February 17, 2023
Consistent changes to customer communication with the rise of AI chatbots and fluctuating power dynamics between brands and consumers is adding new dimensions to the customer experience. From sophisticated tools for audience engagement to lead conversion and fulfilling customer expectations, marketers must keep the pedal to the metal to drive profitable business growth.
The focus for this year is very much on perfecting the omnichannel customer experience, including predictive analytics for data-driven marketing to optimize the customer journey. While the current conversation is dominated by artificial intelligence chatbots and delivering intuitive customer communication in the near future, marketers still need to build that essential CX ecosystem and ensure human experiences for their consumers.
In the CMO report, Embrace Meaningful Personalization to Maximize Growth - Insights on the value of personalized CX, it is clear that consumers want to be heard, understood and respected. They don’t care about your customer experience — they want meaningful, personalized, human experiences. In the report, from our partners at Deloitte Digital, you will learn how savvy CMOs and CXOs are building durable business advantages and increased customer loyalty through experience personalization.
This research reveals the ways that next-generation experience personalization is driving transformative growth for businesses - and uncovers the gaps you need to close in order to take advantage of the opportunity, such as:
In fact, the rise of the data-driven marketer has propelled the marketing function beyond branding and into the realm of customer experience and revenue growth. Before marketers can succeed in their new role, however, they must first solve the customer data conundrum. As our research shows in OUR report, Forging the Future of Customer Experience - Building a Unified Data Foundation For Turning Customer Insight Into Action, a whopping 60% of marketers aren’t happy with the depth and granularity of customer insights; while 36% don’t even have the data to know their customers.
But marketing leaders can learn how to start cleaning up the data house, integrate customer data, scale customer insights, turn insights into action, and build the customer-experience culture.
A strong CX ecosystem needs stronger CX leadership and vision from senior sales and marketing stakeholders. According to this study by the CMO Council, conducted in partnership with SAP Customer Experience and SellingPower magazine, Customer Experience Dynamics, customer experience (CX) lacks coordinated, centralized leadership in most enterprises.
Functional heads that should have a vested interest in owning CX simply don’t: only 7 percent of sales and 9 percent of marketing leaders view themselves as lead custodians of CX. While both agree on a common definition of customer experience, only 14 percent of sales and 12 percent of marketing leaders believe their organization’s ability to actually deliver connected, personalized, contextual experiences is exceptional.
This report calls for greater CX leadership and vision from senior sales and marketing stakeholders. According to the 169 marketing and 198 sales leaders surveyed at the time, customer data and intelligence are still currently sitting in siloes across the organization, with few respondents revealing they have full access to a unified, 360-degree view of the customer.
No matter the shiny new AI systems and conversational chatbots, context remains important and knowing what your connected customer wants – and needs – remains critical for marketers.
An earlier CMO Council study, The Customer in Context, conducted in partnership with SAP Customer Experience, revealed that while consumers are not looking for omnichannel perfection, they do have a short list of critical channels they expect to have access to, including company website, email, a phone number to call and a knowledgeable salesperson to speak with as part of their customer journey.
And the consequences remain dire for brands which fail to heed a call for better engagements, as consumers will abandon a brand and take their money elsewhere if they continuously encounter poor, impersonal, or frustrating customer experiences.
Louise has 25 years’ experience in B2B publishing as an award-winning editor, columnist and journalist on media brands in Africa; also working with brands/NGOs as a content strategist. She is currently Editorial Director of the CMO Council; lectures in Marketing & Advertising Communications at Red & Yellow School of Creative Business in Cape Town, SA; and writes and edits retail brand blog RetailingAfrica.com. She holds a Masters in Commerce: Strategy and Organisational Dynamics, from University of KwaZulu Natal, in conjunction with Copenhagen Business School in Denmark and UK Open University.