Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiAugust 26, 2020
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8min747

93digital, the London-based WordPress Agency, specialising in the design & development of WordPress websites celebrated their win at this year’s UK Digital Experience Awards, securing Gold in the category for Best Website.

93digital in partnership with Mitie swept the virtual floor at the UK Digital Experience Awards which were truly digital, taking place online from start to finish. The winners were thrilled to win a Gold in what they do best – creating and designing websites.

Once the dust settled on an amazing event, 93digital told CXM about the challenges they had while preparing the initiative, what adapting to changing customer need required and their experience after the awards…

Tell us a bit about your company and the work you do.

93digital is the London WordPress Agency. We work with clients globally to deliver UX, design and development, specialising in working with the WordPress CMS.

We work with ambitious marketing and content teams, often in B2B and technology businesses, to deliver the websites that sit at the heart of our client’s digital marketing. We view the websites we deliver as marketing machines – aligned with the B2B buyer journey, primed for lead generation, optimised for conversion, heavily influenced by SEO research from the beginning and ready to be fueled with great content.

We only ever take on strategic projects where there is a combination of strategy, design and development. On a personal level I’m driven by making an impact for clients, and really seeing the needle move in a positive direction. So great design and great development are important, but how they both fit into the bigger picture is the most important thing for me.

 

 

What does winning a Gold Award for the Best Website in the UK mean to you? 

Winning the top award in the Best Website category for our work in partnership with Mitie has meant a lot for all of our team. Delivering a project like this takes a huge amount of work across lots of people, both on our team and our client Mitie’s team. There is lots of unsung heroes in a project like this, from our project managers who are really on the front line, to our UX & design team navigating complex stakeholders landscapes to our development team delivering enterprise grade work.

The Gold Award is testament to the hard work on both sides, but most of all to the impact of the project. Ultimately great digital experiences are about real world business impact, demonstrated in a language that an entire business can understand. As marketers we can talk about time on site and bounce rates and other often slightly irrelevant indicators all day. This project might look like ‘just another website’ but it’s a great example of how a strategic research-driven project, UX focused approach and the CMS agility of enterprise grade WordPress can come together to make a huge impact. The impact in terms of lead generation and pipeline generation has been significant, to the point that they have completely shifted horizons on what is possible from digital.

 

 

What would you highlight as the challenge during the development of your initiative?

Delivering a project like this, particularly when it creates so much change as it progresses, can be challenging from a stakeholder perspective. Ultimately a website like this is far reaching in how it touches all parts of a business, far beyond just the marketing and communications team.

The pressures of timelines and budgets need to be carefully balanced with stakeholder engagement, and making sure everyone comes on the journey. Taking a research driven and evidence-based approach to the UX and design process for the project really helped with this, along with lots of regular meetings and workshops involving key stakeholders on both sides.

Our primary stakeholder at Mitie, Head of Strategic Communication David Wiggin, was also instrumental in ensuring that the wider Mitie business was consulted with and were part of shaping the project and contributing to its success.

How is 93digital adapting to evolving customer trends?

The marketers we work with need to move faster than ever before. The response to COVID-19 has been a good example of this in practice, but even before that, it’s been important.

For our clients to be able to provide great digital customer experiences to their customers, they need to be able to move with flexibility and agility, without being held back by hard to use legacy technology platforms, and long and costly development lifecycles. Technology should exist to empower our clients, not restrain them.

Marketers these days are expected to deliver results quickly, so we’ve been seeing lots of demand from marketing teams who are fed up with being held back by the slow, clunky, expensive and hard to use technology and website content management systems they have been lumbered with.

What advances will 93digital be making in the coming years in terms of Digital Experience?

We’re always thinking about how we can build out what I refer to as the ‘intelligence layer’ that sits on top of our projects. WordPress is a powerful content management system which gives our clients the foundations to do a lot, but we’re working on how we can more closely integrate WordPress into the wider MarTech stack.

That includes everything from more native integrations with marketing automation platforms that we work with regularly (like HubSpot, Pardot and Marketo) through to CRM integrations, personalisation, multilingual deployments, AI-driven content recommendations, more intelligent security, powerful ‘content hubs’.

These internal investments we’re making will be a central part of driving faster and more effective digital experiences over the years ahead.


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiJuly 17, 2020
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5min917

The winners of the 2020 UK Digital Experience Awards have celebrated success on Zoom, with financial markets data and insights provider Refinitiv making waves by being crowned as the day’s Overall Winner.

Created to recognise and celebrate outstanding digital achievements, the awards event is a vehicle for sharing best practice and promoting continuous improvement, learning and personal development.

In its sixth edition, the event took place completely on Zoom videoconferencing platform, welcoming over 50 finalists who presented their best initiatives before an expert panel of judges, offering insight into the digital journeys customers make when connecting with their favourite brands.

The very best across 14 categories were identified, with organisations competing to claim titles including Best Digital Change & TransformationBest Digital Marketing Campaign/Project, and Best SEO Strategy.

Refinitiv, which provides leading data and insights, trading platforms, and open data and technology platforms that connect a thriving global financial markets community, won Gold in Best SEO Strategy category, competing with BT Consumer and Receptional Limited & Bill Plant Driving School.

That category entry secured the Overall Winner title later in the day, and a spokesperson for the firm said: “This award will give our team a tremendous boost, it really validates the strategies we’ve defined. It validates how well the team’s work, we’re very much the one-team culture. We’ve got so much expertise in building performance across the Refinitiv digital ecosystem, it’s not often that we get a chance to give ourselves a pat on the back.”

The day was jam-packed with other significant wins for household name brands, including Tempcover , NewDay , Ascenti and many others. The Gold award for Best Use of Emerging Technology (AI/ VR/ AR / Chatbots) was won by Oxford VR while Incendiary Blue won Gold for Digital Agency category.

Click here for a full list of the day’s winners.

The Awards ceremony gathered more than 160 people in one virtual room, where the Chairman of the Awards Abhishek Verma delivered a keynote speech, followed by the announcements of the winners.

The event was hosted by Awards International, and along with the UK Customer Experience Awards, the UK Employee Experience Awards, and the UK Complaint Handling Awards, proudly holds a Gold Standard Awards Trust mark from the Independent Awards Standards Council (IASC).

Congratulating the day’s winners, Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “These awards highlight the most innovative Digital Experiences customers will come across in the UK today, and show just how vital a trusted digital journey is for today’s tech-savvy consumers.

“Well done to all who attended to present before our judges, and a special congratulations to all of the category winners, who truly deserve their success. We look forward to further exciting DX developments from our winning brands in the coming months and years, and hope to see many return to compete at next year’s UK Digital Experience Awards.”


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiJune 19, 2020
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3min1072

The finalists for the 2020 UK Digital Experience Awards have been announced, and the line-up promises an exciting day of insightful presentations and tough decisions for judges.

The event is celebrating its sixth year of honouring the British organisations that offer customers a truly unique Digital Experience while using their technology, websites, and apps.

On July 16, those shortlisted for the finals will present their best initiative before an expert judging panel via video conferencing platform. Among the names that have made it to the finals this year are Greenwood Campbell, Ascenti, BT Enterprise, EE and Refinitiv. For a full list of categories and finalists click here.

The Panel of Judges gathers experts from the digital field, featuring names like Jo Boswell, Director of Sentio-B, Clive Hilton, Delivery Director at Contino, Sharon Reeves, Director of CX at Pendragon PLC; and many more.

The finalists will compete for 14 category titles, before an Overall Winner is crowned at an online ceremony. Categories this year include Best AppBest Digital Change & TransformationOnline User Experience, and SEO Strategy, among others.

Meanwhile, official awards partners this year include children’s charity Barnardo’sProfessor Malcolm McDonaldMartech Advisor, and Cranfield School of Management.

Hosting the event is Awards International, holders of a Gold Standard Awards Trust Mark from the Independent Awards Standards Council.

Speaking of the 2020 UKDXA finalists, Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “The standard of entries this year has been nothing short of fantastic, and the projects and initiatives that will be judged on the day are incredibly exciting. A huge congratulations to all finalists, and we look forward to welcoming them to at the LIVE online event and celebrating their outstanding digital achievements.”

For further details and to book seats for the awards, click here.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 9, 2019
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It’s the end of an era for the great British railway network as Virgin Trains catered to passengers on the franchise’s final run.

The award-winning brand operated long distance services on the West Coast Main Line since March 1997, and last Saturday saw passengers at London Euston board the service for the final time, bound for Wolverhampton.

Virgin Trains, co-owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Stagecoach, has ferried almost 500 million passengers over its 22-year history, and had aimed to continue, but a row over pensions led to the Department for Transport disqualifying the brand’s bid to keep operating the line.

Routes operated by Virgin Trains are now by Avanti West Coast.

Good knight: Sir Richard joins Virgin . Train staff to say farewell to the 22-year-old service

The phenomenal work of Virgin trains staff was celebrated by Virgin Group boss Sir Richard Branson, who tweeted: “A huge thank you to all our wonderful people at @VirginTrains – it’s down to all of your incredible work every day that Virgin Trains has been the UK’s longest running and top-rated rail franchise.”

Just this year, Virgin Trains enjoyed success at the UK Business Awards, where it won Silver in the Innovation of the Year category, and was a finalist in the Team of the Year category.

In 2018 meanwhile, Virgin Trains won Gold at the UK Business Awards for Digital Team – Digital Marketing Campaign, before going on to win the biggest accolade of the day – Overall Best Digital Experience.

The Virgin Trains official Twitter account summed up the mood of the weekend with a characteristically humorous, but poignant tweet: “When leaving the train, please mind the gaping hole I’ll leave in your life.”

 


Hannah Louise CoxHannah Louise CoxOctober 14, 2019
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4min2174

Hannah Louise Cox is Executive Search Consultant at Douglas Jackson, and earlier this year joined the judging panel at the 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards.

Here she tells CXM of her experience, and the benefits of judging at industry awards events such as those hosted by Awards International

 

Hannah Louise Cox accepts her Outstanding Contribution to Judging Award from Awards International CEO Neil Skehel

First of all, I have to say, what a wonderful industry we work in!

The customer industry, where there is a real focus on people – customers and employees. So much great work is done for the good of people, and it’s great to be involved in it. 

Judging at the UK Digital Experience Awards has given me a fantastic opportunity to learn more about our wonderful industry and to discover, from grass roots level, some of the changes that businesses have made in order to serve people better – both customers and employees!

We see very compelling entries, from smaller businesses which compete against household brands, to the achievements of some of the larger corporate organisations – breaking down internal silos and really utilising influencing skills and working collaboratively to achieve great results.

What amazes me most during these prestigious events is the passion that people have about their businesses. Passion about other people – customers and employees – and about technology.

Passion about ideas, from conception through to delivery, and of course about the impact they have made. People love to make a difference, and our industry certainly has some very capable and inspirational leaders of people to spearhead change.

However, never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to be on the receiving end of such an award myself, but at this years’ UK Digital Experience Awards, I did indeed pick up an award, Outstanding Contribution To Judging.

Receiving such an accolade is definitely one of my proudest moments. I wasn’t expecting this at all, and when Neil Skehel, CEO at Awards International, came to present my award to me, I was overwhelmed with emotion.

I am so honoured.

I cannot emphasise enough how valuable I find judging at these events, and I would highly recommend looking into it. So, if you are deliberating, please do get involved!

I’m certain that you will find the experience as fulfilling as I have.

Judging positions are now available for the 2020 UK Complaint Handling Awards in London next March. Click here for more details.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 15, 2019
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It has been a sizzling summer of success for digital marketing agency Receptional, which landed two prestigious titles at the 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards.

From their headquarters in Bedford, Receptional is at the forefront of search marketing, and its exceptional work with two UK firms earned two Gold awards at the fifth annual UKDXA finals last month in London, hosted by Awards International.

The first gong was in the Best Digital Marketing Campaign/Project category for their work with UK holiday park operator Away Resorts.

Their UK’s Most Instagrammable Forest campaign was brought to life by Receptional’s talented team, and inspired many to get back to nature and experience the delights of the country’s precious woodlands.

Meanwhile, Receptional’s second gold award was for Best SEO Strategy in partnership with mobile app development agency Tappable, which guided a successful rebrand and site development.

Speaking of Receptional’s success, Managing Director Justin Deaville said: “This is a recognition of the dedication and innovation we’ve demonstrated over the past year, and a chance to celebrate the teamwork that made it possible.”

Well-deserved: The Receptional team pictured with their Gold Awards 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 30, 2019
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4min2506

One of the most inspiring winners at the 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards is planning a return to next year’s event as they continue to provide businesses with innovative digital engines for customers to use.

Multinational firm Torry Harris Integration Solutions (THIS) – headquartered in New Jersey USA and with a UK base in Bristol – won Gold in the Not for Profit & Charity (Including Public Services) category.

The team also secured Silver for Best Digital Change & Transformation in partnership with energy provider Pure Planet. The ceremony, hosted by Awards International, took place in London’s Park Plaza Riverbank earlier this month.

The Gold award was presented for digital platform initiative HomeJini, which is powered by Torry Harris’ digital marketplace solution DigitMarket. It democratises digital by harnessing the power of the platform economy to connect the semi-skilled labour pool in India to employment opportunities.

THIS is it: The Torry Harris Integration Solutions team accept their Gold award at the 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards

Meanwhile, the Silver gong was awarded for THIS’ partnership with Pure Planet, which saw the tech firm build a digital ecosystem through implementing and supporting a comprehensive API portfolio. The app for Pure Planet – the UK’s first app-based energy supplier that supplies 100 percent renewable electricity, and 100 percent carbon offset gas – allows customers to track their energy use and receive bills on their smartphone.

Following the firm’s double win, THIS Vice President – Strategic Initiatives, Shuba Sridhar, said: “We are thrilled that our digital marketplace product DigitMarket™ received the recognition it deserves. We are looking to come back next year with a more innovative and impactful story of a Torry Harris-powered digital engine making a massive difference to the customer’s business. Thank you Awards International for organising such a fair and transparent scoring process and a top panel of independent judges.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 19, 2019
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4min2131

At this month’s UK Digital Experience Awards, the day’s biggest success story involved an online platform behind a swimming revolution taking place across Britain.

Swimtime is the largest independent swim school in the UK, and since its foundation in 1998 has helped thousands of young people take the plunge and learn to enjoy one of the healthiest activities around. The need for Swimtime was highlighted in a 2017 report by the Water Safety Review Group, which found that one-in-three children leave primary school unable to complete a length of a pool.

In a bid to boost the number of competent young swimmers, the Swimcloud platform was introduced by Swimtime, making it easier for customers to book and manage their lessons.

The innovative technology was the basis of the firm’s presentation at the UK Digital Experience Awards at London’s Park Plaza Riverbank, and judges awarded them the highest score in the Transport, Leisure and Tourism category.

That score also turned out to be the highest of the day, leading to Swimtime being named Overall Winner.

Water result: The UK Digital Experience Awards won by Swimtime

Theo Millward, Managing Director of Swimtime, said: “Our Swimcloud platform is truly groundbreaking, delivering a world-class Digital Experience to our customers and swimmers, helping us teach some 20,000 learners every week. We are the first in our sector to deploy such advanced technology including machine learning.

“To see the implementation and our results be recognised against such an outstanding field of major companies – many with vast budgets – was a true honour and something neither I or my team will forget in a hurry.”

H2 wow: The Swimtime team accept their Transport, Leisure and Tourism trophy

He added: “When the Overall Winner of the event was announced, hearing our name read out is something we’ll never forget! It was a very special day for us, and we enjoyed celebrating our victory with a well earned gin and tonic. Thank you to hosts Awards International for organising the event, and we look forward to entering next year to defend our crown.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 16, 2019
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5min2406

The victors of the 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards have celebrated success in London, with swimming school Swimtime making waves by being crowned as the day’s Overall Winner.

The event at London’s Park plaza Riverbank saw firms from across Britain present before an expert panel of judges, offering insight into the digital journeys customers make when connecting with their favourite brands. The very best across 23 categories were identified, with organisations competing to claim titles including Best Digital Change & Transformation, Best Digital Marketing Campaign/Project, and Best Mobile Strategy.

Swimtime, which helps over 15,000 children learn to swim at over 300 venues across the UK, made a huge splash in the Transport/Leisure/Tourism category, beating tech firm rivals Valtech and car rental brand Sixt to claim the Gold award.

Their entry focussed on the innovative SwimCloud digital platform, which manages every conceivable stage of the customer journey from booking to delivery, managing payments, lesson planning, and much more.

Victory lap: The Swimtime team accept the 2019 Overall Winner award

That category entry secured the Overall Winner title later in the day, and a spokesperson for the firm said: “Our team and franchisees across the Swimtime family are delighted that the work and investment that has gone into SwimCloud, is not only paying off internally but being recognised as revolutionary in such a competitive award.”

The day was jam-packed with other significant wins for household name brands, including HCL Technologies UK in partnership with Manchester United. Together they secured Gold in the Best Digital Change & Transformation – Project/Platform category after showing judges how they are delivering a unified fan experience, combining subsystems, fan touchpoints, and revenue streams.

Best App was won by BT for its innovative My BT app, while Sky in partnership with Journey Further won Gold for Best PPC Strategy.

Appy days: The BT delegation receive the Gold Award for Best App

Click here for a full list of the day’s winners.

The event was hosted by Awards international, and along with the UK Customer Experience Awards, the UK Employee Experience Awards, and the UK Complaint Handling Awards, proudly holds a Gold Standard Awards Trust mark from the Independent Awards Standards Council (IASC).

CEO of UX design piuoneers Usability 24/7, Paul Blunden chaired the awards, steering the development of the event towards its most impactful year to date, and he will return in the coming years to ensure the event continues to explore and reward the very best digital experiences offered by brands.

Congratulating the day’s winners, Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “These awards highlight the most innovative Digital Experiences customers will come across in the UK today, and show just how vital a trusted digital journey is for today’s tech-savvy consumers.

“Well done to all who attended to present before our judges, and a special congratulations to all of the category winners, who truly deserve their success. We look forward to further exciting DX developments from our winning brands in the coming months and years, and hope to see many return to compete at next year’s UK Digital Experience Awards.”

 

 


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The following interview was originally published on MarTech Advisor, official partners of the 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards.

 

Research by Walker suggests that Customer Experience will overtake cost and product as the main differentiator for a brand by 2020.

Thirty-four percent of companies, according to SmartInsights, have a digital transformation program in place, while 31 percent are looking to begin their digital transformation operations soon.

Staying ahead of the tide, the UK Digital Experience Awards (UKDXAs) recognises exemplary performances of marketing teams who have managed to successfully conceptualise and execute digital transformation journeys that enable winning Digital Experience. MarTech Advisor checked in with three of the UKDXA nominees to discuss the role UX plays in building a compelling brand experience, and how data and analytics guide Customer Experience decisions.

Interview with Elliott Prince, Head of Solution Design Geeks Ltd on Digital Experience Strategy

Elliott Prince is Head of Solution Design, Geeks Ltd, where he is responsible for creating engaging experiences for their customers. He also designs software to improve business processes through automation.

 

Dominic Vye is Head of Commercial Development, Customer Management, and Digital Services at JT Group, and has over 15 years of experience in operational and strategic roles.

 

Marc Hetherington is Senior Digital Consultant at Three UK, who loves using data and analytics to solve tough problem statements.

What role does UX play in building a compelling brand experience for customers across digital platforms?

Elliott: UX design can help businesses go beyond merely creating a recognisable visual identity, to creating interactions that signify a brand. A simple example of this is Apple moving the close window “X” icon from the top right to the top left. When I see that I’m immediately in no doubt that I’m using an Apple OS.

Dominic: The objective of providing a compelling brand experience is to differentiate your product or service from others. This differentiation helps to build on our customer’s satisfaction and grow their loyalty. It’s so important to try to understand each customer journey and were possible tailor each Digital Experience to it, making it intuitive, simple, and rewarding.

At JT, we’ve recognised our customers are using new ways to interact with us, preferring digital platforms such as smart apps, online shops, instant chat, or email to the more conventional channels such as the retail store or our contact centre. With this proliferation of customer touchpoints, the importance of a seamless UX across multiple areas cannot be underestimated.

Marc: Testing with users to discover what they want to use the app/site for rather than what Three wants to push while they’re trying to accomplish a different goal. Three could improve at this. UX design helps enhancing the clarity of information and consistency of interactions across various touchpoints, within separate customer journeys. By combining quantitative data from analytics with qualitative data from usability testing, we manage to acquire a holistic view of what our users truly need and address these needs accordingly, either by introducing new solutions or improving existing ones.

What have you learned the most about leveraging UX to deliver the larger Digital Experience?

Elliott: The biggest thing I’ve learnt is that however much you think you’ve empathised with users; they will surprise you. Donald Rumsfeld was once ridiculed for saying there are things we know we don’t know, and there are things we don’t know that we don’t know. What I don’t know is if that applies to other disciplines, but when it comes to UX he was 100 percent right. People will fail to understand a workflow you thought was crystal clear or miss a call to action that looks to you like an enormous neon sign you put in the middle of your design.

So, list all your assumptions and validate them with real users, then test again, and test one more time for good luck. By doing this we can be sure what we’ve created is a truly enjoyable and engaging Digital Experience for everyone, not just the team that delivered it.

Dominic: Listening to our customers and understanding their behaviours was the biggest insight into what our app would be used for, by whom, and why. Our customers shared their motivations and trigger points for using the app and the logical journeys that flow from those trigger points. We learnt that friendly user trials only go so far in helping to design a compelling user experience. It’s vital to continue qualitative research with real customers, to understand their needs and meet their expectations.

Marc: Bounce rates, content, and bottom line. You can entice people through a seemingly useful call to action, say an offer, but if where they land is difficult to use or has poor content/inventory, then positive traffic is wasted and creates negative brand experience. Removing existing pain points and blockers our users struggle with is the first step in improving Digital Experience. This means ensuring users can go through and complete different journeys or find the information they are looking for, more efficiently.

In what ways can data and analytics guide Customer Experience decisions for measurable business results?

Elliott: There’s a simple answer to this one – look for lemmings. Analysing your sales funnel will help you see where potential customers are dropping off before they buy. This tells you where in your customer journey you need to focus your UX efforts. It won’t tell you how to fix something, but it can tell you what to fix. The goal here is to steer the lemmings away from the cliffs and to the checkout!

Dominic: Research-driven insights from customers have been essential in developing the right Customer Experience for JT customers using the smart app from prioritising the development of app functionality, understanding the logical customer journeys, and triggers for using the app and optimising the navigation and overall user experience.

We started with an analysis of the most frequent queries for which our customers contacted our call centre. These were used to guide the priorities about which functionality was implemented first in the app. For example, ‘bill shock’ was one of the key drivers for calls (following launch of 4G and FTTH services) and itemising usage was prioritised above adding a value-added service.

Following the initial design phase, a series of qualitative and quantitative methods were used to optimise user experience; friendly user trials were held to test the prototype. These helped to inform navigation around the site and iron out any bugs in the coding. A series of representative customer groups carried out beta testing with the app and this helped map out much more clearly the links between different customer triggers for using the app, relevant and intuitive customer journeys, associated navigation, and user experience.

Following the launch, we used Google analytics to validate and refine user interfaces with features such as page ranking, customer journey tracking, average time taken on app, and repeat visits.

Through backend reporting via session logs we were able to track individual users and understand frequency of use and purpose of use. For example, the post-paid app is accessed six times a month, with the biggest trigger being the itemisation page. Customers can feedback using the live chat function or leave their comments on the app with suggestions for improvement.

Marc: Utilising data and analytics effectively is fundamental in driving the right outcomes for both your customers and the business. At Three, we view data and analytics as core ingredients in helping to understand what our customers think of us whilst using our products and services. It’s used to tell us what our customers like, what they love, but just as importantly (and maybe more so) the things that they find difficult, annoying, or confusing when dealing with us.

That’s why at Three we place a great amount of emphasis on generating rich insights from our data and analytics and ensure that we act from them. We invest in the best tools and build strong relationships with our partners such as Adobe (marketing cloud), Medallia (Voice of the Customer) and Clicktale (session replay). We invest in our people, by providing extensive training on how to get the most out of these tools. We use data and analytics to help define our product team’s development roadmap, we measure the impact both pre and post any change to understand the impact that this has had on driving the right outcomes for both our customers and our business KPIs.

What are the top three most crucial aspects of building a winning Digital Experience?

Elliott: 

1. Know your audience: You’re never providing a good or service. You’re providing a solution to a problem. Know what your user’s problems are and tell them how you’ll solve them.

2. Make it look good: People will rate a pretty thing that works OK better than an ugly thing that works perfectly.

3. Communicate in line with your brand: Develop a voice and stick to it. If you’re going for serious and stable don’t have comic error messages, it undermines your credibility.

Dominic:

1. Customer insight: This is the single most important factor in developing an excellent Customer Experience. Without proper customer research, the key questions of ‘who? (who is the customer), ‘why? (what triggers their usage), and ‘how?’ (how do they want to interact with the app) can’t be answered.

2. User experience design aligned to customer insight: Using wireframes and storyboarding, each customer journey (inform, transact, manage, add device) was mapped out into a logical intuitive sequence. Interlinked journeys were identified, and navigation flows were optimised. Post launch the team used Google Analytics to increase app interactions.

3. Change management: Ensuring the business is behind the digital change is key. Developing a new channel into JT necessitated the alignment of many teams within the business. The contact centre and retail teams needed to be able to respond to queries on the app, and recommend the app to customers who had a query. Marketing teams were key in working across multiple departments to ensure a consistent user and brand experience across multiple customer touchpoints.

Marc:

1. Putting the customer first: Create features that customers want in ways they can use them, not business only-led features which make it difficult for the customers achieve what they want, but we don’t necessarily want them to do. Doing lots of A/B testing, having a culture and way of working in an iterative way, where quick change can be made based on the learnings from customers or tests. Not being afraid to fail is also important. If we aren’t trying different things and pushing the boundaries which perhaps have never been done before, you are likely going to fail, and it’s important that that’s ok.

2. The experience needs to be seamless: It needs to be personalised and relevant to the customer at the right time, based on what we know about the customer (so offering a personalised upgrade because we know the value of the customer versus offering a generic upgrade to a customer who joined us last week).

3. Having the right people and organisation set-up is important: This will ensure that people are listening to customers, can iterate quickly, it’s seen as ok to fail, etc. Being able to measure what the experience is that you offer your customers and gather new insights to improve it and improve it quickly.

What should marketers be prioritising?

Elliott: The key here, in my opinion, is consistency. Whatever platform, device, or channel I’m using to interact with a brand, the UX design should leave the customer in no doubt as to who they’re interacting with.

Dominic: The shift to digital has led to an explosion in channels and has brought brands in contact with customers across multiple touchpoints away from traditional bricks and mortar to apps, online websites, social media, and interactive chat amongst others. Departments often have different understandings and perspectives of what the Customer Experience should be. Acting as the CX glue between departments, marketing has a vital role to set a holistic view on what the customer experience should be helping to drive a consistent user and brand experience across multiple customer touchpoints.

Digitisation has led to a rich source of customer data across many platforms. Marketers need to prioritise building richer customer insight by harnessing data from multiple touchpoints into a single customer view. For example, by combining customer emails, interactive chats, and notes from customer phone calls into one view has given JT a much better understanding and a more personalised view of our customers.

Customers now expect a personalised experience based on their behaviours and history. Marketers need to embrace new technologies such as AI and cloud computing to build personalised recommendations to customers based on insights from multiple interactions.

Today customers are increasingly empowered to make their own choices. They understand their commercial value and are less sensitive to traditional forms of advertising. The brands that can provide the most compelling, personalised user experience in a self-service environment will drive the best customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Marc: I’m no marketer, but I would say that data driven campaign strategies and personalisation would be where I would be hedging my bets. Probably not the most creative of answers, and certainly nothing new, but I think the organisations that are getting this right are the ones that are leading the way, such as Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify. I’d also put Sky Sports and BT Sports into this category.

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 2, 2019
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5min1417

Over reliance on marketing activities that deliver short-term sales growth is impacting the ability of businesses to lock in long-term market share growth, according to new research.

Leading data, insights, and consulting company Kantar has released its latest study, Mastering Momentum, which analysed the market share of 3,900 brands over a three-year period. The research found that fewer than six percent of brands grew market share over one year, while only six-in-ten of those sustained that gain over three years.

Meanwhile, fewer than one-in-ten (of the six percent) improved on their initial gain, leaving a small ‘One Percent Club’ of brands that have mastered the art of building sales momentum in the long term.

The analysis by Kantar – which will be represented on the judging panels of the upcoming UK Digital Experience Awards and UK Customer Experience Awards – reveals many brands could be sitting on a potential growth goldmine, with this opportunity not only reserved for small businesses; two out of five of the biggest brands managed to hold ground or grow between 2015 and 2018.

Mark Chamberlain, Managing Director, Brand, Insights Division at Kantar UK, said: “Businesses in today’s world are under enormous short-term pressure so they look for guidance from the most readily available data, such as raw searches, sales and clicks.

“This data focuses attention only on what’s happening here and now, so it’s no surprise that the activities that demonstrate an immediate return tend to win in the competition for budget. Marketeers need to be bold enough to consider the bigger longer-term picture. Our latest global BrandZ report clearly illustrates how a strong brand delivers superior shareholder returns. Identifying reliable short-term indicators of long-term success is essential to unlock the missed opportunity of future business growth.”

With only 52 percent of advertisers confident their organisation has the right balance between long-term brand building and short-term performance marketing (Kantar Getting Media Right 2018), the new report recommends marketers focus on three key points in the buyer lifecycle to create sustained growth:

  • Experience: influence repeat sales by delighting existing users, as they are the foundation upon which growth is built
  • Exposure: influence future sales by reaching out to new potential buyers and establishing meaningful difference through compelling creative and targeted media investment
  • Activation: influence immediate sales by ensuring the brand and its meaningful difference come readily to mind at the point of sale.

According to Kantar’s analysis, the brands that managed to move to the needle across all three activities achieved 65x more growth than average. The study also found that brand size significantly influences growth prospects, making it critical for businesses to balance investment across brand building and demand generation accordingly.

Commenting on the findings, Nigel Hollis, Chief Global Analyst, Insights Division at Kantar UK said: “Sustained, long-term growth is hard, but there is a huge opportunity for businesses that are willing to look beyond simply delivering the next quarter’s numbers. Brands that tailor a growth strategy relevant to their market position outperform those that only grow penetration by an average of 45 percent.

“Small brands have little choice but to focus on increasing acquisition from competitors, while market leaders need to invest in improving the experience for existing customers, and, to a lesser degree, bringing in new category buyers. Unless you have the budget to spend continuously, growth will be hard to come by if you rely only on short-term incremental effects.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJune 4, 2019
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3min2453

Nearly three quarters of marketers and CX professionals (74 percent) are investing in Digital Experience (DX) in an effort to foster long-term loyalty and build better relationships with their customers.

Research from experience analytics company Clicktale, which surveyed 200 marketing and CX professionals across the US and UK, found customer loyalty to be the number one priority for those building a DX strategy. This was followed by a need to understand customer behaviour (67 percent) and a desire to create a clearer Customer Experience vision (67 percent).

For those at a managerial level (CX and marketing managers) improving customer lifetime value was also identified as an important driver of DX strategy.

Speaking of the findings in Clicktale’s Defining Digital Experience report, the firm’s CEO, Sara Richter, said: “As ever more customer interactions are completed via digital channels, marketers find themselves faced with a ‘switching economy’ – in which consumers regularly flit between different brands when they’re dissatisfied with a particular experience. Given this fact, is it any wonder that so many marketers are looking to secure long-term customer loyalty through their Digital Experience approach?

“To achieve such loyalty, however, we as marketers need to think about what it is that our customers need, and to do that requires a strong understanding of customer behaviours. This is where the other key objectives come into play. In order to drive loyalty, marketers must improve their digital experiences. But to do that, they must have a clear vision and the behavioural data needed to back it up. None of these factors can exist in isolation – they must all form part of a single, unified DX strategy and be supported with the right behavioural technologies.”

The 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards will take place in London on July 12. Click here for booking details.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJune 3, 2019
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2min1453

Brands have been urged to pay attention to the rise in popularity of Instagram among consumers noted for being ahead of the curve when it comes to tastes in technology.

A survey was carried out at the recent MCM London Comic Con and the recently published results show that 43 percent of attendees said they would choose Instagram over other social media platforms. This was up from 28 percent who selected the photo-sharing platform as their first pick at the previous MCM London Comic Con last October.

Pop culture fans, such as these MCM London Comic Con attendees, are cited as early adopters of popular tech habits.

Facebook, meanwhile, is now the first choice for 33 percent of attendees, with twitter (16 percent) and Snapchat (just four percent) trailing behind, according to the poll of 1,167 fans carried out by marketing agency Experience12.

Chris Whittle, Founder and Managing Director at Experience12, said: “Fans who attend Comic Con are by and large early adopters when it comes their content consumption habits, which is why speaking with them on the ground at the show is always a really interesting litmus test for upcoming trends.”

The 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards will take place in London this July. Click here to book your table.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 9, 2019
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Capgemini, the digital transformation firm behind major wins at the UK Customer and Digital Experience Awards, has signed a contract with EDF Energy to revamp its CX offering.

Through its cloud contact centre solutions brand, Odigo, Capgemini will offer a Contact-Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) solution, as part of EDF’s wider Customer Experience transformation initiative. The energy supplier aims to use innovative technology to optimise the service it delivers to its 3 million customers.

Odigo will replace the existing on-premise contact centre platform with a cloud-native solution, enabling EDF to deliver a quicker, simpler, and more effective service to customers; have greater autonomy over the ongoing maintenance of the solution; and access to a full suite of features for future innovation.

As part of the multi-year deal, the Odigo CCaaS system will deliver a range of services, including routing inbound/outbound interactions, real-time monitoring, workforce optimisation, and secure card payments.

Niels Roberts, Digital, Automation and Process Excellence Director at EDF Energy, said: “Not only does Odigo have the tools and functionalities to help us deliver a great experience for our customers, but it also offers a flexible, cloud-based commercial model to allow us to continually adapt to our customers’ needs. We are excited to work with Odigo over the coming years as part of our CX transformation journey.”

Erwan Le Duff, Managing Director of Odigo, added:”Building on Capgemini’s long-standing relationship in the UK, we are delighted for Odigo now to be implemented at EDF Energy; together we will transform its contact centre telephony and support the realisation of its customer experience vision. In an age of instantaneous digital communication, effective customer touchpoints are critical to the success of an organisation – we believe Odigo’s CCaaS offering will give EDF Energy the tools to build strong customer relationships, both now and in the future.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthApril 16, 2019
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3min1866

The finalists for the 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards have been announced, with an exciting line-up of big household brands and smaller innovators competing for recognition.

The event is celebrating its fifth year of honouring the British organisations that offer customers a truly unique Digital Experience while using their technology, websites, and apps, and July 12 is the date those shortlisted for the finals will arrive in London to present before an expert judging panel featuring names including Mark Edgington, founder of Incendiary Blue; Di Mayze, founder of Scratch Consulting; Tiffany Carpenter, Head of Customer Intelligence Solutions at SAS UK; and many more.

This year, finalists will compete for 19 category titles, before an Overall Winner is crowned at a gala ceremony in the Park Plaza Riverbank venue. Categories this year include Best App, Best Digital Change & Transformation, Best Digital Team, and Best Mobile Strategy, among others.

Among the companies shortlisted as finalists for 2019 are EE, Three UK, Sky, Virgin Trains, and PayPoint. For a full list of categories and finalists click here.

Meanwhile, official awards partners this year include children’s charity Barnardo’s, Professor Malcolm McDonald, Martech Advisor, and Cranfield School of Management.

Hosting the event is Awards International, holders of a Gold Standard Awards Trust Mark from the Independent Awards Standards Council.

Speaking of the 2019 UKDXA finalists, Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “The standard of entries this year has been nothing short of fantastic, and the projects and initiatives that will be judged on the day are incredibly exciting. A huge congratulations to all finalists, and we look forward to welcoming them to London this summer for a sizzling showcase of Digital Experience innovation.”

For further details and to book seats for the awards, click here.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthApril 9, 2019
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4min2917

Nearly half of brands have introduced a dedicated Digital Experience (DX) team to help shape their Customer Experience and journeys across digital channels.

That is the findings in a new report by from experience analytics leader Clicktale. The study, titled Defining Digital Experience shows that 48 percent of brands now have a DX team in place to oversee their strategy. 

It explores the current state of DX, with the help of 200 marketing and CX professionals working in some of the world’s leading US and UK brands. The report examines how brands are building a strategy around Digital Experience, including who is ‘owning’ the function, and how they’re harnessing new technologies.

Until recently, marketing and digital departments have taken the lead in DX responsibility, with 31 percent of respondents claiming ownership lies with marketing, and 27 percent saying it lies with their organisation’s digital team, the report outlines.

Now, dedicated DX departments are more common than data science teams (44 percent) but still behind design/UX and digital analytics teams (54 percent and 52 percent respectively).

The report also describes how the ownership of Digital Experience is still a shared affair in many organisations. Nearly half (44 percent) of respondents claim that digital Customer Experience is merged with other departments. This is also the case for digital analytics and insight (40 percent), design and UX (32 percent), and data science (29 percent).

Clicktale CMO Sara Richter said: “Digital Experience is now a key differentiator for businesses, almost ahead of the products they sell and the prices they charge. Many businesses today get few actual face-to-face interactions with customers. So, if brands want to foster loyalty and repeat revenue, it’s becoming ever more important to understand customers beyond just demographics and purchase history.

“Assigning a dedicated team may be a great first step to building this understanding, but without the right data and analytical ability, it’s difficult to create and shape an effective digital experience approach. Only by gathering true behavioural data and having technologies and analysts in place to draw insights from that data can brands begin to understand their customers on a more intimate level. That in turn will empower brands to build and optimise digital experiences that better serve customers and drive repeat revenue.”

The 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards are taking place in London’s Park Plaza Riverbank on July 12.

 




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