CMSWire's second Reader Advisory Board will help us provide thoughtful content on the trends driving the business cases for digital experience and digital workplace.

CMSWire is pleased to introduce its second Reader Advisory Board. We began bringing on thought leaders in the areas of digital customer experience and digital workplace in 2015 with our inaugural board.

Our second board will continue the work of the first in helping us deliver smart, intelligent, insightful content and we look forward to working with them in the year ahead. Learn more about the new team here.

As the advisory board mission statement says: "The Advisory board supports CMSWire's commitments to quality editorial content and a vibrant community of business professionals."

And our vision: "Gain a better understanding of the trends, drivers and priorities shaping our readers’ businesses so we can improve how we report, write and present news." 

So let's get going. We had our first meeting this month and asked them about the challenges they see in the areas of digital experience and digital workplace execution.

The Question

What’s the biggest challenge for companies delivering a solid digital customer experience?

Manel Martorana, Director, Digital Experience, Everis

The No. 1 challenge facing practitioners in terms of creating outstanding digital experiences is to provide a real omnichannel and coherent experience, because available technology is not as mature as vendors are pretending it is.

All major vendors on digital experience have omnichannel capabilities as some of the key features but when it comes to implementing a true omnichannel architecture, only basic use cases are implemented out-of-the-box or not at all.

Most digital experience platforms (DXP) have been built based on the integration of different products after some acquisitions of companies. The integration process of those acquisitions is complex in terms of culture and people and also from a technological point of view. And it takes time to achieve it. As a result, practitioners are using products that are poorly integrated, and they have to choose to invest a lot of time and money integrating them or to sacrifice having the integrated platform they are supposed to have.

On the other hand, DXP vendors that are developing all features on their own have a truly integrated omnichannel platform, but are struggling to deliver top notch features in some components. Bad news again for the user.

Linda Saindon, Founder, Alchemic

What’s really on my mind and what’s coming up with a lot of conversations with clients still is digital feels like it should be more mature than it is. There’s a very foundational, fundamental question: what does it really mean to be a brand in a digital world? Not a digital brand. Forget the technology for a second that powers and underpins this stuff. 

But what does it really mean? And that question encompasses content and branding and customer experience and storytelling and community and a two-way dialogue. Offering different products and services — I think it’s still a very thorny issue. 

The minute you put together a content strategy you have to look in the mirror as a brand and say, "Who am I really and what am I offering really to customers and consumers? What is the value exchange? How does that come to life in a way that is relevant and interesting and doesn’t come off poorly." 

Look at Pepsi, for example: is that still really happening? There is still lot of flameout and people are still struggling with how to go to market in a digital world. 

CMSWire Reader Advisory Board (left to right): Nancy Goebel, Marco Bailetti, Linda Saindon, Manel Martorana, Carrie Basham Young
CMSWire Reader Advisory Board (left to right): Nancy Goebel, Marco Bailetti, Linda Saindon, Manel Martorana, Carrie Basham Young

Marco Bailetti, SVP, Marketing, GALE Partners

Relevance would be the No. 1 challenge. It’s those moments of truth. I love the chart Scott Brinker creates. Here’s the landscape of all the marketing technology and every year it keeps on getting bigger and bigger. 

What I’m finding is that with all the marketing technology, the data, the analytics ... this has been really a focus for creating experiences that are not necessarily relevant to the consumer and are not really creating value for them. Just because you can track somebody and just because you can target somebody does not mean it’s relevant in that specific moment. 

The challenge really for marketers is creating relevance and maintaining relevance in that specific moment that a consumer is interacting with that brand and being thoughtful in how they’re leveraging consumer data and treating that with a tremendous amount of respect. There needs to be a value exchange. You need to be able to be thoughtful in terms of the investments you’re making in marketing and advertising. 

The Question

What’s the biggest challenge for companies delivering a solid digital workplace experience?

Carrie Basham Young, CEO, Talk Social To Me

The biggest challenge is the one I’ve been seeing for 10 years and it continues to remain the same: a massive focus on technology rather than the employee behavior that’s needed to bring change into the enterprise through collaboration. The marketplace is really loud with vendors talking about, "You need to get this tool out," and IT saying, "Here’s a tool! Here's a tool!"

We’ve been through this before and at the end of the day it’s not just about the tool. It’s about the behavior, and until we don’t have that crazy focus on technology first, it’s going to continue to be a challenge to bring this transformation into companies.

Nancy Goebel, Managing Director, Digital Workplace Group

This is absolutely the cornerstone issue that we’re seeing: so many organizations resist putting the employee experience at the center of the digital workplace. It’s either because of budget or because of a carryover philosophy of, "We know what our employees need." The end result is organizations still overwhelming people with emails with information that doesn’t hit the sweetspot of what they need to have access to in order to get things done efficiently and effectively.

It’s about simplification. It’s about integration. It’s about enabling people to get things done. It comes back to what that employee experience needs to be to serve a greater purpose.