This week marked the beginning of the spring season of marketing conferences with Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience in Chicago.  Over the course of the three day event, presenters got to the heart of some of the key challenges and changes that marketers are facing in a data-driven era.

Forrester’s Emily Collins picked up on an important element of the key note address delivered by Charlie Herrin, Comcast’s Chief Customer Officer: customer service only becomes important when some element of customer experience is broken.

Shep Hyken, author and customer experience expert, noted data is the key to delivering on the promise of a rewarding customer experience.  The more you know about your customer, the more you can tailor their experience during an interaction and make pro-active offers that anticipate their needs or pain points. In other words, data-driven marketing can elevate customer experience to be about nurturing and expanding the relationship, rather than troubleshooting and desperate retention measures.

 

One of the other big themes coming out of Modern Customer Experience was that we are now in an “experience economy.”

 

What is the experience economy? According to YouTube personality Casey Neistat, it’s where ideas are the first level of engagement and the product is secondary.  Moreover, it flips the traditional model where customers are simply the consumers, to accepting that they are stakeholders in the initial decision making process and every interaction from them on.

A key part of this realignment in the experience economy, as Jonathan Westover captured from Comcast CXO, Charlie Herrin’s talk, is to meet the customer where they are and not to overwhelm them. This is a good reminder to marketers that listening is just as important as sharing information in the experience economy.

 

This can be a difficult step to take, given that marketing teams are now including revenue targets as key metric of success.

 

However, the situation is not quite as precarious, as Shep Hyken describes in this tweet.

 

Even if the customer defines your organization, it’s not a matter of hoping that their vision aligns with what your organization wants them to think of you. By returning to the fundamentals of the buyer’s journey, it is possible to shape customer insight, expectation, and perception, that is their experience and over the journey help connect engagement to demand. It’s all about balancing different marketing strategies, incorporating feedback, listening as well as sharing and applying the data while remembering the importance of human insight.

 

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