it was pretty easy to use and update and manage content and create content,” Nick said.  “And also it had the regional language support, and we could create a structure that allowed us to push content from a regional level to all these different markets and create some kind of governance and workflow around how that content is managed.”

As a headless solution Crownpeak DXM could house all content for doTERRA for updating the company’s front end, and its full CMS was a boon for marketing.  They’re also using it to supply data for integration with transactional emails, allowing doTERRA to go about “improving our email traction,” as Nick Chugg put it.

A great presentation (layer) can be everything

Crownpeak helped doTERRA vastly improve its eCommerce experience for customers, Traci McKinney explained.  “We really wanted to overhaul these product pages. Each of these oils have such an interesting story to tell that we wanted to be able to convey,” but the existing ‘experience’ wasn’t exactly positive.

What doTERRA needed, Traci said, was to be able to illuminate the benefits of each product, provide information on how they're sourced, and also include required regulatory content “because we're in a highly regulated industry.” 

With Crownpeak, the product presentation consists of “bold, beautiful product pages,” she said, with all content managed through Crownpeak DXM, including product tagging, metadata and SEO.  Over 300 product pages are translated into over 20 languages for dozens of markets, all maintained and managed via the Crownpeak platform.

Doterra new website

Redesigned DoTERRA product page

It was “a huge win for us,” Traci says, “that we were able to get all of this content into a common repository and content management system.” 

Any change that’s necessary for regulatory or legal reasons can be made quickly; marketing and promotional campaigns are now more agile, thanks to Crownpeak’s headless approach.  “The agility that Crownpeak has brought us has allowed us to implement several other projects on the platform in a relatively short period of time,” Traci said.  “And it really helps us to clear the path to furthering our digital transformation.”

“So we're really excited here at doTERRA to have implemented Crownpeak in this headless architecture,” she went on, “because our options now for any channel or application are kind of endless, whatever we come up with.”

Accelerating alignment with customer needs

Nick Barber of Forrester shared a key insight about how important it is for a marketer to be “aligning across the entire customer life cycle...it's about creating that content to deliver to all phases of that customer life cycle” and boosting the customer experience.  When all units in an enterprise, from IT to marketing, can focus on a definable goal like raising their CX Index Score, it unites them in a single mission. 

That mission can be accelerated with a platform like Crownpeak, Nick Chugg of doTERRA explained.  “It’s been really easy to use Crownpeak,” he said, to deploy new applications.  Being able to use a single platform has driven efficiency over previous solutions.  “We had other content management systems that were headless,” he said, “but it was creating confusion with multiple different content management options for people to have to manage.”  Leveraging Crownpeak, he said, “has really helped them to accelerate,” resulting in remarkably fast rollouts for new global projects.

The quality and relevance of an omnichannel digital experience to the consumer is where headless architecture can help marketers really step up.  It’s what “makes you go from that kind of good experience to a great experience,” Nick Chugg said, “because it's really much more aligned with the needs and wants of the customer.”

To check out the webinar in its entirety, just watch it here.