Drive greater business value with deeper integrations
Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Ales
While the first blog post of the series covered the meaning of words ambitious and digital experiences both as singular and combined entities, and the second blog post was dedicated to channels of communication and interaction, I will now turn the attention over to the possibilities of integrations with Drupal.
How small is too small
There is quite a substantial gap between what is characterized as for the enterprise and as for an ambitious digital experience. The latter is far broader. In more than one way. The most obvious being, as it is not just for the enterprise, you can also focus on SMB's, charities, NGO's, educational and governmental institutions. However, Drupal has been strong also with clients from those sectors. There are digital agencies which specialized working only with charities, there are those who dedicated themselves working only or predominantly with clients whose projects are big enough it pays them off to deliver them. To still be profitable. But again, it depends on the size of the agency. Bigger agencies would want bigger projects, while smaller agencies will be satisfied with smaller projects. As long as they are ambitious, I would add. And how can they be ambitious from the integrations point of view?
What is there to integrate? And why?
Services a website can integrate with are various. And can range from accounting to project management and marketing to lead generation. Or more complex, as is the case with Wilson Sporting Goods where Drupal and Magento are paired together. Every one of potential clients will probably decide for itself what integrations to use. Or which will be beneficial to the company. This is where the digital agency has to step in. We do want to know what the client wants to do with the website. We have to prepare the client to open up and give us answers to what does it believe the online presence should bring. And it is vital to discuss that with clients, but not on a technology level, but in terms of gains, the company will have. The ROI of such an investment should also be addressed? And yes, the digital agency will have to get familiar with the underlying business logic of the clients it is facing in order to fully understand their wishes and needs and come up with the best possible solution. The discussions with potential clients should generate such an interest in them that website can be more than just a website. It can be a lead generation tool, it can be a platform for communicating with fans, it can serve as customer support,... But never forget the UX behind it and the digital experience in the making.
A case study of a great digital experience
I enjoyed reading Inviqa's Myles Davidson's blog on how Arsenal F.C. engages their fans. I'll do just a quick recap of how the fan engagement is perceived by Arsenal's John Dollin. Connected to more or less obvious integrations on the clubs’ website. The most obvious one is, of course, social media and engaging the fans via this channel. The next one is data. How can you use the data you collect about your fans to even further their engagement? What to say when the results are not so good, how to reach out to fans when they are dissatisfied with something and maintain their levels of activity? As fan behaviors tend to change, Arsenal invested also in CRM for more personalized experiences. By taking the data fans share you feed your CRM and then use that to help you engage with them and create personalized experiences. But underneath it all there has to be a strong vision of what is it to be achieved.
So, if we now should talk about an ambitious SMB active in B2B from an EU country which is deciding to revamp its online presence to better serve its business which is more than 95% conducted abroad. It is not a real-life case, albeit a possible one. The CEO is quite open to introducing new technologies to his business, so he is open to an idea of a website which I would characterize as an ambitious digital experience. Open, but he didn't buy it yet. He heard from business associates how are they able to attract leads via their website, how great does marketing automation work and how simple is the CRM to use. So just building a website with Drupal CMS suddenly isn't the top priority but it becomes a tool through which the client will get the desired marketing and sales tools. Which are integrated into its online presence to generate leads, to convert them into qualified sales leads and follow the journey of each and every potential client since its first visit to the website to the moment the contract is signed. As with the case of Arsenal fans who do leave valuable footprints when engaging with their club which then amounts to loads of data. The data which is currently being utilized to its fullest only by US-based organizations. Similar is the case with our SMB. The footprints its customers leave behind are to be picked up, leads targeted on a personalized level, the data stored in CRM which is connected to ERP. All of which propel the company towards better sales results. And the ROI of investing in a website, or better said, ambitious digital experience, should be something the CEO of aforementioned SMB should and can brag to his colleagues.
We gained a lot of experience working with different clients on different projects needing various integrations. Contact us, and we can share an experience or two.