How Experience Data Can Help You Do More with Less

November 6, 2023

Chief Product Officers (CPOs), Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), and other corporate leaders have become well acquainted with the ebb and flow of budgets in recent years. Long periods of economic uncertainty have sparked conversations about doing more with less. This phrase is now both as ubiquitous as it is difficult to accomplish. Leaders must look beyond labor cost reductions and instead allocate their investments to strategic, impactful technologies and analytics. However, this mindset shift can pose quite a challenge, particularly considering the pivotal role of consumer data. However, by embracing this transformative mindset, companies can harness the power of data-driven insights and learn to truly do more with less.

Fortunately, the tide is turning. CMOs, CPOs, and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) are among the leaders who are beginning to recognize that customer-experience data is just as valuable as demographic or identifiable data—if not more valuable in certain circumstances. This is occurring largely in response to changing customer sentiments about data privacy and security. The reality is that customers are more aware of—and wary about—how companies are collecting and using their data. As a result, we’re seeing a meaningful shift away from users’ engaging with brands that ask for more data than they truly need. Changes in customers’ behaviors and expectations have helped us to identify some topics that leaders need to revisit.

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Optimizing User Experience in an Unfriendly Market

There is no question that business leaders are grappling with oversaturated and turbulent markets across every industry. Businesses are now trying to identify any means possible of cutting through the noise of market volatility and marrying their efforts with streamlined budgets. Brands know that they need to continue investing in marketing and product development, but they must also understand how to do so in areas that present greater value at scale. Their priority should be targeted, digital-forward strategies that they can monitor with the express goal of refining the customer experience to produce greater value.

Focusing on experience data has emerged as an innovative approach that delivers the added benefit of allowing brands to gather information about their customers through less invasive means. Brands should constantly be asking themselves the following questions:

  • What are our customers trying to accomplish? Are they successful in meeting their goals?
  • What facets of the user experience are driving customers away from our products and services?
  • How can we spot trends faster and deliver what customers expect as seamlessly as possible?

The Role of Digital-Experience Analytics

Digital-experience analytics (DXA), an emergent and critical subcategory of digital analytics, has quickly become a market differentiator. Experience analytics do away with the who aspects of data collection and focus more intentionally on the how. You must always consider the user experience for a brand’s Web site.

Recent digital UX research has revealed that over a third (36%) of all Web-site visits end in user frustration—because of specific moments of friction that occur during the on-site experience. Examples include slow page loads, which are the largest source of user frustration, and rage-clicking, when customers hammer away with clicks because of a page error.

While there are certainly instances where the issues that a digital experience presents are beyond the company’s control—for example, a user’s poor Wi-Fi connection or ab internal computer breakdown—on-site errors often cause friction. DXA pinpoints where these errors occur—whether they are the result of small bugs or perhaps larger issues with a particular field.

Design, development, and UX teams can use pressure-point analysis from DXA to locate and correct these errors. For instance, if a high-traffic, informative blog post ends with a call to action directing readers to a broken Contact Us page, DXA can reveal why there is a disparity between the number of times visitors click the link and the actual number of inquiries the company receives as a result. The company’s design team can then quickly and easily resolve the issue to provide a better customer experience.

The UX Need for Speed

Speed is key in such situations because half of these people leave a Web site or mobile app after viewing just one page. When time becomes mission critical, DXA helps brands get to the point, so they can effectively assuage visitors’ frustration much more quickly. Speed is, therefore, a primary determinant of how the entire customer journey fares from beginning to end. And whether that journey ends with a signed contract or a potential customer toggling to a competitor’s offering is contingent on how customers experience and navigate a brand’s Web site.

Delivering faster, better results can also improve customer retention and business resiliency. Establishing digital trust through authenticity and reliability is at the core of customer retention because great user experiences define where customers spend their time and their money.

An important caveat here: speed is not the only factor that DXA values. The thorough, continual analysis of customer behavior helps companies ensure that they are not repeating past mistakes and are instead constantly looking for ways to improve the overall customer experience.

Using Data to Improve User Experiences

Great experiences tend to stick with customers, who in response are loyal to these brands. They help brands develop meaningful relationships that are rooted in value—relationships that can sustain them through difficult times. While achieving this long-term vision is easier said than done, by increasing customer loyalty, promoting authenticity, and developing trust, brands can develop more human connections with their customers. At scale, stronger customer relationships offer a level of predictability and loyalty that fortify a business’s ability to weather challenging economic environments and increased competition.

Leveraging experiential and behavioral data is key here. Zeroing in on this information tells companies what they truly need to know about their customers, letting them better meet changing expectations, while calming people’s increased fears surrounding data privacy.

As leaders, we cannot let the marketplace dictate our playbook, but we can let the sense of urgency that it creates motivate us to have honest conversations with our teams and reset our sails when necessary. By centering our conversations around customers and leveraging the right data, we can turn tough conversations into realistic, yet optimistic approaches to the future. 

Chief Marketing Officer at Contentsquare

San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA

Niki HallAs Chief Marketing Officer at Contentsquare, a global leader in digital-experience analytics, Niki leads a world-class Marketing team and serves as a co-lead for the company’s global go-to-market strategy. Her leadership approach relies on using data to inform important decisions about global-marketing programs and ensuring that strategic and tactical decisions drive brand awareness, fuel growth, and strengthen the connections between Contentsquare’s brand and its customers. This approach lets Contentsquare promote more valuable relationships between the company’s brand customers and their audiences. With over 20 years of experience in technology marketing, Niki has established and grown business market positions by developing clear, differentiated positioning while building and extending value, increasing awareness, and driving demand and market differentiation. Niki has a strong track record in delivering global growth and operational efficiencies for some of technologies’ largest companies, including Cisco and Polycom. Her unique approach and management style landed her on INSIDER’s list of 19 execs shaping the future of marketing technology. Prior to joining Contentsquare, Niki was CMO at Selligent Marketing Cloud and Five9.  Read More

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