The Line Between CX And Marketing is Blurring
Forrester says that 70% of customers expect you to know why they’re calling before they call. For those who care about Customer Experience, that truly matters. Effectively this means 70% of your customers are disappointed before you even have a chance to influence them. To avoid this disaster, you must invest in the customer journey for your brand. Both Marketing and CX teams have begun to recognize this.
Marketing today is in a contradictory flux. In many ways it looks like it has for decades before. Every day hundreds of batch emails are processed to target lists, for example. But in many other ways it’s evolved dramatically. We’ve already discussed how Martech and Adtech are coming together in a previous report, but even more change from the status quo is coming. Intelligent marketers and CX Leaders are already beginning to adapt. Two related trends, the expansion of marketing scope, and the growing sophistication of CX, are on course for a merger. It should come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that Customer Journeys are the ultimate answer to this new challenge. With the unprecedented connectivity of today’s world, a cohesive Customer Journey is the only way to satisfy customers.
Marketing is Beginning to Look Like CX
To start, we should discuss what CX is and isn’t. Simply, CX is the practice of supporting the business’ efforts to make customers satisfied, to keep people enjoying the experience of interacting with a brand. CX practitioners manage the entire customer journey, striving to solve problems and make each interaction with the brand as positive as possible.
What does it mean for Marketing to Look Like CX?
Marketing has been trending towards a wider scope for many years now, embracing more and more channels in an effort to influence customer behavior. Like CX practitioners, marketers have always cared about customer perception.
The difference now is that CMOs and marketers are being charged not only with ensuring the right copy, ads, and promotions are being run in the right places, but also with delivering a consistent and seamless experience from Acquisition to Conversion to Growth. Because the scope of marketing has grown, marketers in recent years have had to tear down the barriers between parts of their own organizations, mimicking the work that CX as a practice has done for many years. Marketing has always been about automating messaging sent to customers. The difference now is that Marketers are beginning to support Customer Journeys, much more like what CX has tried to do from the very beginning. This new reality means marketers need to have the right message ready for customers, no matter the channel and no matter the time.
Take the example of one of Kitewheel’s Financial Services Clients. They had siloed communication channels for lead gen, retention, and growth channels despite the necessity of sharing information and data. Not only that, each business line was further subdivided. To fix this, they had to look at their marketing challenge from a customer’s point of view. This is a practice common in the CX world, and proved incredibly valuable.
A customer doesn’t see your company as a dozen business units each with a half dozen teams, they only see one business and expect the proverbial left hand to know what the right hand is doing. Once they had this view firmly in mind, they began to use Kitewheel to stitch their systems together, connecting data, driving their tools with complex and simple decisioning and logic. This eliminated the siloed business units, making them interact with their customers as a single company, with a single voice.
This isn’t an isolated story. Many marketing departments are realizing that CX is the next competitive battleground for their businesses. To be competitive, they have to make the transition from marketing to sales to service seamless. It’s not an easy task, but Marketing has the tools and data to make these connections. By thinking and acting more like CX, Marketing has begun to get smarter about their customers.
But CX Is Also Beginning To Look Like Marketing
How can it be that CX is beginning to look like Marketing when the inverse is also true? The idea of Customer Experience as a practice is an old one, but has only recently begun to truly come into its own. The founding of the CXPA back in 2011 in many ways signaled the shift from CX as a person within the business who looks for and solves problems, to a person or team within the business that finds larger solutions, proposes structural changes, and tracks customer responses with tools like Convergys, or Qualtrics. CX leaders may even employ powerful mapping tools like Suite CX to map out and explore Customer Journeys from a listening perspective.
For a long time, CX had been a mode of thought around managing problem situations that the customer might experience. Consider an airline that had to handle customers missing their flights due to delays at the ticket counter. In the old school of CX, they would have found the right amount to compensate the customer. The would then have helped them get booked with a new flight. Finally they would identified what went wrong in the first place and recommend changes. Those are still part of the CX role within the business, but today’s CX professionals are so much more than that.
What do cx practioners look like today?
Today’s CX practitioners, such the Certified Customer Experience Professionals (CCXPs) use surveys and data to make decisions, they shape corporate policy and culture, and impact every part of the customer life cycle, influencing marketing, to sales, to strategy.
The main takeaway is that CX should now care about how customers experience a brand overall. They should care how they resolve tension points with the brand. They need to listen to how customers communicate about and with the brand
Tech Isn’t Just for Marketers Anymore
The adoption of technology to better understand the current state of the market and customer base is one of the key ways that CX has already been shifting to look like Marketing. This trend has been accelerating. The growth of professional organizations and technology solutions catering to CX teams has forced those teams to evolve. CX professionals have begun to not only use technology in a style more reminiscent of marketers, but they’ve also started to approach problems in some of the same ways.
Marketing research and data analysis have long been part of marketing and the technology has long been caught up with marketing needs to address these particular challenges. Today, we see technologies made specifically for CX. Several new technologies for Voice of the Customer surveys have come out over the past several years. These new systems have allowed CX leaders to use tools and technology to answer questions that used to require many hours of work in a much shorter time. That said there is still much room for growth in this regard. At the CXPA 2018 conference in New Orleans, Kitewheel’s Mark Smith and Philip Enders Arden reported hearing many CCXPs indicating that they still collected information “by hand”. Not only that, many attendees indicated that they had only recently received funds to purchase these new technologies.
Learning From Marketing’s Example
The good news is that these CX practitioners have the example of marketers to look to once again. A similar challenge emerged with the advent of big data in previous decades. With increased segmentation demands, campaign management solutions and consulting became enormous businesses. This growth drove innovation in technology, practices, and strategy that are still relevant today. CX is still in the first stages of a transformation. CX teams will surely continue to look more and more like marketing departments as time goes on.
Indeed, Marketing Tech has always been about collecting and using more data, and then automating processes to deliver messages. CX is picking up these same techniques and collecting more customer data to understand them. Leading CX teams are also automating more of their CX processes to communicate and interact with customers. Both approaches are becoming more data centric and have been for some time. But the truth is, neither can tackle the challenge of customer experience without a holistic view of their customer journey.
How Customer Journeys Empower Both Marketing and CX
Journey focused brands, like Gerber, USAA, and others have already integrated their marketing, customer service, sales, and e-commerce channels. No wonder this has made the experience of buying their products and using their services seamless!
Customer Journeys are every touchpoint and interaction that your brand has with a customer, every thought the customer has about your brand, and even conversations about your brand that your customers have with friends entirely away from your influence. The smartest brands measure every step that a customer takes on their channels. Then they use the information gathered there to influence every future step. Sometimes the best thing is to do nothing, or wait, but each activity is data to discover and analyze. This is where Journey Analytics comes into play. Not only for initial journey discovery, but also for ongoing discovery and analysis of success.
Tools for Success:
You can read more about how Forrester thinks about Customer Journey Analytics in the Forrester Wave report on Customer Journey Analytics Orchestration.
Additionally, because brands are at varying levels of Customer Journey maturity, Kitewheel released our Maturity Model eBook, highlighting four key phases that brands go through as they implement customer journeys. What you’ll learn is that most businesses Customer Journey practices are only beginning to grow. This in spite of long established marketing and CX practices. How does your brand compare?
Kitewheel designed our software for Marketers, CX professionals, and Tech-savvy Strategists to orchestrate journeys. If you’re ready to start investing in a better customer journey for your band, you should give us a call, request a demo, or read more of our content.