Customer Experience Management is Getting Real

Randy Woods at Digital Pulase

I’m here at the Digital Pulse Summit watching Randy Woods of Non Linear Creations talk about real-life customer experience management and digital marketing case studies.

Seeing Randy speak many times over the years on the “CMS circuit,” I’ve always appreciated his talks being grounded in examples. This one was no different. There is a lot of arm waving when it comes to talking about customer experience and marketing. Not with Randy.

His talk focused on the shifting landscape of CMS to customer experience led capabilities with a focus on A/B testing, personalization and targeted content delivery.

“These tactics have been available to you for a very long time,” he says.

While they are not new, they are relevant now because they are easier to do and they are more important to your business to do them today.

He divides the efforts into two camps: Short term impact projects that are often focused on ad hoc testing and rules based personalization and higher ROI opportunities that involve more comprehensive work such as profile-based implicit personalization.

There are real barriers that keep organizations from even starting these efforts. Namely, the sheer amount of tactics and tools available can lead to confusion or paralysis. And then often a short term “campaign mentality” can overtake more comprehensive efforts to tie efforts back to real outcomes.

We’ve certainly seen both in our experiences.

His case study focused on examples from the¬†Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. I loved the example because you don’t often see these stories coming out of higher education.

As part of a multi-year digital marketing roadmap, the Rotman School is working to drive better engagement through testing and personalization.

They started out with some simple A/B tests. Things like call to action copy looking at “Apply Now” vs. “Start your Application Today.”

They then moved into content targeting efforts with a focus on geography-based targeting. For example a prospective student from outside North America would see customized content specific to their region and the specific needs of someone evaluating a school from afar.

“Coming from India?” the dynamic landing page asks the visitor, “Consider Rotman.”

These were simple and neat examples that had some nice results behind them.

What I liked most about Randy’s presentation is that he showed examples of tests that had little or no return. These are stories you don’t often hear and can discourage marketers from testing further.

“The test wasn’t the home run we thought it would be, but what do you do with it,” he asks the audience. “It’s not a bad thing. Failure is not only OK, it’s expected. At least half the time you are going to produce negative results.”

It was a great presentation and I look forward to the rest of the Digital Pulse Summit. If you happen to be at the event, I’m speaking at 2:15 tomorrow on some themes near and dear to the CMS Myth. Come say hi if you’re around.

About the Author
Jeff Cram

Jeff Cram is Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of Connective DX (formerly ISITE Design), a digital agency based in Portland, OR and Boston, MA. As the Managing Editor of the CMS Myth, Jeff is passionate about all topics related to content management, digital strategy and experience design.

More articles from Jeff Cram


One response… read them below or add one.

  1. There is plenty of information out there that you can use to improve the customer experience. The key is figuring out what the right data is that you need and the tools that will get it for you. It’s not always an easy process, but the information is invaluable.

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