TOKYO: When designing digital transformation initiatives, companies must prioritise customer experience and the 'human factor' while pushing back against marketing 'silos', a senior agency figure has said.

"A lot of digital transformation initiatives that've been done is focused on an 'inside-out' perspective,” said Jean Lin, Global CEO of Isobar, at the Advertising Week Asia even in Tokyo recently. (For more details, read WARC's report: Four tips for customer-centric digital transformation.)

"We're in a digital era right now. We're in an experience economy. It's no longer about advertising, per se. Everything is about creating a great experience for your customer," Lin explained.

"When you design a transformation initiative, it has to come from the customer's perspective. Look at the customer and what they need, and then, redesign your organization accordingly, rather than the other way around."

Lin also emphasized the need for companies to resist silos, especially in the age of data-driven marketing.

"Marketing has become the center of your organization. It's not just the way that you engage with your customer. The data that you create actually helps you to redesign who you are, and while you're thinking of customer always up front, the satisfaction of customer as key," she said.

Technology offers a chance for frictionless customer journeys as well.

"Everything that's invented should make the customer experience more frictionless. When the customer is trying to buy a product - be it social commerce, shoppable content, one fixed standard all the way through mobile payment – [marketers must] use a framework to look at those, not as silos, but as an integrated ecosystem," Lin explained.

Finally, Lin emphasized that the 'human factor' remains critical to effective digital transformation.

"All customer experience should have this 'human factor'. When we design the customer experience, we should understand that it's not only the frictionless part that matters. It also has to combine with inspiring stories. That's how a brand building journey can really be successful."

Data sourced from WARC