Digital Transformation

What You Need to Know About Digital Intelligence

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One big focus of Digital Transformation is getting the customer experience right. As we’ve talked about, the customer experience is not just about visits to your website, but also includes interactions with your marketing emails, the in-store experience, how your customer service representatives interact and so on.  We talk about understanding the customer journey across all these experiences, but rarely are we able to provide key metrics and insights across the entire journey.  While we are able to point to a lot of different measures, still we lack Digital Intelligence.

Measuring anything across all these interactions is a daunting task. Unfortunately and all too often, we see companies taking a piecemeal approach to measurement – the marketing team tracks their measures separately from the customer service team, and a separate team measure social media.  In part, this piecemeal approach has been forced on us by the plethora of vendors in this space, each having their own measurement tools that focus only on their own product or part of the journey.

However, we are starting to see more comprehensive approaches to Digital Intelligence, starting with a top-down focus from executives. In a recent report, Forrester found that 90% of customers they surveyed now have executive-level support for digital intelligence. Sometimes this executive level support comes through the Digital Transformation initiative, other times it is driven by Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Strategy Officers, or the like. It is critically important that executives get behind digital intelligence efforts, because these are often expensive initiatives, and they cut across so many different areas of the company.

Another reason we are starting to see movement toward more comprehensive Digital Intelligence solutions is that vendors in this space are seeing market opportunity and are responding with updates to their systems or new platforms altogether. Forrester describes Digital Intelligence capabilities through three major technology areas: Data Management, Data Analytics, and Engagement Optimization.   Within each of these areas there are multiple technologies that can be implemented to contribute to an overall Digital Intelligence platform.  In total, Forrester identifies 15 distinct capabilities:

  • Data Management: Data Warehousing;  Tag Management
  • Data Analytics: Application Analytics; Cross Channel Attribution; Digital Performance Management; Interaction Analytics; Internet of Things (IOT) Analytics; Predictive Analytics; Social Analytics; Spacial Analytics; Voice of the Customer; Web Analytics
  • Engagement Optimization: Behavioral Targeting; Online Testing; Recommendations

We are starting to see major vendors provide more and more of these capabilities in their DI platforms.  I say platforms, but really what we have today are suites of products.  For example, Adobe is rated as a leader in Forrester’s latest DI evaluation, still, Adobe offers several variations of Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Activation, Adobe Mobile, etc.  Google offers Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Attribution, etc.  IBM and almost all the other vendors also have many different products.

Forrester reports that customers in their survey use 10 of the 15 capabilities defined above.  The challenge for the vendors (and their customers) has been to integrate all these tools in seamless way.  Today we see the major vendors moving strongly towards integrating their own products as well as trying to integrate other products – or allow data from other products to flow in to their systems.

Not only does providing an integrated, seamless system help customers access the analytics and measurements, it also allows these vendors to provide the insights that are often hard to develop.  If you’ve been hearing a lot about Artificial Intelligence lately, the Digital Insights vendors are responsible for a lot of that news.  Adobe Sensei, IBM Watson, Salesforce Einstein, and others have all been highly touted as being able to deliver Digital Insights because these vendors are now collecting data across a wider path of the customer journeys and applying Artificial Intelligence systems to this data.

I think the Digital Insights market will be very interesting in the coming years.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

You can read The Forrester Wave: Digital Intelligence Platforms, Q2 2017 via the link if you have a Forrester account.


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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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