2021 will be the year of customer experience (CX). For years, marketers have been preaching a customer-centric approach, but the truth is that most have been skating by with a customer-centric “light” approach that has been heavily reliant on third-party data and cookies.
Well, all of that is about to change. With the convergence of digital acceleration from the pandemic, cookie deprecation, increased consumer privacy efforts and more, marketers will be forced into a new way of marketing. A way that actually isn’t “new,” but rather returns to the roots of good marketing, where customer experience drives all decisions.
Consumer expectations are higher than ever, and we can thank the pandemic for the 10x acceleration and growth within digital.1 We’re living in a world where 4 out of 5 customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.2 And we, as marketers, know that improving our customer experience has significant value and benefits for our brand, such as:
- Increased trust and loyalty
- Purchasing and/or engaging more
- Recommending the brand
- Forgiving bad experiences, etc.
So if we know there is ROI in improving our CX, why are more marketers not focusing on it?
We believe that it is because consumers have changed so much in recent months that brands haven’t been able to catch up, simply because of organizational heft. So now, as we work to get up to the speed of the market, we have a shifting measurement landscape. As an industry, we’ve been relying on cookie technology as the basis for targeting for so long that we’re now faced – because of cookie deprecation – with both the challenge and the opportunity to use new, emerging, and, hopefully, much-improved data to really, really get to know our customers in a respectful and wise way.
In order to begin delivering on the expectations of our audiences, we must gain a deeper understanding of who they are, what they want, and the path(s) they take to purchase.
To get there, your strategy should include:
- Understanding and organizing your existing first-party data with the goal of creating a single view of the customer. This view, likely housed within a Customer Data Platform (CDP), would connect data from multiple sources into a centralized location that can be used to inform and trigger marketing efforts.
- Where you can start: Do a data audit. Understand what data you have, where it lives, and how easily you can access and tie it all together.
- Identifying your key audience segments and developing comprehensive personas (or as we like to call them, decision-making profiles, but more on that in a later post).
- Where you can start: Make a list of what you don’t know about your customers that you would like to know.
- Defining the ideal customer journey or paths to conversion. This will help you identify opportunities for enhancements or radically new approaches.
- Where you can start: Document and map your existing customer experience. Every. Single. Touchpoint.
- Putting it into action! Use all this data, information and insights to execute marketing campaigns that are truly customer-centric. Find new ways to deliver the personalized experiences your audiences are craving.
- Where you can start: Incorporate the learning into your marketing and media strategies and start testing.
Or, for any of these steps, just call Ciceron and we’ll get you on the right track.
If we’ve learned anything from consumers in 2020, it’s the power of adaptability and willingness to change behaviors. As marketers, we need to do the same, and rethink and evolve our customer experience continuously to ensure we’re meeting and exceeding customer expectations. Brands that do so enjoy greater value in the market. To date, we’ve been able to depend on technology, but that relationship is evolving, and how we integrate that technology into our CX is what will make the difference going forward. It’s time we put customers at the forefront and take our CX seriously.