Last week’s exclusive content on CMO.com 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 CMO.com 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.