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The CIO-CMO Partnership and The Digital Experiential Revolution

Ryan Brown, Head of Brand Strategy, Ceros

The new frontier of the digital customer experience is content that’s experiential.

Digital experience platforms (DXPs) are empowering companies to drive personalized, contextual, and consistent omnichannel experiences throughout the customer journey. Now more than ever, accessing and strategically leveraging customer data is critical to maintaining relevance. The more companies know about their audiences, the greater their potential to deliver relevant, personalized content experiences. However, data and relevant content alone aren’t enough. Those responsible for crafting or supporting digital experience today must also leverage an experiential mindset.

Having an experiential mindset means going beyond showing a personalization tag or a different piece of content based on viewing history. Thinking experientially requires a holistic approach to crafting how the viewer interacts with, engages, and experiences a given piece of content.

To bridge this gap to experiential content, one must first understand the different levels of content. The base levels of digital content are: (1) text/copy, (2) visuals elements (graphics, photos), and (3) embedded assets (like marketing forms or chatbots).

  CIOs and CMOs play critical roles in evaluating and investing in technologies that power the digital experience 

The next two levels are what makes digital content experiential. Level (4) is interactivity and is used to create opportunities for a viewer to interact with the content directly, via gamification, quizzes, polls, choose-your-own-adventure experiences, and more. Level (5) includes immersive elements, which enhance a viewer’s connection and participation with the content. Immersive elements may include integrated sound design, dynamic layers to animations, and visual effects like parallax scrolling, mouse tracking, and more.

Bridging the gap between IRL and URL: An Omni-Channel Approach to Brand Experience

For a long time, companies primarily thought about brand experience solely in the physical realm, from in-store experience to product design to packaging. With the the-everincreasing number of touchpoints in the digital world–from marketing to purchasing to customer service–it’s important to develop an omnichannel approach to the brand experience.

With the digital space expanding, companies must reimagine how they service customers to create distinct and memorable brand experiences. CIOs and CMOs play critical roles in evaluating and investing in technologies that power the digital experience. Savvy CIOs and CMOs know that cookie-cutter templated digital platforms will ultimately become restrictive. This is true for both end-users and internal stakeholders. 

CIO and CMO as Partners: Solving for the Customer

Expectations have changed. We are officially living in the era of instant digital gratification - at least to an extent. These days we all expect easy access to personalized, helpful content when, how, and where we want it. Most companies meet (or at least seek to meet) this baseline expectation. In order to rise above the competition, however, companies must now be able to delight customers in the delivery of this content, which involves empathy, creativity, and a holistic, experiential approach to digital content.

The rallying cry for uniting the entire organization, and particularly for a strong CIO and CMO alliance, must be “solve for the customer!” To create and deliver memorable brand experiences, CIOs and CMOs must be solving for customer needs first, then figure out how to align and meet their internal needs second.

Solving for The Customer by Empowering Stakeholders

CIOs and CMOs must collaboratively answer one powerful question: How do we ensure we’re delivering digital experiences that exceed the needs of our customers and the vision of our brand? An experiential CIO-CMO partnership is forged around seeing technology and digital experience through this “solvefor-the-customer” lens.

Oftentimes, primarily for the CIO, solving for the customer means empowering internal stakeholders (marketing, sales, or customer teams) whose direct responsibility is the delivery of content and information to customers and prospects.

CIOs: Superheroes of the Digital Experience Revolution

The digital, experiential revolution is happening within the CIO’s domain, which means the CIO plays a vital role in evaluating and deploying the right technology across the organization.

In today’s economy, business success is directly linked to driving better omnichannel experiences. CIOs must join CMOs as the champions and leaders of this digital experience revolution. By forging an alliance, the CIO and CMO can provide the required leadership and vision needed for building and deploying the right technology to achieve success. When organizations and leaders band together and galvanize around solving for the customer, everybody wins. 

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