4 Key Issues for Marketers Managing the Customer Experience
It was exciting to get the results from Simple’s recent research study, Marketing Operations in the Age of Intelligence — and have it confirmed that in many cases, marketers are now becoming the custodian of customer experiences rather than just brand communications.
With almost 2 in 3 chief marketing officers and marketing teams taking on responsibility for managing the customer experience, it’s more than a nascent trend – and fast becoming business as usual.
Read the study: Marketing Operations in the Age of Intelligence
But what does that mean for marketing teams already overwhelmed by a mountain of processes, data, content and competition?
From my discussions with busy CMOs, it adds up to 4 things:
1. Alignment is critical
So often we run around doing ‘work’ without necessarily understanding how it fits into the big picture: how does it contribute to your organisation’s strategic objectives? Often, these goals are only communicated to the organisation once or twice a year, or when they change.
Our research showed 38% of marketers believe marketing at their organisation is not well aligned with business objectives.
Communicating those goals and having them accessible and connected to the work marketing teams are doing – particularly when the broader customer experience remit is considered – not only creates better marketing outcomes and more consistent customer experiences, but it helps marketing teams prioritise the mountain of work they need to get through.
2. Not data but insights
Marketers must own and champion the insights that spring from customer data and disseminate these across the organisation. Data in isolation is just a bunch of 1s and 0s. Look at your data, but combine this with qualitative research to understand and interrogate what matters at key moments in your customers’ experience with your organisation — and, more importantly, why.
That will generate the insights that will help your messaging cut through and which can be used to improve and inform other aspects of the customer experience – how retailers answer the phone when a customer calls a store, and how sales people interact with prospects.
When you have these insights, make them accessible, centralise and share them.
3. Brand governance is more important than ever
Getting the basics right has never been more important when it comes to brand governance. It’s a no-brainer, but so often marketing processes are chaotic, unruly and undocumented.
One in two marketers, according to our study, don’t track their processes at all — and it’s harder to schedule and complete work when you don’t really know how long something takes, where the potential bottlenecks are, and how best to navigate and manage them.
On top of that, two in five marketers have no formal compliance processes, and a majority of marketers get work approved over email or in meetings.
The potential for off-brand, off-strategy and even incorrect or damaging marketing materials to go out without the correct oversight is multiplied when you consider that most teams use more than 10 channels to market.
Get your free checklist: 10 Steps to Mastering Marketing Compliance
4. Do the basics better than the competition
Everyone finds basic brand and customer experience hygiene difficult. Marketing, particularly in large organisations or retail or franchise groups with lots of stakeholders, often not located in the same physical environment, must start with the basics.
Use technology to support your teams and find efficient ways of ensuring consistency across messaging, visual appearance, tone of voice and customer interactions across all customer touch points. Make sure it can help you achieve, monitor and maintain that consistency and bake it into your go-to-market processes.
Take action to address these four issues and you may be surprised to realise that it’s not that hard to out-perform the competition.
And once your brand is meeting customer expectations when it comes to brand, messaging and customer interactions, that frees up the resources, energy and agility to tackle bigger customer experience agendas.