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Where to Focus Your Efforts for Customer Experience Transformation

While the digital transformation race is still on and the pressure to change your organization remains dauting, “think like the customer, understand what they want, how they want it and when they want it…” is the fundamental point. A business is still a business and the business still need to sell products. The question every modern organization is asking is, “why should I want to go from being product driven to customer experience driven in my marketing?”

Let’s break it down. Customer experience (CX), is your customers' holistic perception of their experience with your business or brand. CX is the result of every interaction a customer has with your business. Great customer experience is personalized, timely, relevant, effortless/simple, seamless, remarkable, memorable, and consistent.

Customer experience sounds like some sort of marketing utopia. But you might be wondering how moving from your revenue producing, product driven campaigns to customer experiences will continue to drive revenue (and even do better)? While each organization is different, the value results from brands that provide customer experiences vs. product marketing are trickling in and the results are significant. Companies that are experience-led have:

The numbers are not too shabby, but this transformation process probably sounds incredibly hard. Transformation of business strategy, people, and process is a huge change that requires a lot of effort. There is no denying that. However, breaking it down into two simple concepts can enable your organization to make this shift. The two pillars that can lead your organization toward becoming a customer experience-focused organization are:

  1. First-party data asset
  2. Content at scale

First-Party Data Asset

There is a clear pillar that should be leveraged to optimize experience transformation efforts: first-party data. Remember, first-party data is the data that your organization has collected directly from its audience and customers. There’s a good case to be made that any transformation is likely to fall short unless it is based on a solid foundation of “data transformation.” Data, and specifically your data, holds the key for you to be able to think like your customers. In today’s digital world, every interaction generates data. With today’s increased use of Internet of things (IOT) technology, traditional brick-and-mortar store experiences and marketing can also generate data, not only online but even in person. This data is powerful and when connected to a person (with a clear identity resolution process), this asset becomes turnkey to unlocking the move toward becoming experience led. First-party data, when leveraged correctly, will deliver value through greater understanding, alignment, and actioning. Data enables you to build the picture of your customers and anticipate what they need, before they need it, across the customer journey.

Content at Scale

This second pillar is perhaps not as obvious. Nonetheless, content at scale, is the second key to transformation success as it will become the engine that drives customer experience. When looking at organizations that are successful at customer experience today, content experiences that make customers convert are the key differentiator. Content in this context, is so much more than the words and images on your website. It’s the fuel that ignites brand awareness and the driving force behind consumer engagement and conversions. Content creates the experience that the omnichannel consumer won’t forget—for better or for worse.

To achieve content at scale, marketing needs to break the process where content creation is happening in siloed vacuums by getting content strategy teams involved in the transformation project early. Furthermore, strategy needs to shift by focusing on audiences and audience needs (rather than revenue needs). Focus instead on identifying what content your audience actually wants and how you’ll measure its effectiveness. If you don't prove the ROI of your content efforts, it’s difficult to see content as a business driver. Similarly, if you don’t have a clearly articulated and documented content strategy, it’s almost impossible to align your marketing and sales folks with your company’s vision to make the case for securing the right people, tools, and processes to execute the strategy and move toward customer experiences.

Data and content touch every department inside an organization. As such, it's critically important to not only understand how data and content contribute to your existing processes and current marketing efforts but also to make these areas the heart of your organization transformation. Once you have “transformed” these two pillars, your path to customer experience marketing will become more intuitive and will naturally flow toward providing customer experiences that resonate with your current and future customers.

Merkle can help you assess your current martech strategy and make suggestions to help your organization. Contact us at marketing@merkleinc.com to learn more about our martech assessment.