Elevating the CX Experience: StrategiQ’s Journey at the DotDigital Summit

16 min read by Laura Manning 26 Sep 2023

At StrategiQ, our commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences (CX) goes hand in hand with our relentless pursuit of knowledge and innovation. This year, our CX team embarked on an enlightening journey by attending the highly anticipated DotDigital Summit, a platform known for its cutting-edge insights and guidance in the world of digital marketing and customer engagement.

StrategiQ was a proud sponsor of the Dotdigital Summit, after 4 years it was great to see the event back in person at Tobacco Docks and connect with industry peers. Dotdigital has had some great keynote talks from Denise Lewis, Rory Sutherland and Tim Peake.

It was also a timely summit for DotDigital to announce its acquisition of Fresh Relevance. Fresh Relevance and Dotdigital have been long-time business partners, the Fresh platform supports users in driving personalised customer experiences across web, email, mobile app, SMS, and ads. You can read more about the acquisition here.

Lauren Boyton, Head of Customer Experience

So what were the highlights and key takeaways from the event?

Retention and Loyalty: Gemma’s Takeaways

Gemma Raw, our dedicated CX expert, was inspired by the “Retention and Loyalty” talk at the DotDigital Summit. The speaker’s unique perspective on loyalty as a multi-faceted journey, rather than a linear path, left a profound impact. Gemma highlighted the importance of recognising that customers encounter various steps and potential barriers on their loyalty journey, and their needs and circumstances can change. The analogy of a “snakes and ladder board” illustrated the need for adaptable strategies to keep customers moving upward. You need to combine the interests and needs of customers.

One key insight Gemma noted was the categorisation of customers into three buckets: those motivated by financial incentives, experiential incentives, or altruistic incentives. Understanding these motivations and aligning them with personalised strategies was key. Real-world examples of theatres successfully using automation and community engagement strategies showcased the practical application of these concepts.

How do you define loyalty?

Most importantly, you have to combine objectives and motivations – What defines the segment you are talking to? What’s the objective? And perhaps even more potent is the question – what inspires this segment? What unique stories do you have to tell and build excitement/connection? However, the biggest challenge may be relating back to solving the business problem. The interaction has to drive value for the business.

Authentic Brand Storytelling: Gemma’s Insights

The talk was laced with unignorable statistics presented underscored the shifting landscape of brand awareness and customer expectations. 72% of surveyed audiences say brand awareness is the biggest challenge they face. 78% are actively advertising or actively planning to advertise on TikTok.

Notably, the survey revealed that 90% of consumers prioritise authenticity in their purchasing decisions. In today’s social media-driven era, the demand for real, unpolished brand experiences has replaced the era of highly photoshopped imagery. Authenticity now extends beyond aesthetics, encompassing behind-the-scenes insights, unfiltered endorsements, user-generated content, and alignment with meaningful values.

Notable brands like Patagonia, Fenty Beauty, Rare Beauty, Dove, and Sure were highlighted for their authentic narratives and purpose-driven approaches. The talk emphasised that authenticity is not a one-off campaign but an ongoing commitment to showing up for customers. It delved into innovative methodologies for generating content ideas, such as newsjacking and unique angles on stories.

Gearing Up for Success: Le Col’s Game-Changing Black Friday Strategy

Emily Berriman attended a fireside chat at the DotDigital Summit, featuring Christopher Palmer, Head of CRM at Le Col. The discussion revolved around Le Col’s remarkable Black Friday strategy, a blueprint for success in the realm of e-commerce.

Le Col’s strategy, as outlined by Christopher Palmer, included several key elements that set them apart. They offered customers 10 exclusive daily deal offers, prioritising loyalty members and high-value customers. The pivotal shift was doubling down on data and insights to personalise their approach. The results were nothing short of astounding, with a 398% increase in revenue year-over-year and a 30% boost in open rates.

What truly made Le Col stand out was their commitment to putting customers at the forefront. They initiated a warm-up phase where they reached out to customers, collected and analysed data, and sent offers based on explicit profiling and lifecycle stages. This balance between building relationships and nurturing customer loyalty was evident in their guides on maintaining clothing and sportswear, demonstrating care for the end user while driving revenue.

Segmentation played a crucial role in their strategy, categorising customers based on gender, lifecycle, collections, and behaviour. Le Col recognised the importance of meeting customers where they were, whether through email, SMS, or direct mail, rather than pushing them to specific channels.

Planning for Black Friday at Le Col was a meticulous process, involving a thorough review three months after the previous Black Friday. The entire team collaborated to create an integrated campaign, featuring a three-month creative process and a three-month build process. Specific tactics, such as testing various elements like sender names, subject lines, and relevant product recommendations, were employed to reduce friction in the customer’s purchase journey.

Overall, Le Col’s Black Friday success story served as a remarkable example of how data-driven personalisation, customer-centricity, and meticulous planning can lead to outstanding results in the world of e-commerce.

Mastering Personalisation: Unleashing the Power of Data for Marketers on the Go

Darryl Clark, EMEA Director of Professional Services at Dotdigital, focused on the art of personalisation. The stats spoke volumes, with a staggering 71% of customers expecting personalised interactions and 76% feeling disappointed when they don’t receive them (McKinsey, 2021).

Darryl proceeded to unveil the four essential steps to achieving effective personalisation:

  1. Data Collection: Diving into the world of data, he explored different data types, ranging from 0 party data (directly given by consumers through surveys, sign-ups, preferences, and feedback) to 1st party data (collected by businesses about consumers through apps, websites, and social media). He also touched on 2nd party data, provided by trusted third parties with whom you have a relationship, and 3rd party data, commercially available from external sources.
  2. Segmentation & Automation: Building target audiences using collected data and automating customer journeys. The use of eRFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary) analysis to understand and segment customers was highlighted.
  3. Dynamic Content: Personalisation extends beyond just names; Darryl discussed the power of dynamic content. This includes standard personalisation tags like @firstname@, dynamic content blocks based on customer values, product recommendations, and even external dynamic content pulled from websites.
  4. AI: Darryl explored the role of A.I. in analysing data and automating decisions to provide customers with even more relevant experiences.

Harnessing High-Impact Moments in the Customer Journey – Huriyyah Dhanse

Huriyyah Dhanse, VP of Customer at Fresh Relevance, delivered a thought-provoking session at the DotDigital Summit, shedding light on the art of recognising and capitalising on high-impact moments in the customer journey.

In her talk, Huriyyah identified five pivotal moments that can significantly influence the customer journey:

  1. Focus: Understanding what customers are looking at and how they behave is key. Showcase products based on these behaviours, ensuring that customers find what they need effortlessly.
  2. Affirm: Encouraging purchase decisions was the next step. Use User-Generated Content (UGC), social proof, and suggesting similar products to affirm customers’ choices and boost their confidence.
  3. Validate: Sometimes, customers navigate away from their intended path on a website. So it’s our job to help them find their way back with strategic SMS messages and pop-ups, effectively re-engaging them with the brand.
  4. Value: Expressing the value of products is crucial.
  5. Listen: Customer feedback is invaluable. The speaker encouraged brands to create opportunities for customers to share their thoughts, write reviews, and provide ratings, fostering a sense of involvement and trust.

The key takeaway from Huriyyah’s session was the need to analyse customer data rigorously, identify these high-impact moments within the customer journey, and map out micro website journeys to provide tailored customer experiences. By recognising and optimising these critical touchpoints, brands can create a more engaging and effective customer journey that drives success.

Suzannah’s Key Takeaways from Dotdigital Summit: Charity Insights

Two talks, two charities, each offering a unique perspective on effective strategies for non-profit organisations.

One key message: to drive behaviour change and resonate, sentiment, in the third sector is more powerful as a driving force behind behaviour change and transactions, than it is in e-commerce.

Stroke Association – The Power of Creative Storytelling

The Stroke Association’s success story shed light on the game-changing impact of bringing a Storytelling Manager in-house. It became evident that creative storytelling has the power to resonate deeply with donors. Their Christmas campaign’s unexpected success was attributed to several factors, including personalisation and dynamic content. By tailoring their messaging to various donor types, such as cash donors, legacy pledgers, and regular contributors, they saw remarkable results. Furthermore, the use of automations in Dotdigital significantly streamlined their processes, replacing manual contact uploads and enabling more efficient donor engagement.

Data-led Experiences at the Royal Parks Charity

Kristen Mueller, Head of Marketing & Digital at the Royal Parks charity, shared an intriguing transformation journey. Initially bound by government restrictions, the Royal Parks charity underwent a significant shift after becoming an independent charity in 2017. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated their need for a comprehensive marketing strategy. However, they had to grapple with disorganised data collected without a clear purpose.

A key takeaway was the importance of intentionality in data collection and automation planning. Additionally, they emphasised building relationships and sentiment before making donation requests, emphasising the need to engage with park visitors effectively, even those who may not be aware of the charity’s work.

In addition, new horizons announced, a word from Lauren:

At this year’s Summit, Dotdigital also released their new CXDP – Customer Experience Data Platform (launched on 13th September 2023) – we’ll be delving into this in due course, once we get to grips with it, and will be releasing our own thoughts about it shortly.

The release helps users further unify their customer data to discover rich insights helping drive unforgettable CX for their customers. Dotdigital also announced that the platform is now accessible via an app, so gone are the days of accessing the platform via the web (whilst it’s still possible!).

So many exciting developments in what is arguably the hottest marketing topic in the sector at the moment. What a day, what a team. We’re all extremely excited to take our learnings and apply them to our day to day delivery of customer experience marketing.

For those eager to dive deeper into these strategies, the speaker recommended exploring the “Building Blocks for Reopening Guide” by Spetrix, a great read for those looking to improve customer retention and loyalty.

If you need customer experience support from our team of experts, speak to us today.

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