Digital Experience Implementation Partners: Turn The Odd Couple Into The Power Couple

We’ve already established in our research that there’s a huge opportunity for application development and delivery (AD+D) pros to help marketers deliver exceptional digital experiences. Why? IT can offer valuable skills to fulfill marketing’s customer experience vision.  

One of the biggest areas where there’s a lack of IT-marketing communication has been in the selection of digital experience delivery service providers. This is big because digital experience implementations are complicated, and most of our clients need a little outside help. I define these vendors as: Service providers that help create digital experiences (through design and/or strategy) and implement technology solutions (e.g. content management, digital analytics, eCommerce platforms, etc.) that support digital experiences.                                  

These vendors come in all shapes and sizes (and some are better at certain components than others). In an upcoming report, I will include a more detailed list of relevant vendors and their capabilities. But in general, they include service providers with a varied background:

·         Management consultants. These firms (e.g. Accenture, Deloitte) have experience with delivering broad, strategic consulting services. Though it’s often a smaller part of their business, these vendors remain relevant in the digital experience delivery space.

·         Systems integrators. These vendors (e.g. HCL, Infosys, Acquity) will be familiar to most AD+D pros, as they have traditionally been more technically oriented. But (to a varying degree), they are moving to support more holistic digital experience delivery implementations, and some have included capabilities for design and digital experience strategy.

·         Interactive/design agencies. These are the vendors best known for their creative and user experience services (e.g. Razorfish, SapientNitro, Rosetta), but many of these vendors are increasingly supporting the ability to implement, integrate, and support digital experience delivery technologies.

·         Marketing back-end support. These are the vendors that tend to be more concentrated on marketing services, whether it is more strategic (like SEO) or more technology-oriented (like customer relationship management). Many (though certainly not all) of these vendors tend to focus on marketing back-end services and have only just begun to dip their toes into technology for actual experience delivery.

Given these market dynamics, what should AD+D pros know? I have a few recommendations when looking at the digital experience delivery service provider space:

1.      Take a stake and active role in owning your service provider relationships – don’t just leave it to marketing.

2.      Own – don’t outsource – the integration between your various technology solutions that support digital experiences.

I will be publishing a report on this space in the next month or two, where I’ll include more details on the problems AD+D pros face when working with these service providers, the service provider landscape, marketing dynamics, and more tips for AD+D pros. This is ongoing research, so if you have any more recommendations or experiences working with digital experience implementation partners, please comment below. 


Could not agree more with the

Could not agree more with the growing importance of teams (and vendors) that cross traditional boundaries between IT and Marketing. In today's market, there are few opportunities for customer experience innovations that leverage just design, or just technology.

Yet, IT and Marketing collaboration on AD+D vendor choice might well be the tip of a much bigger opportunity iceberg. In our work with organizations making a shift to comprehensive experience innovation capabilities, the most exciting players are taking the opportunity to fundamentally reshape their design and delivery approach.

In organizations that retain their underlying foundation of siloed product management, processes innovations often seems to remain localized within traditional organizational bounds. Agile development processes are applied by IT delivery teams. Lean Product management processes operate within business organizations at a product management level. The rich design and learning space in between, the point were the customer can be most present, remains largely a Marketing activity.

Bringing these diverse elements into the same room changes the game, allowing innovation practices to be mix in much more creative ways. The support of the new integrated AD+D vendors is quite valuable, but subversive changes to the product innovation process itself are potentially be even more transformative.

Breaking a team's traditional linear topology has the potential to fundamentally alter the way innovators interact with customers. It enables new forms of learning and invites in a much broader community of contributors. At its best it reshapes the underlying assumptions about how we create together.

Well thought article !!!

You have greatly highlighted the need of proven and good AD&D partners (not vendors) to fructify digital strategy for the organizations right from strategy to monitization for an organization. It is important to chose the right SI parter with end to end digital experience to decrease TCO