What is customer experience marketing
Companies who put the customer at the center of their marketing strategy and focus on improving the customer experience through engagement, practice customer experience marketing. The goal is to stop selling products and services and start selling experiences.
Challenges of Customer Experience Marketing
The largest hurdle to customer experience marketing is not knowing customers well enough to deliver relevant offers and personalized experiences. Gaining a complete, individual view of customers is key, and that means that your customer data cannotbe in silos or lack data from social media or other channels. Companies that have the ability to listen to their customers and treat them well win because they deliver the experiences customers want; they also succeed as a result of their exceptional customer experience, as Forbes contributor, Futurum Research principal analyst, and Broadsuite Media Group CEO Daniel Newman explains:
- Customers equate brands with experiences – We associate brands with how they make us feel from customer service to the digital journey to retail ambiance
- Customers are more demanding than ever – It takes 12 positive experiences to repair the damage caused by one unresolved negative experience
- Bad customer reviews go viral – Americans mention positive brand experience to about nine people, but mention a poor one to 16 people
- Angry customers have the potential to damage your brand name – Angry customers share on the internet and on social media, which can be disastrous for a brand’s image.
Benefits of Customer Experience Marketing
By putting customers first and meeting their expectations across marketing channels, marketers deliver exceptional customer experiences that retain customers and build loyalty. The key is to deliver a consistent, seamless experience across all touchpoints and ensure that all materials are relevant to them.
Companies who are successful in customer experience marketing are reaping the benefits, as customers are 5.2 times more likely to purchase from companies with a great customer experience, and case studies show that integrated customer journeys provide a competitive advantage with some companies doubling sales year over year.
When companies successfully engage in customer experience marketing, they create a strategy centered on customer interests, needs, and affinities. When they improve customer experiences through engagement, marketers create valuable customer relationships for their organizations. Personalized customer experience is the new marketingexperiences improve the customer experience even more, creating loyal customers that trust the company and spend more on their products. Specifically, the benefits of customer experience marketing include:
- Increased brand loyalty for increased, long-term profitability
- Increased brand awareness and reach
- Greater insight into customer behavior
- Higher customer satisfaction rates
- Increased trust
- Customer Experience Marketing Best Practices
As companies strive to become customer experience leaders, they need to implement customer experience marketing best practices. First, creating memorable experiences for customers means helping them interact with brands in new ways. Experiential marketing involves feelings, senses, thoughts, actions and relations. Experiences that are holistic include people’s lives and conversations and get them talking about brands and products in a positive way. Research shows that consumers are more influenced by word of mouth when making a purchase than by print media, television, movies, and brand websites. And, McKinsey finds that experiential brand experience is the most powerful form of word of mouth.
Other customer experience marketing best practices include:
- Aligning business and brand strategy with customer experience strategy
- Treating customer experience improvement as a discipline
- Understanding what customers see when they interact with your company
- Improving small things but keeping an eye out for big improvements
- Knowing your return on customer experience improvements before investing in them
- Getting all stakeholders involved and onboard with customer experience improvement
- Approaching customer experience improvement as an ongoing process
- Further Reading on Customer Experience Marketing
The Future is Customer Experience Marketing
And while yes, “the future of marketing” is something we should all be thinking about, there are many marketing practices “from the past” that are still vital to delivering exceptional customer experience. Why is that? Even though we may concentrate on big data, mobile, social, or content being the future of marketing, if you really think about it, all of these elements are only important in how they help us to enhance customers’ experiences with our brands.
In this age of the customer, every aspect of business—from strategies and processes to organizational structure and culture—is currently being remodeled to fit a customer-centric frame. Yet, most marketers get so caught up in metrics that they fail to really listen to their customers. This is a huge mistake because ultimately business success depends on how you treat your customers, especially now when they are in the driver’s seat. Where customers want to spend their money is no longer influenced by brand messages, but rather by the experiences they get from brands.
The signs are pretty straightforward—the future, the metaphorical keys to the kingdom, will belong to those brands that create the most awesome customer experiences.
Esther Dokuwaa Ofosuhene, CCXP
President, CXP Ghana