The legendary R&B singer and songwriter Ben E. King got it so right in the Drifters’ 1960 recording of “This Magic Moment.” The song is timeless because it tells a classic tale of a first kiss. It also captures a moment in time in words and song that reminds us of the power of storytelling, building a relationship and creating lasting impressions. Sound familiar?

This Magic Moment . . . So Different And So New

During my career as a high-tech marketer and founder, I discovered that it took both compelling stories and effective channels to deliver these stories consistently and at scale. Just like cutting a new record back in the day, it also required tools as well as talent — like our CRM to get one view of the business and orchestrate interactions, plus digital campaign tools (and an agency) to build our creative, target various audiences, and adjust our marketing mix, along with an integrated CMS to manage our content for each channel.

In my SaaS companies, we also had a commerce and billing engine at the back end to generate and manage our transactions. In these environments, integration across our stack was key, but so was keeping things simple and staging our rollout (you need a first single to have an album). This was especially true as our stack grew when we added collaboration and analytics tools to the mix and even played around with chatbots.

And Then It Happened . . . It Took Me By Surprise

The payoff was huge. We were able to accelerate our demand gen and make it easier to enter markets and fulfill demand via self-service. Even more importantly, our digital experience (DX) stack made it possible to deliver the right content, on the right channel, at the right time to create more engaged, more motivated buyers.

And it enabled regular communication, as well, to make sure buyers were continuing to love our products and that my team was aware of the time and place when and where they were most likely to renew or upgrade or share what they loved with their friends.

Everything I Want, I Have

Brands that create magic moments (either micro or “macro” in scale) with their customers also create emotional connections that drive long-term relationships — that last forever ’til the end of time, in the case of the Drifters. So for application development leaders, there’s never been a better time to get the band back together, reassess where you are in your digital evolution, and book some studio time to tune up your digital experience stack.

Start with our digital experience delivery playbook, which can ensure that creating these moments is the rule rather than the exception. Economic uncertainly lurks. And one of the best hedges ahead of any downturn is investing in programs that spike demand and boost loyalty. Move while budgets are still intact!

Magic, Magic

Just as no one band could do justice to all the variation of this magic moment, no single technology does the job for all of the DX stack. Many parts contribute, as illustrated above (and in our playbooks).

So teams that want to get maximum return in the near- and midterm should start with these seven areas first:

  1. The exploration of new digital touchpoints.
  2. The delivery of more satisfying digital experiences via the latest DX approaches and models.
  3. Investment in rich media content and technology to tell compelling stories.
  4. Streamlining transactions through inline feedback, journey mapping, and tweaking of back-end systems.
  5. Tuning up core cloud infrastructure to weather upcoming economic and regulatory storms.
  6. Gathering insights to improve the delivery of personalized experiences while thoughtfully applying automation to boost efficiency.
  7. Exploring a design thinking approach to involve customers more closely in experience and product design.

We have a comprehensive library of research on all of the topics above, as well as insights on steering your digital experience strategy, assessing the health of your DX stack, and even picking a partner. Plus, my team will outline some new coverage and cross-functional topics for the rest of 2018 in the weeks ahead.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!