The Marketer of 2018: Taking Ownership of Customer Experience Marketing

By Alex Jones on November 15th 2017

You see it everywhere.

The last quarter of the year, people slowly stop taking on bigger projects in the spirit of preparing for the new year.

Budgets are finalized, strategies are developed, and by the time December starts, you’ve likely got a good idea of what Q1 looks like.

However, what we often miss when we are planning what we ought to do next year is the content: how and why you are doing it.

To force us to take a step back and look at the big picture this quarter, our team dedicated a bit of our time to researching how our industry has changed, what trends emerged this year, and what kind of skills a marketer would need to thrive in 2018.

Ultimately we identified five important emerging skills and traits, and are building a series of how-to’s to help marketers face the challenges of the new year.

Last week we began our ‘Marketer of 2018’ content series by explaining how important being data-driven and getting data-backed answers quickly will be next year.

This week, we’re tackling a topic we kept coming back to over and over again. In 2018, marketers need to be customer experience experts.

 

What is customer experience?

In our most recent guide to benchmarking customer experience, we call customer experience “the sum of all the moments and interactions a customer has with a brand… [which] collectively… helps build the entire story a brand tells its customer.”

This means that customer experience (CX) is affected by literally every part of the business.

So if you’re a clothing retailer, imagine putting together all the touch points customers have with your products, employees, brands and advertising.

How your jeans fit, how your stores are laid out, how helpful your sales reps are, how funny your commercials are, and how efficient your return policy is all work together to build the story your brand tells your customer.

[CX is] the company’s promise, brand, partners, products and everything and every person who touches the customer in some way.

Brian Solis

So if you’re a clothing retailer, imagine putting together all the touch points customers have with your products, employees, brands and advertising.

How your jeans fit, how your stores are laid out, how helpful your sales reps are, how funny your commercials are, and how efficient your return policy is all work together to build the story your brand tells your customer.

Why are two-thirds of CMOs owning CX?

It’s easy to get why over 90% of executives intend to focus their energy on CX in the coming years. Customers have more choice than ever, and their convenience and preferences are their top priority.

So if your products don’t fit your customers’ wants or needs, they don’t need to go to you.

However, according to Mediapost, over two-thirds of CMOs are now responsible for owning CX for their company. About the same number of marketers thing cross-company CX is their team’s biggest mandate.

Why has this extremely important role fallen to marketing teams?

For one thing, unlike many other factions of a company, marketers have unique access to unfiltered data to help understand the customer.

From where customers tend to click on your website to how they talk about your industry online, marketers have the tools to know customers better than anyone else in the organization. We can use social listening, web analytics, and sales data to get a full picture of our target customers.

But more importantly, inherent in our jobs is the need to be able to speak the language of customers. We are the front lines of our brand image, and we are the main way our company’s promise is distributed to our customers.

If we don’t own CX, then no one is.

Where to start

The marketer of 2018 must combine the analytical mindset of a business analyst with the urgency to action of someone in customer service.

While the many, many customer interactions might makes it seem impossible to fully understand CX, the marketer of 2018 can look holistically at the customer journey, and begin seeing the CX big picture.

With the right benchmarks, marketers can better understand where their strengths are, what to get better at, and where to focus energy, in 2018 and beyond.

Stay tuned for next week, where we talk about how the marketer of 2018 will need to prove and improve perhaps the most important 3-letter acronym your company talks about: ROI.


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Alex Jones

Alex is the content researcher in the New York office at Brandwatch. She loves finding the social human in social data, and enjoys watching videos of excited baby goats