Sitecore “Most Valuable Professional” Award 2019

OnModus is proud to share that two of our digital strategy coaches are rewarded as Sitecore MVP (Most Valuable Professional) 2019 of the 37 worldwide in the category of Digital Strategist for 2019.

Sitecore MVPs’ are awarded for the quality, quantity, and level of impact of the contributions they make by sharing their product expertise and mastery of the Sitecore platform with Sitecore customers and partners.

Max Goijarts says coaching teams and share with them how to make use of online and omni-channel advantages but also how to overcome the common pitfalls and hurdles" is what gets us energized. Software has emerged as the critical differentiator in every industry, from financial services to fashion, as “technology first” start-ups disrupt global markets. To stay alive, some of the biggest global enterprises we know are making a radical change in how they build and deliver software.

Renate van der Vaart adds "A well-known and common pain point we see is the struggle to make full use of the all the experience capabilities. That's why we provide a practical implementation strategy, and lead by example.

“The Sitecore community is renown as a place where members can easily collaborate and benefit from the vision and technical knowledge of one another,” said Pieter Brinkman, Senior Director of Technical Marketing at Sitecore. “Within this community, MVPs set the standard of excellence for product expertise, enthusiasm, and willingness to donate time and energy to help customers and partners realize the full power of the Sitecore platform. Their passion is instrumental to the ongoing success of the Sitecore ecosystem.”

Now it its 13th year, Sitecore’s MVP program recognizes exceptional professionals from the Sitecore community who actively share their expertise of Sitecore products to advance the future of customer experience and drive organizational change. A distinguished group of 315 Sitecore experts from the more than 12,000 certified developers and more than 20,000 active community participants.

The Sitecore Experience Platform™ combines web content management, omnichannel digital delivery, insights into customer activity and engagement, and strategic digital marketing tools into a single, unified platform. Sitecore Experience Commerce™ natively integrates content and commerce so brands can fully personalize and individualize the end-to-end shopping experience before, during, and after the transaction. Both platforms capture in real time every minute interaction—and intention—that customers and prospects have with a brand across digital and offline channels. The result is that Sitecore customers are able to use the platform to engage with prospects and customers in a highly personalized manner, earning long-term customer loyalty.

More information can be found about the MVP Program on the Sitecore MVP site: http://mvp.sitecore.com.

We want to thank our customers and partners for the opportunities to build great cases together and look forward to new successes!

Cheers,
Max & Renate - OnModus

Recommendations in Context Marketing

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The first half of 2018 has come to an end. But we still have 6 new exciting digital marketing months ahead of us! I look forward to creating and executing new and exciting ideas with you. Developing the next level of Context Marketing will provide your customers with even more context for your brand. 

Recently, I was asked for my thoughts about content marketing in 2018. My expectations are that a lot of brands have new propositions and ideas on how to engage with their customers, so they are going to expand their customer journey with more and new content based on their 2018 message. But just creating more content is not the answer. What should be the answer is to create content that gives your customer context around your storytelling. Simply, you need to show ‘what’s in it for them’. Why should they spend time on your branded content? What does it bring to their lives? My recommendations are:

Start making full use of your platform

Without a solid home for your content with easy access to all available articles, tools and services, it is not easy to distribute the right content, to the right person, at the right time, at the right place and right channel. To achieve this, start testing which content is relevant to your customers and why. In addition, if your customers come to your platform from another channel, make their visit personal. Max joins the conversation and says, ‘as an international business partner, I hear this pain point a lot. Clients tell us that they don't make full use of their platform.’ So, together with all the stakeholders, we:

Take the guesswork out of Context Marketing

Create a data plan and start testing the data you have. Listen and learn from this data, because this is the true story of your customers. And if your digital team or IT department doesn't have the skills, invest in or hire a Business Intelligence specialist. Alex agrees. He saw companies spending costly marketing resources on building Excel sheets to get the data right. ‘But this way, they don't have the time to really focus on what they are good at. Namely, storytelling.’ Read also his blog, Solving pain points through analytics.

Think differently about your content

Think differently in the broadest sense of the term, from creation, use, channels and formats. Every piece of content needs to feel unique to your customers. It must trigger them to read or use more and repeatedly convince them that your brand is one they need in their lives because you understand them. Lars adds that it is important that you really think in advance about how you could solve a pain point. ‘The "design thinking" method is great to achieve this,’ he says. This approach, with every stakeholder around the table, gives you insights into both business needs and customer needs. And that can bring new ways to optimise content journeys. Also, an optimised UX design will create an easy path from context to purchase.

Here at OnModus, we call these three recommendations enablement, and this is what we believe in. We support and coach brands in their digital marketing efforts. We give them the right tools and teach them the right skills, which we learned ‘by doing’ our roles with different brands in different branches. We focus on a fully optimised customer journey and platform from start to finish. Want to learn more about us or talk to us? Don't hesitate to contact us at flow@onmodus.com.

Looking forward to hearing from you and learn your thoughts on these points.

Best,

Renate

We welcome Maurice to our team

We are pleased to introduce Maurice Smedts, our newest team member. Maurice just started with OnModus in the role of Omnichannel Consultant. Jeroen sat down with Maurice and asked him to explain what excites him most about joining OnModus.

‘For the past six years, I’ve been working at a leading fulfilment provider. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most forward-thinking brands and online retailers, helping them to expand their business internationally,' Maurice begins. ‘At OnModus, I am very keen to take this great experience one step further, guiding our clients as they build the best possible customer experience.’ 

Max Goijarts, OnModus CEO, joins the conversation. ‘Maurice adds a new dimension to the team. Having someone on board who really understands the drill is a great benefit. Maurice knows what it takes to be successful in Commerce, business-wise and operationally. By tapping into Maurice’s experience, we can broaden the scope of services we offer to our clients.’

‘As a brand or retailer, it is great if you have been able to build an amazing customer experience on your platform. However, if you fail to deliver a smooth fulfilment process, you can easily diminish your investment in the platform,’ Max continues. ‘Maurice really knows what it takes to extend your carefully orchestrated customer journey up to the moment your customer opens the box and starts enjoying your products.’

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 ‘And even beyond that point,’ Maurice adds. ‘Failing to set up a smooth return process will greatly reduce your customer’s lifetime value. Building confidence and trust in your brand will take a while, and one bad customer experience during the after-sales process can easily ruin it. And interestingly, if set up in a proper way, the data about returned products provide a wealth of insights and opportunities to further improve your customer's experience and grow your business internationally. I have had the pleasure of working with one of the most well-known online fashion retailers (particularly known for their annoying but sticky ads), and have seen the effect of a well-organised fulfilment and returns network. Doing it the right way will greatly improve customer satisfaction and your business case.’

So, Jeroen asks, why OnModus? ‘There is a certain vibe in the company. The team at OnModus has everything that a start-up characterises: entrepreneurial spirit, positivity and the eagerness to leave our stamp on society,’ Maurice explains. ‘However, if you look at the actual experience the team holds on themes like digital strategy and digital transformation, we actually know how to execute on those topics. This is quite unique already, so it seems like we hit a sweet spot in the market. It really excites me to be part of this journey, building the company while creating true value for our clients.’

Solving painpoints through analytics

The interaction between business departments and IT has often been a source of tension within company ranks. Lack of transparency, a different view of the customer and a general cultural conflict are just a few symptoms of the clash between these organisational silos. That is why, here at OnModus, addressing this tension has become our priority as we guide our customers along the path of digital transformation.

In a recent project with one of our clients in the clothing & fashion industry, discovering the pain points between the business department and IT was critical to aligning the organisation and making it a digital enterprise. Alexandru Sabau, Digital Project Manager at OnModus, joins us in the conversation.

‘In the fashion industry, product information and product data are still very inconsistent among clothing suppliers. Formats and level of detail can vary greatly. Suppliers send product data files not only in different formats, such as EDI or Excel, but also with a lot of missing information like group codes, season codes and colour codes. The business department spends valuable resources to streamline this various data from hundreds of suppliers and prepare it for their internal or external product information systems. To ensure brand consistency and relevant product data communication for customers and end users, it's important to have the right product data coming in. Thus, the focus on this process already makes resources scarce’.

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And when the majority of resources are being spent on aligning supplier data, the product data enrichment process is slowed even more when marketing and IT are highly interdependent, since communication between the two departments is often slow and difficult. ‘Whenever a supplier updates their product data taxonomy, the business department communicates the changes to IT, which in turn has to optimise the product information systems for a perfect import. This ultimately leads to a longer time to market, lower product availability and frustration on both sides’, Alexandru adds.

Since data analytics and business intelligence are two of our core competencies, OnModus offered to enable our customer's business department through technology. The goal was to prototype a solution that empowers marketers to gain full control of their processes. 'We aimed to create a solution that eliminates time lost communicating product data changes between departments. Through Alteryx, a workflow-based, self-service analytics tool, we showcased a prototype for the business department that automatically processed product data into the right format for import into the product information system, eliminating the need to coordinate changes with IT', explains Alexandru. The prototype solution can result in reduced time to market for products, increased product availability, increased brand consistency and, ultimately, improved customer experience.

Transferring such a capability in-house can have a crucial empowering effect within individual departments. ‘We realised that we are offering an opportunity for our clients to focus on activities that add value for the end customer, and to learn new and relevant skills. Both business and IT departments have the chance to reduce countless hours of manual data input and inefficient communication due to out-dated processes'. Furthermore, enabling our clients through a software solution might have additional hidden benefits. ‘The solution turned out to be a breath of fresh air for employees. They can now minimise their relationship with spreadsheets and start focusing on team efforts that drive positive customer experience. Software can play a part in forming a customer-centric culture', Alexandru concludes.

As an Alteryx partner, OnModus offers the opportunity for clients to become self-empowered in their analytical and data processes. Want to find out more how OnModus can help your organisation's departments to become data independent?Contact us at flow@onmodus.com.

Context marketing boosts leading FMCG brand conversions by 25%

Previously released in Internet Retailing on October 16, 2017 by Paul Skeldon.

Understanding the intent of your customer leads to more relevancy, an increase in engagement – with brands such as Danone and Dr. Oetker seeing an uplift of 25% in e-commerce conversion and brand engagement. 

So finds OnModus, a customer experience strategy firm operating in the UK, Germany and Benelux, which works with Top100 FMCG brands to not only help with engagement but to understand the context of what shoppers are doing.

A shifting model

“Our clients are top 100 FMCG’s, popular brands which traditionally put a lot of effort in creating big marketing moments in which their brands can shine,” explains Lars Wisselink, Design Strategist at OnModus. “Clearly, this model is shifting. Due to the change of behaviour of customers, we move to a more customer centric approach in marketing activities”

Wisselink continues: “What is important to be effective in your communication as a brand is to tap into the intent of your customers, being in the moment. The use of implicit and explicit customer data is crucial to understand this context, we help discover these insights for marketers to become more effective. Software such as Sitecore helps delivering this experience”.

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Test and learn

Brands such as Danone and Dr. Oetker increasingly want to establish a data-first strategy to enable context marketing. By helping them iterating on small successes, they get results in early and can test and learn.

“We work in multidisciplinary teams to come up with creative hypotheses which we test in an agile fashion,” says Wisselink. “Our context marketing teams work in sprints of two weeks, in which they create and test hypotheses. At the end of each sprint, learnings and ROI improvements are presented to business stakeholders.”

According to Wisselink, a typical example is retargeting people who, for example, have just been looking at a new pair of shoes. “For us, this does not mean you should retarget that customer over and over with the same pair of shoes,” he says.

Instead, understand the moment, the intent of the customer. What blog posts have they been reading, which referral url they came from, how does their purchase history look like. By using this context, you will get a clear picture of where this customer is in their journey. This data can be used to adjust the (retargeting) message and change strategy.

How do you start?

But how to start? “Probably your current data structure contains already many clues about typical behavioural patterns, for different persona segments within your customer base,” explains Wisselink. “These segments can tell you something about the intent, the job your customer is trying to get done. Use these insights to target a specific segment. Iterate and learn from small successes. At OnModus we provide a practical implementation strategy towards context marketing, and lead by example. We know the advantages and also how to overcome the common pitfalls and hurdles. We don’t provide you with documentation and implementation plans, instead we are in it for the results.”

Sitecore Symposium 2017 Las Vegas, Day 3

Today was already the last day of the Sitecore symposium, and we are sorry to see it end. But we did have some truly inspirational moments and shared thoughts with peers in the past three days.

Like every morning, today opened with a keynote. It was Jay Baer on stage today, a Customer & Marketing Speaker who has worked with many brands and companies to set up their experience marketing strategy and become a loved brand that customers talk about.

“I found his keynote to be very spot on what building experiences mean,” Max and Jeroen say. 

Renate had already done a bit of homework. “I received a tip about Jay a couple of months ago, so I already follow him on Twitter, and sometimes listen to his podcasts about ‘Youtility’. I also read his book about this topic,” she says. “Youtility is about the fact that you should not do digital marketing from a hype perspective, because everybody is doing it, but rather because it will help you to achieve your strategic objectives. This is 100% in line with what we do at Onmodus: taking the guesswork out by creating customer experiences based on their needs. Jay’s story triggers me to think and challenge myself about customer experience, and helps me think in different ways about creating an experience for loved brands and insights about loyalty.”

Then it was time for the last rounds of breakout sessions. For Renate, this meant a master class on generating business value using Context Marketing. This master class was split into two parts: the first part was all about accelerating Context Marketing initiatives. The second part was all about how Sitecore customers have brought this into practice. “It's always cool to see how context marketing works and see possibilities to set-up Context Marketing, because this gives me new insights and ideas and also let me think about how I can bring this into practice with our clients and their customers,” Renate explains. “After this session, I joined the closing keynote from Ryan Donovan, SVP of Product Management at Sitecore. He gave a peek into Sitecore’s future roadmap regarding digital marketing, and how the technology supports this.” Although it's still work in progress, I become very enthusiastic about plans they have to upgrade even further the possibilities of doing Context Marketing and listening to your customer all within one system.

Looking back on the 2.5-day symposium and all the inspirational keynotes, breakout sessions, talks with peers and Sitecore’s roadmap, we found a lot of great information to take back to the Netherlands.

Jeroen starts us off with his impressions: “For me, it was great to join and get to learn the Sitecore community and learn all about Sitecore commerce. I am looking forward to learn and get to know the even more peers from the Sitecore community”.

As for Renate, the key takeaways she wants to note are “we really need to think differently about content creation, start investing in analysing your data in your team or invest in a business analyst and provide a digital training program on all company levels which lead to understanding and career growth paths".

Hope you enjoyed our input during the symposium days. If you want to learn more about us, please stay tuned. New blogs will follow soon. And if you want to get to know us better, please get in touch. We are looking forward to driving your digital destiny and bringing technology, marketing & sales together to build relevant and personal experiences for your customers.

Max, Jeroen, Renate