One of the major effects of digital business and the transformation it causes is a renewed focus on experiences. This is why we’ve moved from static content on websites to holistically supporting digital experiences. Web content management systems are morphing into web experience management platforms that aim to connect and target content to personalized customer experiences.

This means that creating digital experiences requires having the most relevant content. Digital experiences encompass all interactions in this new, connected environment of social and mobile. The chief marketing officer (CMO) role has a vested stake in managing customer experience. It’s because of this that we see the CMO role increase in significance and influence. Business strategies are now impacted by customer and employee engagement.

Providing great digital experiences for customers, prospects and your own employees is a requirement. There is absolutely no debate here. I frequently speak with CMOs and many marketing professionals who lament how crucial providing the right digital experience is and how content plays a vital role in creating this experience. Quality content is still important for driving leads. It’s a central point in the strategic synergy that should exist between sales and marketing.

Providing better digital experiences requires a customer-centric approach for all digital touchpoints.

With all of that said, the kind of content that enhances a digital experience has to be in context and relevant. As users interact with brands on their own terms, on social networks and via mobile devices, the content has to be appropriate for the individual. To provide great digital experiences, businesses have to read a user’s digital body language, as I mentioned previously in "Contextual Content: Understanding Digital Body Language."

In order to enable better digital experiences from a technology perspective, enterprise planners will need to invest in a digital experience platform. Some content management systems (CMSs) are making that transition. Business leaders will have to look at the roadmap for all offerings and ensure it will support analytics and "predictiveness" that will enable more automated and data-driven decisions about delivering relevant content in context to users. The platform has to support cross-channel delivery across multiple devices.

I believe successful platforms will have to offer a good user experience as well as be able to access and deliver content at the speed of need. This is all about the customer experience, so firms will need a game plan and playbook for aligning business investments and strategies with insights about customer needs. This has to be people-centric based on analytics and insights into customer behaviors.

Customers know brands through a set of experiences that have increasingly arrived through multiple channels and devices. The challenge is that people now have greater control in how they interact with firms. Successfully managing this complexity and providing better digital experiences requires a customer-centric approach for all digital touchpoints.

Dave Smith is the research director and lead analyst for collaboration at Aragon Research. Previously, Mr. Smith was a research analyst at Gartner, where he covered collaboration and web conferencing. Follow him on Twitter @DaveMario.

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