Expert Interview: Nick Baggott

How important is Digital to your organisation? Does it have board level buy-in, is it central to your business strategy or is it seen more as a tactical marketing element

This question does not really apply to me. I am a self employed marketing consultant and trainer, so it is very important for me, as it is the service that I offer. I need to make sure that I am using my web site, blog and social media effectively to demonstrate my expertise.

How do you define ‘digital experience’? What makes a great digital experience?

I don’t think the term digital experience is relevant. It is about the customer experience and they don’t differentiate between digital and non-digital. The whole experience should be seamless, whichever channel they use. Google uses the phrase, marketing through a digital lens and I prefer that thought i.e. that consumers experience their lives through many screens or channels, many of which are digital. You can use digital channels to learn about customer needs and behaviours and then take that knowledge into your off line comms and customer service.

What are the main barriers to creating better online experiences for your audiences?

Data integration is often the key barrier. How do you pull data from on and off line channels into one CRM system that allows you to know everything about the customer? How do you then use it to personalise the experience, making it relevant and engaging for them?

What does the future of digital experience look like to you?

The future is mobile, personalised, automated and interactive. I am very excited about the possibilities of virtual reality and what that could mean for customer experience in time. Imagine trying to persuade someone to attend your conference or your theatre performance or visit your vacation destination and being able to show them exactly what they will experience through VR. That would be quite something and isn’t far away.

How are you adapting what you do to deliver more compelling digital experiences?

Content is key. Thought leadership and sharing best practice from around the industry is key to being perceived as a credible business supplier. The sources of this information and the ways in which it can be shared are constantly evolving. Twitter Periscope for example is a wonderful way to bring your proposition, event or opinions to life quickly.

How do you measure the effectiveness of the experiences you deliver online?

Measuring engagement is key. It is not as hard as it seems, as engagement is behavioural and digital channels allow you to track behaviours. CRM tools allow you to score those behaviours and treat different customers differently as they become more engaged.

I use a simple behavioural scoring model that uses the 4 steps of customer engagement (I call these steps acquire, participate, engage and share).

How important is it to deliver a great emotional experience as well as a slick transactional one?

Brands are about perceptions and experiences. Behaviours are driven by rational and emotional needs. So, making customers feel valued, relaxed, energised, inspired or entertained would make a huge difference to their loyalty and willingness to share your content with others. Your comms must reflect the emotional values of your brand and address the emotional needs of your consumers.

What’s the role of content in delivering better online experiences?

I have pasted my answer from above again here…

Content is key. Thought leadership and sharing best practice from around the industry is key to being perceived as a credible business supplier. The sources of this information and the ways in which it can be shared are constantly evolving. Twitter Periscope for example is a wonderful way to bring your proposition, event or opinions to life quickly.

How should a customer’s online experience integrate with their offline one? Are there any areas where they should differ?

Again, see answer above:

I don’t think the term digital experience is relevant. It is about the customer experience and they don’t differentiate between digital and non-digital. The whole experience should be seamless, whichever channel they use. Google uses the phrase, marketing through a digital lens and I prefer that thought i.e. that consumers experience their lives through many screens or channels, many of which are digital. You can use digital channels to learn about customer needs and behaviours and then take that knowledge into your off line comms and customer service.

What are your top 3 pieces of advice for anyone trying to deliver better digital experiences to their audiences?

1) Turn information into insights to drive your propositions. You need to understand why people are behaving as they are and what will make them change. When you understand that, then you have an insight which you can use to build an optimised customer experience

2) Consistency is key – the experience and offer should be the same whichever channel the consumer chooses to use

3) Treat different people differently as they become more engaged. Use their behaviours to score and segment them and then as they become more engaged, focus on encouraging them to share your content and become advocates of your brand