Video Quick Take: Sitecore’s Steve Tzikakis on why experience is redefining the future of business

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Todd Pruzan, HBR

Hi, I’m Todd Pruzan. I’m here with Steve Tzikakis, CEO of Sitecore, to talk about why experience is redefining the future of business. Steve, thank you so much for being with us today.

Steve Tzikakis, Sitecore

Thank you, Todd. It’s great to be here.

Todd Pruzan, HBR

Steve, what do you mean when you say that experience redefines the future of business?

Steve Tzikakis, Sitecore

Companies around the world are now really focusing on the journey from digital content to commerce. However, we live in an omnichannel world and how people experience all those channels determines their impression of a brand. This is why we at Sitecore believe that customer experience is the most important driver of brand value today. We already know that customers are attracted to brands that speak about their values. There is a clear shift in the market.

Customers want to build relationships and buy experiences rather than just buying products. Experiences are all about moments in time that surprise and delight. And businesses need to think about how to create delightful, seamless experiences across all their touchpoints, from physical to digital to virtual. All potential customers can search, view and buy anything, anywhere, anytime with one click, tap or scan, or they can use virtual and augmented reality to enhance the shopping experience.

That’s why brands need to think about the interfaces between digital and real life and ensure seamless transitions in a total customer experience. This is becoming increasingly important to business success, not least as organizations increasingly compete on a whole new scale for a share of customer spend in a diversified, global marketplace.

Todd Pruzan, HBR

What is the most important thing for brands to think about?

Steve Tzikakis, Sitecore

In my opinion, brands need to remember how important it is to keep their customer first. Digital interactions are still about creating authentic human connections – which can mean being helpful; anticipating needs by ‘listening’ to digital signals; or understanding a customer’s personal situation built around their browsing history and using AI pattern matching capabilities to create those moments of surprise.

Or at a time when consumers don’t want that [leave] their cookies behind it, a great way to bond with the customer is for them to see themselves in your brand story. Adding value to an experience is about making the customer feel part of the bigger brand story, whether it’s sustainability, origin, future or much more.

The most critical point is that the customer experience should have the same look and feel everywhere the customer interacts with the brand. Having authentic connections also means being transparent about how their data is used. And that it is shared on their own terms. This means building trust and transparency, which will ultimately lead to customers proactively sharing their data with the brand.

Todd Pruzan, HBR

Which brands do you think are doing well right now?

Steve Tzikakis, Sitecore

Many of our own customers have worked very hard over the past two years to transform their customers’ experience. Companies such as Aston Martin, Emirates Airlines and L’Oreal have all won awards for [their] digital experience initiatives at our own symposium event last October.

The brands I’ve liked the most this year are the ones with websites that I can navigate easily; that add a personal touch to a delivery and use packaging that makes me laugh; prompting me that I may need to repurchase something; that make it easy for me to buy things – and talk to a human when needed; who won’t force me down a rabbit hole if I know exactly what I want. It’s authenticity, it’s being human, and it’s understanding real life – even in a digital age.

Simplification is a form of sophistication. And this will play an increasing role in determining how their customers perceive their brands.

Todd Pruzan, HBR

If you wanted the Harvard Business Review audience to take three things away from our conversation today, what would they be?

Steve Tzikakis, Sitecore

That’s always an interesting question. I think the following is important to me:

First, brands need to realize that digital commerce is becoming more nuanced. Knowing their customers is critical as they can build seamless experiences across all customer touchpoints and figure out what those touchpoints should be.

Second, omnichannel has merged with digital. The brands that offer advanced omnichannel services are likely to gain market share over the brands that don’t.

Third, transparency and authenticity are crucial. When customers trust and respect the experience, they will build a long-lasting relationship with the consumer. The companies that do this well are best placed to succeed in the future.

Todd Pruzan, HBR

Steve, this was a great discussion – thank you so much for joining us today.

Steve Tzikakis, Sitecore

Thank you, Todd. Thanks for having me here.

Click here for more information about Sitecore.


This post Video Quick Take: Sitecore’s Steve Tzikakis on why experience is redefining the future of business was original published at “https://hbr.org/sponsored/2022/03/video-quick-take-sitecores-steve-tzikakis-on-why-experience-is-redefining-the-future-of-business”

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