Highlights – It’s all About the Customer Experience

Last week’s exclu­sive con­tent on was all about the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. Most mar­keters know how vital it is to put the cus­tomer at the cen­ter of any mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy, but there’s still the chal­lenge of actu­al­ly shap­ing an over­all mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy with real cus­tomers in mind. Brands are pay­ing more atten­tion to a cus­tomer jour­ney, which means pay­ing atten­tion to behav­iors along the way and design­ing an expe­ri­ence that gets the cus­tomer from ini­tial inter­ac­tion to pur­chase. The design of a company’s cus­tomer expe­ri­ence has nev­er been more com­plex as the num­ber of chan­nels con­tin­ues to grow.

Jes­si­ca Gow, Social Media Man­ag­er at Head­stream, began the week by offer­ing some insight­ful pre­dic­tions about mar­ket­ing con­tent for 2016. Giv­en the con­stant changes in cul­tur­al trends, cus­tomer behav­iours, and tech­nol­o­gy inno­va­tion, Gow encour­ages mar­keters to pay clos­er atten­tion to the cus­tomer jour­ney and uti­lize data to cre­ate con­tent that poten­tial cus­tomers will find use­ful and that will dri­ve them to the point of pur­chase. She also encour­ages mar­keters to keep their con­tent trans­lat­able into dif­fer­ent chan­nels to keep the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence con­sis­tent. Final­ly, she encour­ages brands to embrace sto­ry­telling cre­ate sto­ries their cus­tomers will want to engage with and that will move them to act.

Last week’s inter­view was with Romain Bertrand, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of eHar­mo­ny in the U.K. With 2,000 dat­ing sites to choose from in the U.K. eHar­mo­ny posi­tions itself in an extreme­ly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket, yet it boasts 4 mil­lion mem­bers in the U.K. In dis­cussing how the company’s mar­ket­ing is set up, Bertrand empha­sized the impor­tance eHar­mo­ny places on uti­liz­ing as many chan­nels as pos­si­ble and ensur­ing cus­tomers have a con­sis­tent expe­ri­ence across all chan­nels. He also men­tioned the way the com­pa­ny relies on behav­iour­al data to shape the design of the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. Though the mul­ti­pli­ca­tion of chan­nels has been a chal­lenge, Bertrand believes that eval­u­at­ing new chan­nels as they appear is a vital role for the marketer.

Dave Chaf­fey, Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Author, Con­sul­tant and Train­er for Smart Insights, offered up some thoughts on the com­plex­i­ty of the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. The chal­lenge that many mar­keters face, accord­ing to Chaf­fey, is man­ag­ing the num­ber of chan­nels through which cus­tomers may encounter a brand’s con­tent. The temp­ta­tion for many com­pa­nies is to hire spe­cial­ist teams to man­age dif­fer­ent chan­nels. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this often results in what Chaf­fey calls “dig­i­tal silos,” which keeps a busi­ness from coor­di­nat­ing a con­sis­tent cus­tomer expe­ri­ence across all channels.

Con­sul­tant, speak­er, and blog­ger Frédéric Cavaz­za offered some thoughts on “the new, new mar­ket­ing.” Today’s mar­keters have more chan­nels to work with than in days past, and it’s impor­tant to uti­lize all of them because con­sumers are using all of them. Cavaz­za high­lights the need for com­pa­nies to shape a con­sis­tent over­all cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. This means focus­ing on per­son­al­i­sa­tion of mar­ket­ing con­tent as well as work­ing at the speed of the var­i­ous chan­nels a brand uti­lizes. Mar­keters will have to pay clos­er atten­tion to the fields of ana­lyt­ics, con­tent, social media, and mobile.

Thomas Bar­ta, CMO Advis­er and Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of act­vance | Glob­al Lead­er­ship Advis­ers, end­ed the week by encour­ag­ing brands to pur­sue the absolute best when it comes to agency part­ners. He draws on the expe­ri­ence of Steve Jobs, who con­sis­tent­ly made sure he was work­ing with the best peo­ple, which is in large part why Apple is such a high-qual­i­ty prod­uct today. How­ev­er, the best agency may be the most expen­sive and far away; Bar­ta encour­ages brands to think less regard­ing cost and more about ROI.

We invite you to read our exclu­sive engage­ments from some of the top mar­ket­ing indus­try pro­fes­sion­als and let us know what you think.