Facing the Challenges of Evolving Customer Expectations

There’s no doubt that the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion has put cus­tomers and their expec­ta­tions at the cen­ter of a brand’s mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. Mar­ket­ing, in large part, is about the cus­tomer jour­ney and per­son­al­is­ing an expe­ri­ence that is unique and inspir­ing. Of course, though, as con­sumer expec­ta­tions are always chang­ing, so must our mar­ket­ing meth­ods. Sev­er­al con­trib­u­tors over the past cou­ple weeks shared their thoughts on how to shape the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence and face chal­lenges along the way in our exclu­sive con­tent on CMO.com.

Brands often oper­ate from an assump­tion that reduc­ing the amount of effort a cus­tomer has to go through gives the brand a com­pet­i­tive edge. Stu­art Craw­ford-Browne, direc­tor at Phoenix Ris­ing, shared some rea­sons brands may want to increase cus­tomer effort. He argued that mak­ing the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence over­ly intu­itive could result in an expe­ri­ence that is “auto­mat­ic, invis­i­ble, and eas­i­ly for­get­table”. He sug­gest­ed a help­ful dis­tinc­tion between unpro­duc­tive and pro­duc­tive cus­tomer effort.

Vir­gin Media’s head of mar­ket­ing, Rhona Brad­shaw, sat down with CMO.com to dis­cuss the role of dig­i­tal in mar­ket­ing. The dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion cre­at­ed oppor­tu­ni­ty for cus­tomers to con­nect with the brands they love, which has caused many brands to reeval­u­ate their lev­el of cus­tomer-cen­tric­i­ty. Brad­shaw dis­cussed the way cus­tomer data has grown to dri­ve com­pa­ny deci­sion mak­ing, includ­ing where to adver­tise, what prod­ucts to cre­ate, and what con­ver­sa­tions the brand should have.

Tim Grims­ditch, direc­tor of glob­al prod­uct and per­for­mance mar­ket­ing at Spo­ti­fy, shared the ways his com­pa­ny is per­son­al­is­ing a unique cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. For Spo­ti­fy, the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence is all about sto­ry­telling, per­son­al­is­ing nar­ra­tives around the music cus­tomers have been lis­ten­ing to. Grims­ditch encour­aged brands to uti­lize sto­ry­telling to deep­en their con­nec­tion with cus­tomers while giv­ing cus­tomers some­thing to share that leads oth­ers to the brand.

In an exclu­sive inter­view with CMO.com, Guy North, man­ag­ing direc­tor at UK broad­cast ser­vice, Free­view, shared some of the chal­lenges his com­pa­ny faces in a world where con­sumers have so many dif­fer­ent ways to access con­tent. Free­view aims “to pro­vide a real­ly sim­ple, hon­est, and easy-to-under­stand way for peo­ple to get the con­tent they love”. North also shared the company’s goal of bring­ing tech­nol­o­gy to the mass mar­ket in acces­si­ble and afford­able ways.

Sev­er­al Gart­ner ana­lysts shared their thoughts on the future of mar­ket­ing. Vice pres­i­dent Yvonne Gen­ovese com­pared the role of the CMO to the hero’s jour­ney, sug­gest­ing that today’s mar­keter sets a goal, puts togeth­er a team, fights impor­tant bat­tles along the way, learns new things about what will dri­ve suc­cess through­out the jour­ney, and suc­ceeds at the end. Research direc­tor Augie Ray com­pared the cus­tomer jour­ney to a sto­ry with char­ac­ters, with the cus­tomer being the most impor­tant char­ac­ter. Ray empha­sised the role of the mar­keter as the one shap­ing the entire jour­ney and the respon­si­bil­i­ties and chal­lenges that entails.

We hope you’ll like our exclu­sive con­tent on CMO.com and learn from some of the world’s top mar­ket­ing minds. Please let us know what you think.