Welcome to the Marketing Impact Vlog!

Today, we’re dipping into the fascinating world where customer experience and marketing converge because the future is here, and yet, customer experience is one of those areas where most companies don’t have a person looking out for that. So we’re here to define the opportunity a little better and hopefully inspire you into taking bolder action.

Five years ago, I led a workshop at one of our Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange events. At the time, the research by the Economist on how marketers’ roles would shift by 2020 said that “75% of marketers believe they will be responsible—i.e., measured, judged, rewarded, promoted—for the end-to-end experience over the customer’s lifecycle.”

As a result, we would be measured on “engagement”, and marketing would become responsible in some way for marketing, sales, repeat sales and referrals.

It seems that the future is here.

The 2019 Salesforce State of Marketing report stated:

“A Unified Customer Experience Is This Year’s Leading Strategy. As marketers take the lead on more end-to-end customer experience initiatives, they are broadening their focus down the funnel, deepening relationships with other teams, and tracking metrics that extend beyond customer acquisition into purchase and post-purchase. The number of marketers tracking lifetime customer value (LTV) is projected to grow 107%.”

We are now in the era of full-funnel marketing.

If you haven’t already, we as marketers should be raising our hands internally to own customer experience. This is our domain and places marketing in a serious power position which we all should relish! But – this provides a dilemma. How do we fit this into our already over-scheduled day to day? Marketing automation and AI continue to improve our efficiency, but  it’s still a lot. How do we set reasonable expectations around what services and support marketing provides our organization?

First off, there is no arguing in our opinion that marketing DOES play a critical role in customer experience, but it’s as simple as just about spreading our messages across all channels at every stage of the funnel and customer journey to cast the widest net.

The customer experience IS at the center of our work, but engagement is not our final measure of success.

Yes! Marketing actually has a BIGGER role than customer retention, sales or return on investment…that bigger job is to see our role as driving INNOVATION.  When you are a key player in the customer experience and looking at Customer Lifetime Value, your job is no longer about defending your programs’ ROI. You become focused on creating value for your customers, which translates into creating value for your company.

Are you starting to see how being customer-focused can become your strategic, competitive advantage?

I couldn’t agree more. It’s a paradigm shift each organization must make and we’re here to help you get started.

  1. Ask great questions. As marketers, we love customer research and insights, but we often feel we don’t have enough. So the work here is to invest time in aligning with the teams in your company that are gathering customer and product-usage insight, and make sure they are asking really great questions. Make sure they are asking questions that help you get inside the heads of your customers. In this way, you’re investing less in “one-off” customer research and embedding smart research into your operation.
  2. Analyze with an eye for adding value. Once your organization is gathering and sharing customer insights, put your analytical skills and creativity to task. Analyze the data. Then ask more great questions—Do we make this easy for our customers? Did our customers say, “Wow!”? If not, what are we doing really well that needs to be amplified, and where do we have opportunities to innovate brand new approaches?
  3. Stoke the creative fires inside your organization. Armed with better customer research that you’ve analyzed and synthesized, next you want to uncover the skills, knowledge and expertise within your organization that you can leverage to help innovate new solutions to address your customers’ evolving problems, needs and desires. Position yourself to close information loops within your organization—bringing unlikely teams together—and empower teams to rally around these challenges, get creative, and innovate in the name of customer delight at every stage of the customer journey.
  4. Create a bigger “Why” for yourself and your work. Every passionate marketer I’ve met is equal parts dreamer and doer. You welcome challenges as opportunities to learn. You join with others and recognize that the success of one requires the success of many. You see that marketing today is not only influencing purchases. The marketing initiatives you create have the ability to create visceral connections between people, to inspire movements, and to lead our world to a better place under the namesake of your brand. In one light, you and your marketing team have been given the pen to author a version of the future you’d like to see.  Embrace this and you will secure your strategic advantage for a long time to come.

Now, if that’s not a reason to get up in the morning and do our best, I don’t know what is!

So there you have it. A call-to-action for you to step up your game and lead the way forward using customer experience as your strategic advantage. Interested in learning more about CX? You gotta check out CX Ecosystem. This is a Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange and if you’ve never attended one, you MUST place this event on your calendar. Visit CXmindxchange.com or click the link below for more details.

Until next time, remember to Grow your Brand….…and Drive Demand.