These days, it’s hard to hide from all the studies showing that customer experience is more important than product. Great. What’s customer experience?
SAS defines it as “your customers’ perceptions – both conscious and subconscious – of their relationship with your brand resulting from all their interactions with your brand during the customer life cycle.” Basically, it’s a question of whether your customers have a positive experience of your company, from first to last contact.
So what does the singular importance of customer experience mean for your marketing? It means the job is more important than ever, because:
“Marketing should play a leadership role in setting the customer experience strategy, and how the brand is experienced at every touch-point.”
-Matt Preschern, IBM
Essentially, your marketing is no longer just spreading the word about what you’re selling. Your marketing IS what you’re selling. And you’re selling it on more channels than you used to – a lot more. It goes without saying that your marketing volume has to keep pace.
Moreover, as SAS reports, “While customers may be willing to accept different service levels from different channels, they expect your brand value proposition to remain consistent.” In other words, customers are less forgiving about lapses in brand continuity than they used to be.
More channels. Higher brand continuity bar. It’s what we experts refer to as a “double whammy.” And that double whammy is the reason traditional agency relationships just don’t fly in this era. If you’re working with an agency, they need to be acting more like an internal resource – with an intimate understanding of your evolving brand standards and the responsiveness to deliver an endless assortment of assets against changing day-to-day priorities.
Our relationship with Salesforce is a case in point. We’ve churned out thousands of assets – and every single one MUST faithfully represent the brand, because it’s impossible to say which could be the one to trigger that coveted call to sales.
In our day-to-day dealings with Salesforce, there is no client-agency barrier. Our team works with Salesforce’s internal agency constantly, presenting work daily and reacting to micro-evolutions in the brand as they happen. There’s just no room for a static scope of work that becomes stale as priorities shift.
Standing out has always been the goal in marketing, but in an era where customers are inundated on a new level, it takes a new level of marketing volume and proficiency to win them over. BrightFunnel’s research wasn’t the first to make the point, but it made it well back in 2015:
“Between 2014 and 2015, the average number of marketing touches required to close a deal increased by 52%.”
In conclusion, in this day and age – whether you’re working with an agency or not – your marketing success depends on a more nimble, fast-paced approach to propagating and evolving your brand.