Another successful Liquid Summit is in the books! At our second annual client summit, business executives and their colleagues from leading brands in all industries came together at the ArtsQuest campus for a day packed full of inspiration, education, and connection. The theme of the 2019 Summit was creating innovative customer experiences. Whether you joined us at the Steel Stacks in Bethlehem or missed the event, here are some of the key takeaways: 

1. To Modernize Your Customer Experiences, Take Cues from Digital Natives

A sound customer experience strategy has no value when an organization is lacking in the capabilities to execute on it. By learning from “digital natives”, or agile fast-paced companies born in the digital age, you can understand how to build the right capabilities to deliver better customer experiences. What are some things that allow them to deliver superior experiences? Digital natives make major investments in analytics to truly understand their audience's wants and needs. They anchor company culture with a disciplined approach to continuous improvement. Their marketing teams also look very different than what we’re traditionally familiar with. Revisit how your marketing team is structured, and how they operate to have the capability needed to modernize customer experiences.

2. Beware of the Build vs. Buy "All-Or-Nothing" Mentality

Having the right technology gives organizations the ability to execute on innovative customer experiences at scale. However, how do you create the ultimate tech stack? Do you build your own tools, or buy them? Turns out the answer to this question lies in a gray space between the two. The most important thing when deciding to build some applications is to have very tight alignment with the development team. But most importantly, after all the required gathering and planning with the development team, don’t forget to keep the most important thing at the center of your tech stack: The Customer. While you’re building new tech to make your employees’ jobs easier, don’t forget to do things that make your customers’ jobs easier, too.

3. Want to Be a Better Leader? Here’s What You Can Do:

Many times, in order to be successful in our roles, we focus on exceeding expectations and hitting our annual business goals. We may also spearhead major initiatives and support our team’s growth. What more could we do? Gartner challenged Summit attendees to take it a step further. To be better leaders, we all must understand what keeps our CEO up at night and find ways to support him or her. Gartner walked Summit attendees through trends, opportunities, and things to consider to provide them with a stronger understanding of the CEO’s landscape to know how to best help. You can do this, too. Take time to understand your CEOs environment + challenges to put yourself in a better position to support. 

4. Testing Is Your Organization’s Secret to Innovation

Testing is the key to delivering better customer experience outcomes with more agility. Unfortunately, testing is most often undervalued in organizations. By identifying what your team specifically wants to improve, they can run tests that get your team answers faster. Testing also helps foster a culture of innovation, where failure isn’t seen as a bad thing. In fact, optimization through testing is a great way to understand the ‘cost of doing nothing’, or the money, time, energy and stress associated with being stagnant. Inaction is unaffordable - take the time to truly understand how and where to test, and educate your teams so they can accelerate optimization efforts.

5. To Avoid Getting Stuck with Personalization, Start Small

It’s clear personalization plays a big role in building better experiences for our customers. Looking at reports where CMOs are investing across many different industries, we are seeing double digit investments allocated to personalization efforts. Even further, we’re seeing over 80% of marketing leaders report they’re doing it. If that’s the case, then why do only 15% believe they’re successful at it? Contrary to popular belief, the main reason personalization efforts stall is NOT actually lack of data or access to the right kind of tools. Personalization efforts stall when marketing leaders approach it with the wrong mindset. By understanding how personalization works, starting with narrower use cases and focusing on the data we need to make an impact, marketing leaders and their teams will see greater success with these types of programs. Educate yourself and your team on personalization and start identifying low-hanging-fruit use cases to build momentum inside your organization.

We’re Here to Help

The encouraging news is that building innovating customer experiences is very important and achievable. Although many industries still have room for improvement, it was very evident organizations are already taking steps in the right direction. These are the teams that are already demonstrating the positive impact they’re making for their companies.  

As you continue to spearhead discussions and drive change in your organization, Liquid is here to help. We can support you no matter where you are on your customer experience journey.

Nikki Kyriakopoulos

About Nikki Kyriakopoulos

Nikki is a Senior Digital Strategist at Liquid Interactive. Nikki creates strategies as well as monitor and analyze activities within various marketing, sales, and customer service platforms for local and global clients.