Digital agility and incremental gains – the future of optimisation

For sports fans out there, you may be familiar with the name (Sir) David Brailsford, former Performance Director at British Cycling and the man who led Team Sky to six Tour De France titles in seven years. Aside from his successes in that sphere, he’s arguably most famous for his philosophy on marginal or incremental gains. 

His theory was based around the idea that if you could make small tweaks to part of your workflow and strategy, they would all add up to a far greater success. In digital marketing the same can be true.  

Here at Mando we are pushing the narrative of engineering change and looking at how businesses can adapt their strategy and way of working to ensure continuous optimisation leads to consistent success. 

A term that is increasingly becoming a ‘buzz word’ in the industry is – agile. Brands and businesses are switching from rigid structures to headless solutions, whereby optimisation, and the ability to spot changes ahead of the curve and competitors can lead to big gains. 

Like cycling, there are agile ‘sprints’ where workflows are delivered quickly over short, predetermined periods as part of the whole programme of work and this flows as part of a bridged strategy to deliver results against goals. 

According to Gartner, “Digital transformation can refer to anything from IT modernisation (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimisation, to the invention of new digital business models.” 

So how do we do it, and what things should you be considering? Well, there are a myriad of best practices when it comes to optimisation but here are some of those that we feel will make the largest impact… 

It starts with a DXP 

In order to get the most from a digital strategy and indeed digital optimisation you need to ensure that maturity takes precedence. By choosing an agency with experience in building websites, leveraging tools and crafting bespoke strategies based on industry leading digital experience platforms (DXP), you are halfway there. But what is a DXP? 

A DXP is an integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery and optimisation of contextualised digital experiences. In short, it’s the platform or CMS in which you go to build and manage your website. As well as this it is the place where you can flesh out your customer personas and journeys and guide users seamlessly towards a conversion. 

A DXP also covers eCommerce from product display to secure checkouts, AI to anticipate user needs and allows for personalisation to allow brands to build their profile and facilitate customised user experiences (UX). 

According to Optimizely, one of the leading DXPs: “Every new customer interaction with your company should offer a better experience than the last. A DXP provides all the tools you need to monitor those experiences, learn from them, and deliver ‘better’ across all your digital channels.”  

Understanding touchpoints 

An analogy that I quite like is that the aim of playing golf is to play as little as possible. You want to hit as few shots as possible to get the best score (or result). Customers expect the same thing when using a website, they want the information presented to them quickly and clearly, the interface to be appealing and the path to conversion to be as smooth as possible. Reducing the number of clicks it takes to get what they want is a major factor.  

Understanding customer journeys and the touchpoints they use when navigating your website is an enormous positive. It gives your strategy clarity and confirms that you are (or are not) heading in the right direction.  

Debunking the myths around DXPs 

We recently looked at ‘The big book of DXP’ from Optimizely and focused on some of the myths that are holding back your digital transformation. Here are the key takeaways: 

Myth 1: It’s just a fad 

Not true, DXPs are here to stay, and it’s only going to become more and more widely used. Researchers expect the DXP market to grow to around USD $13.9bn by 2024. DXPs help you to performing experiments and analyse customer behaviour as well as the ability to deliver personalised content that enhances the digital experience.  

Technology is constantly advancing, yet because DXP architecture is so flexible it can always adapt. It’s possible to work on parts of some without interrupting the flow of others or the overall service, meaning microservices are now the current reality.  

Myth #2: It’s just another way to say CMS 

DXP is actually the new way to say advanced CMS – it incorporates far more than a regular content system and allows for deeper integration with data analytics and AI, A/B testing, multivariate testing and more to create unique, relevant and ever-more effective content. 

Myth #3: DXP is rigid and inflexible 

This is far from the truth, DXPs are flexible, and their modular architecture is designed to keep up with evolving technologies and support a wide range of components. They’re also agile meaning that developers can work on and deploy changes to the front-end-as-a-service, without interrupting the rest of the solutions in the platform. 

Myth #4: DXP doesn’t improve productivity 

DXPs are key to providing the standout, multi-channel digital experiences that can increase conversions by as much as 60%.  

In addition to that, Optimizely claims that a DXP can improve your workflow in at least three other ways: 

  • Seamless communications  

DXPs combine information from all departments, breaking down silos and promoting interdepartmental communication and collaboration, which even includes multilingual support 

  • Informed customer support  

A DXP puts comprehensive customer data at the fingertips of your technical and customer support teams, so they can provide knowledgeable assistance without asking the customer to repeat information.  

  • Customised working  

A DXP also allows your teams to customise their interfaces to how they work best: adjusting settings, adding features and removing unused functionality. 

Final thoughts 

The stats don't lie, using an enterprise level CMS and a fully integrated DXP model brings success, it's a standard adopted by most major brands and delivers results in both highly regulated industries and competitive ones.

There are several to choose from and each have benefits and nuances that can affect performance, but the main thing is that you embrace them. If you can pull together your resources and present them to your key audiences in a frictionless way, then it goes without saying that conversions will go up – and you'll keep hitting your KPIs.  

To find out more about DXPs, digital maturity and the impact of implementing change in your online offering, why not get in touch?