Each year, I look forward to Opticon, where our global community of customers, partners, industry experts, academia, media, and digital leaders come together to explore the latest in digital.
This year, we brought everyone together in San Diego, in person for the first time since 2019. Over three dynamic days, we enjoyed countless conversations envisioning a future of digital where experiences are created and optimized at the same time.
Plenty of valuable learnings were shared, but I’ve highlighted my top three takeaways below.
- Change has become uncertain; we must be adaptive.
The world is moving faster than ever, and change is constant and chaotic. Today’s digital leaders must navigate uncertainty on nearly every level: economic upheaval, rapid cultural change, ever-escalating customer expectations, and a tight talent market. Digital leaders face challenges that make it difficult for consumers and brands to react and connect.
But another element of change has profoundly changed over the past three years: change has become unpredictable, dramatically increasing the difficulty of creating the end-user experience. To not only stay the course but to grow in this unpredictable environment, you must put your organization on “adaptive footing” to account for quick changes.
That’s why Optimizely is increasing digital team agility through automation and AI and building simpler, reliable systems of records. Think customizable AI workflow for content creation and approval processes, automation to sync updates across all destinations, and approved templates that can be integrated seamlessly for marketers to speed up production while maintaining governance.
Keeping pace with the digital elite requires frictionless collaboration across teams, and there is no time to waste on clunky, inefficient workflows.
- A great customer experience requires a great practitioner experience.
Simplifying “work about work” helps teams not only ride the wave of change but prioritize their well-being.
So many marketers feel overwhelmed by complexity, which is a real problem for creativity. You wouldn’t want your sports team playing exhausted or demoralized before the big game; the same goes for your team at work.
When we surveyed global marketers, the top creative roadblocks included employee burnout and high turnover. Our research also revealed that 92% of global marketers believe dispersed teams caused by remote or hybrid work impacted their ability to develop ideas and execute campaigns, and 93% say their creative ideas were better before the pandemic.
If the practitioner experience is suffering, your can bet that the customer experience is also suffering. We must ensure our teams are up for the challenge of keeping pace.
Teams need a platform where they can effectively collaborate and communicate across internal silos inclusively, and where workflows are purpose-built to the needs across the content lifecycle. With this reality in mind, we built Optimizely’s Ddigital Eexperience Pplatform (DXP) — because inclusive, well-orchestrated collaboration leads to better outcomes for all.
- Marketers, developers, and product leaders have become part of the same digital team.
Today’s customers are digitally adept and confident, and their brand expectations — and the stakes of meeting those expectations — are rising faster than ever before.
According to recent research on customer expectations, 80% of customers now consider the experience a company provides to be as important as its products and services, and 71% say they’ve made a purchase decision based on experience quality.
Being customer-centric is at the heart of any great digital experience. That’s why the digital team — comprised of marketers, developers, and product teams in our modern digital landscape — must work together to meet customer expectations and deliver optimized experiences.
Consider marketers. With access to a slew of customer touchpoints and experimentation data, the marketing team is a critical resource for understanding customers’ wants and needs. Developers, product teams, and beyond should absolutely utilize this data to remove the guesswork and inform strategies, priorities, roadmaps, and decisions.
By working together to inject data across silos, teams can have the insight needed to make the right decisions and create with confidence.
Thank you to all who kindly shared their wisdom during this year’s Opticon. Stay tuned for information about next’s year Opticon, taking place October 10-12, 2023 back in San Diego!