While many in the U.S. are still feeling the effects of winter, the “Boys of Summer” are back in action, pitching, swinging, hitting and base-running their way through baseball’s spring training season. As the weather gets warmer, we’ll hear about the strength and versatility of individual players in particular game fundamentals; but none will be playing in championship games without being part of a strong system that puts it all together – from the season opener through Game 7 of the World Series.
How appropriate that the Adobe Summit takes place just after the Spring Equinox officially introduces the season that signifies a new beginning. It’s a great time to address the five fundamentals required to engineer a winning season of customer experiences – ones that will grow an engaged fan base and fill the seats, year after year.
- Leadership: Find your Showrunner
Just as leadership on and off the field is needed to engineer a winning sports team, the same is true in creative fields. Successful TV shows in recent years, from Lost to Game of Thrones, weave an elegant choreography of scene, sound and story. These modern epics are led by the showrunner, the person given both creative authority and management responsibility for the program.
Effective showrunners are hard to find, because they need to be clear, strong leaders who are also very open to creative people’s ideas. Crafting compelling brand experiences requires the same kind of right- and left-brain leadership – vision shaped with empathy and execution, guided by technical acumen.
In the life sciences industry, where I’ve focused most of my career, showrunners have an additional need to be deeply immersed with the actors, environment and policy that make up the healthcare ecosystem, as well as in what’s possible in digital health and personalization to design meaningful customer experiences that comply with company and government regulations. As you scout for potential showrunners, look for these demonstrated traits within your farm system.
2. Build an Effective System
We’ve all been amazed by teams who lose their star player mid-season yet still win clutch games, and even go all the way to the championships. How is this possible? “It’s the system,” say most sports broadcasters and fans.
An effective system takes the principles set forth by leadership, whether it’s a team’s general manager or a TV program’s showrunner, and provides a structured way of working. An effective system is plug-and-play, allowing for new players, actors and employees, as well as new techniques, tools or technologies, to be easily absorbed and integrated.
The system for delivering engaging customer experiences is your company’s playbook. It should be clearly documented, reinforced with a regular cadence of promotion, and studied by every player. In life sciences, the system includes patient/caregiver/provider journeys and experience maps, and defines the performance dashboards that demonstrate effectiveness and value. Medical/legal/regulatory workflows, from consultation to approvals, are another critical component. The system is your competitive advantage, enabling your company to build memorable customer experiences – not as a one-time lucky break or trick play, but as a repeatable event, across every touchpoint and device.
3. Utilize Tools of the Trade
Digital solutions are enabling businesses to move from customer relationship management (what we call a system of record) to customer experience management (a system of engagement). Digital at scale is making content come alive and connecting brands to customers on a personal level.
Adobe provides the tools needed for this digital transformation. They’ve led the industry from content creation, to content management, to content personalization, to content orchestration across channels. A key to success has been the company’s openness to integrate into the broader ecosystem within industry verticals. In life sciences, for instance, connecting Adobe campaign and content components with Veeva CRM and Vault can dramatically improve personalization across channels as well as drive efficiencies in content use and customer profile management. (To learn more, be sure to visit us at Booth 801 at Adobe Summit, where we’ll be demonstrating the power of this integration.)
Another key to success is the ability to turn emerging technologies into practical tools for the trade. The latest version of Experience Manager allows designers to merge 3-D, panoramic and virtual reality media to create next-generation patient education or training experiences for healthcare providers. AI now powers content intelligence and translation to reach non-English-speaking markets more quickly. And through the new Experience Cloud, companies can gain a one-stop shop for marketing, advertising and analytics. (To learn more, view the Adobe Experience Cloud video.)
4. Individualize the Message for the Masses
Broadcasters of professional baseball games mastered the art of personalizing their commentary to appeal to their local market long ago, with subtle ways to root for the home team. Personalization goes even deeper now in the digital world, where you can see your fantasy league points, player stats and related news right on your screen during an at-bat.
In life sciences, the manner used to communicate the expected benefits and risks of a therapy will differ depending on whether the message is being delivered to a patient or a healthcare provider. And based on indication, the message to individual patients or healthcare providers may need to be varied for appropriateness and effectiveness.
Once again, Adobe provides the tools needed to take a message for the masses and individualize it at scale. Adobe Target, part of Marketing Cloud, makes it easy to set up, test and deliver targeted experiences to your customer segments. And it incorporates AI, machine learning and automation technologies to personalize each visitor’s experience, based on the parameters you set.
5. Foster a Culture of Customer Experiences
While happy hours and team-building exercises can be useful levers in calibrating the culture, there’s immeasurable value in aligning the entire team of marketing, agency, regulatory and other brand stakeholders around customer experience. Showrunners, creatives and masters of trade must drive the customer experience culture.
Make the system come alive, with a playbook that becomes an experience in its own right, with interactive digital posters of customer journeys and experience maps that can help in scenario planning, content development or measurement. Take advantage of the latest platforms and tools, and be sure to promote their new and novel capabilities to all. Vibe on the messages the team has painstakingly created and deployed as celebrations of success and as teachable moments from failures. A happy hour here and there can’t hurt either.
Kick Off Your Season of Customer Experiences with Cognizant at Adobe Summit 2018
Engineering a winning customer experience framework is a lot like building a championship team. Start with the fundamentals of strong leadership, an effective system, the latest tools of the trade, individualized messages to the masses, and an immersed culture to beat the competition and earn loyal fans for a lifetime.
I’ll be talking more about this topic with a life sciences panel at Adobe Summit, in the session titled Engineering an Experience Framework for an Outcome-Driven Healthcare Ecosystem, on March 29, 1:30-2:30 pm. Please join us there, and meet our very capable team at Booth 801 throughout the Summit. Cognizant is a Diamond Sponsor of the event, and we are here to help you get started with your customer experience framework.
See you in Vegas!