The customer experience is evolving, substantially impacted by the implementation of ever more advanced digital technologies. In marketing we can see these changes better than anywhere else – a steady shift in how people are engaging with the world around them.
For marketing executives, it’s more important than ever to be informed, implementing cutting edge technology and leveraging the resources at their disposal to reach and engage with both prospects and customers. The impact that these additional channels have can transform the role of a brand in the customer’s life, opening new opportunities for both engagement and business growth.
At a recent Argyle Executive Forum event, leading marketing and customer experience executives shared their insights on what the role of the CMO should be in driving digital transformation of the customer experience. Here are several emerging trends and key takeaways from those discussions.
Business Alignment of New Technologies
Marketing executives are frequently at the cutting edge of consumer facing technologies. Whether it’s a new outreach channel to engage with customers or an advertising opportunity, implementation of new tools and technologies often starts with the CMO. For this reason, it’s important that they be actively engaged with the C-suite to identify and share technologies that can be deployed across all departments.
Tools that can seamlessly integrate into an entire organization’s systems and processes can have a transformative effect on more than just marketing. They can impact customer service interactions, sales processes, fulfillment and more. "As marketers, there are very few digital platforms that don't touch other areas of our business, and we need to align for that," Tony Kempa, CMO, Environmental Systems Design, stated in the recent leadership forum event. "When it comes to digital platforms, it's great to get other perspectives."
Leveraging Mobile Marketing
Apps with unique, user-friendly layouts are transforming the customer experience across all devices. Digital marketing has long been the alternative to broadcast messaging, but the mobile experience makes it more possible than ever to cater tools for customer use when and how they need them.
At the recent leadership forum event, Amir Ghodrati, Director of Marketing Insights for App Annie, stated, “we see people using over 35 apps per month … and if you think about all of the ways that you're using mobile each month, it adds up to a lot of different interactions." Innovative mobile apps can help an organization build customer loyalty and accelerate revenue growth, when done right. The benefits of a smart mobile strategy include the ability to monetize mobile experiences, reach new users who would not otherwise engage with a brand, and advertise across new channels and technologies.
Customer-Centric Campaign Creation
Another important point that arose repeatedly during the September 6 Leadership Forum, was best articulated by Ash ElDifrawi, Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer for Redbox who argued that to provide an engaging experience for customers, marketers need to foster customer trust and loyalty across multiple channels.
This means delivering a consistent experience across all channels – both mobile and traditional – so that customers can easily and seamlessly engage with the brand wherever they happen to be. It also means creating more customer-centric campaigns that shift from brand vitals to brand values. Customers want to feel good about an organization’s products and services, and if marketers can develop human-centric campaigns, they can help the brand stand out against competitors and build better and longer lasting relationships with their customers.
As ElDifrawi stated, “I think there are unintended consequences of what [marketers] do, and we need to think about them. We need to think about the impact that we are having on society." Through cause-marketing, smarter customer-centric campaigns, and omni-channel strategies that provide a consistent, positive message to customers, it is possible to better manage these conversations.
Personalizing the Customer Experience
Once a frontier for marketers, personalization has become standard practice and continues to advance as databases and the tools that use them become more sophisticated. In his presentation, Bernard Chung, Head of Product Marketing for SAP Customer Experience, highlighted the importance and challenges of personalization of the customer experience.
Tools must be properly implemented to provide the kind of experience that users are looking for, but they need to be the right tools based on the specific needs of the organization. Data collection must be robust and include both structured and unstructured customer data from a wide range of sources that can be evaluated for both insights and the opportunity to better personalize future interactions.
"True personalization can only be achieved when you are dealing with the individual. Yet many marketers are still doing personalization based on groups, segments or profiles," Chung said. It’s this barrier that keeps many organizations from truly tapping into the growth potential of a personalized customer experience. The future is in more advanced tools and better collected and collated customer information.
The Future of the Customer Experience
Marketing in the digital age is an ever-changing discipline that requires agile executives willing to constantly innovate. With the right approach to that always-transforming paradigm, you can build a more cohesive customer experience that is represented across your entire organization.
Argyle Executive Forum is excited to help facilitate that conversation and will be bringing together leading marketing executives from top companies on December 11 in San Francisco for our next CMO Forum: B2B Marketing in the Digital Age. You can register now to attend and join speakers from companies like Nokia and Microsoft for a day full of presentations, discussions and networking.