Darren Hitchcock
Darren Hitchcock 7 October 2019

Are Buzzwords the Downfall of Digital Experience?

In 2019, more and more companies are looking to invest in their digital experience (DX) approach. To do this, however, they must first start to develop an effective DX strategy and decide how best to implement that strategy across their various platforms. The only question is, whose job should it be to actually craft, implement and manage these changes? Who should ‘own’ digital experience?

Marketing vs IT

According to research from Magnolia, 60% of marketers believe that they should be in charge of DX. In contrast, 72% of IT teams say digital experience should be their responsibility. Both sides have a point, with marketing having traditionally owned the customer experience (CX) and IT teams typically managing digital projects through. But, with both groups laying claim to digital experience, a clear disconnect is beginning to emerge; a disconnect that is — ironically — bad for the digital experience itself.

With no clear ownership, digital assets are proving slow for marketers to implement and are ultimately being delivered to a far lower standard than they should be. At the same time, Magnolia’s research shows that 24% of marketers are frustrated by the lack of communication between marketing and IT.

So what lies at the heart of this divide? Is it simply a ‘grab for power’ from both marketers
and IT professionals desperate to claim ownership of the new DX landscape? Or, does the emerging disconnect run deeper than that? Our research suggests that, for both marketing and IT, the DX divide doesn’t stem from a desire to work in silos. In fact, 59% of respondents say that they’re keen to work more collaboratively in the future. Instead, the emerging divide may simply be a case of communications breakdown.

Lost in translation

The field of digital experience has become swamped with buzzwords and jargon, making it harder than ever for teams to collaborate and to know what is (and isn’t) their responsibility. 

From ‘omnichannel solutions’ to ‘big data’ a whole host of badly-defined digital buzzwords are adding to this communications breakdown — further widening the disconnect between marketing and IT. In fact, Magnolia’s survey of IT professionals found that almost a quarter (23%) believe that marketers use too many buzzwords, with 21% saying they don’t know what marketers mean when they ask for ‘omnichannel’ content, and 24% saying they don’t know what a ‘call to action’ is online.

And it’s not just IT teams who are being left baffled by buzzwords. 23% of marketers don’t fully understand what IT means by ‘big data’ while 24% don’t know what ‘machine learning’ is. 31% also admit that they don’t know what an ‘API’ is. With confusing and seemingly impenetrable language inevitably comes silos. Both marketers and IT professionals only communicate within their own teams on their own terms — and that, is bad for the digital experience.

The need for straight-talking solutions

Instead of worrying about lofty ideas of who should ‘own’ digital experience, both marketers and IT teams need to drop the jargon and think instead about how they can work together to deliver the
best results. “Experience” is not some new discipline that needs to be controlled, it’s an age-old idea that both marketers and IT teams have always been responsible for.

To achieve this, those working on both sides of the divide must work hard to abandon the buzzwords that have done nothing but confuse what they are trying to achieve. In their place, we need a return to straight-talking solutions that work for everyone across the business — from marketers, to developers, to leaders, to IT teams.

Whether it’s an organisation’s website, content management system, mobile presence or email outreach programmes, today’s brands need to adopt straight-talking solutions that cut through the nonsense and focus on delivering the best digital experience for customers.

At the same time, it is on those of us working in the marketing-technology space to develop solutions that work for both marketers and IT teams. Too many digital experience platforms have focused on pleasing one group or the other. Instead, brands like Magnolia are committed to developing straight-talking solutions that empower both sides. That will be the future of digital experience, not ownership, but collaboration, enabled by the latest tech.

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