There's no two ways about it. Customers are connecting with companies in more ways than ever. Apps, email, chatbots, social media – the list goes on. For the last decade, the adage has been, “content is king.” That is no longer true. The audience is king. People today are giving more of their attention to more places where content can be consumed, and with shorter attention spans.
At the same time, content (and how brands use it) has begun to transform marketing strategies. Trailblazers like Nike, Airbnb, and Apple have made big bets on the idea that content-driven experiences can provide value that goes beyond just getting the sale. They figured out the truth: Powerful storytelling builds meaningful relationships, and the best stories are the ones the audience can experience on an emotional level.
Companies like these are fundamentally changing customer behavior and expectations, forcing brands to adapt, to rethink what a successful relationship with consumers entails. It will require marketers, from CMOs to young professionals, to develop new competencies and mindsets to thrive as leaders in new and expanded roles. Brand differentiation is no longer about product or service excellence. Customers already expect that; it’s par for the course. Today, differentiation comes down to how well you know your audience, and how compelling is the experience you provide from point to point.
A person can’t be summed up by bullet points; they’re more than an inventoried list of traits and demographics. A person is how they identify - their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Long-lasting relationships can be built between brands and people by tapping into identity, and by delivering tailored experiences across all brand touch-points. To win in the present and future environment, brands needs to understand the audience’s perspective and align their storytelling to the attitudes and behaviors of those people.
CX impacts the bottom line
We’ve been tossing around the term “customer experience,” but what exactly does it mean to a company’s bank account? Customer experience is your customer’s relationship with you. It’s built upon their perception of your brand, your products, your services, and how that fits with their identity and lifestyle. It’s basically the difference between earning loyalty and losing business.
Relationship, i.e., emotional connection, is critical to a brand's bottom line. According to Forrester’s 2017 Customer Experience Index, "Best-in-class brands average 17 emotionally positive experiences for every negative experience, while the lowest-performing brands provided only two emotionally positive experiences for each negative one.” Translation: Customer experience separates the leaders from the lemons.
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in – improving the experience for your customers is the key to increasing retention, enrichment, and loyalty.
Get this. Companies globally lose over $300 billion each year due to poor customer experience. That’s a lot of tacos left on the table. Yet, only one-quarter of North American marketing executives currently have a customer experience in place. This is the part in the infomercial where someone says, “Stop the madness!”
How can you win with CX?
The million dollar question: How do we, as marketers, change our thinking about our audience in terms of numerical, transactional value to thinking about our audience as people with the value coming from our relationship?
It starts with the right kind of intelligence. To win, companies need to uncover actionable insights about the identities of their audience, align their experiences to those identity traits and prioritize investments in reaching people how, where, and when they can be most effectively engaged.
Getting started with CX Intelligence [CXI]
CX Intelligence is the needle that threads marketing, insights, and technology. It’s an opportunity to establish the right balance of experiences with the least amount of friction between the customers' needs and your company’s desired outcome.
Here are a few of the main ingredients critical for achieving excellent CX:
Today’s customer experience requires a deeper understanding of audiences’ identity, a holistic approach to delivering a consistently meaningful experience, and an agile approach to updating that experience as an audience evolves. Humans are not static; our identities are constantly in a state of flux, which means companies need to adapt their models to address this fluidity. This type of thinking requires new ways of exploring customer trends and preferences, and being smarter about responding to these factors.
Click below to learn how CX Intelligence [CXI] can impact your business.