Moment of Truth: Why You Can’t Ignore Customer Experience Initiatives Anymore

Experience builds trust. Trust builds loyalty. That’s the crux of B2B marketing today. Customers are more likely to remember bad experiences and spread the word among the buyer community. However, experience has moved beyond reputation management initiatives. Today, it’s part of digital transformation that separated high-performing marketing and sales teams from laggards in the MarTech hype cycle.

It’s practically hollow to expect Marketing Technologies to deliver on ROI without analyzing their impact on customer experience. Be it for B2B or B2C, there is ample buzz around the serious business results achieved with the successful adoption of customer experience measures.

According to Salesforce, “Among all high-performing marketing teams, 54% lead customer experience initiatives!” In the age of connected and concerted Marketing-Sales-Advertising efforts, analytics and mapping customer experience have become absolutely vital.

In the MarTech ecosystem, “60% of marketing teams track customer satisfaction, 59% track retention rates, and 53% share common goals and metrics with service teams.”

By 2020, all aspects of marketing and sales would see better adoption of Customer Data Platforms that meet higher expectations in CX.

The definition of customer experience has undergone a significant evolution with the maturity of data science, AI and Machine Learning, Marketing Automation and data privacy frameworks. Analytics suggest that CX expectations in 2019 have achieved industry-recognition globally, sans debate.

Today, customer experience journeys and their mapping have become the launch pads to initiate any marketing and sales campaign. To understand why marketing and sales teams can no longer ignore customer experience initiatives, we spoke to leaders from Marketing Technology companies.

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Branded Content: The Star of the Show

Darren Guarnaccia, Chief Product Officer at Crownpeak, said, In recent years, we have seen marketing platforms balloon in complexity and breadth, causing frustration among marketers. Technological advancements have led to an explosion in software components causing the ‘feature-adding’ arms race that we see today.”

Darren continued, “Not only are these platforms’ ‘bolted-on’ features complex and often unnecessary to the marketers using them, they also tend to be largely disconnected from one another, causing a lack of efficiency. As we head into 2019, I see a return to best of breed technologies and a move towards more simplified and streamlined MarTech solutions and processes. Success lies in tech that works in a simple, more easily adopted way that improves a marketer’s effectiveness and agility. This ability to respond rapidly to the ever-changing market opportunities will only increase in importance in the coming year and the complexity of most marketing stacks are getting in marketers’ way.”

“Lastly, content will re-emerge as the star of the show as brands look to build customer experiences that are valued by their customers. Content earns the brand the right to continue to engage their customers and provides a compelling reason to voluntarily share their personal data with that brand willingly. The best brands will offer consumers transparency in the use of their data and control of how their data is used,” he added.

Why You Need Accurate Attribution to Win With Customer Experience?

Ant Hearne, CMO at Rokt, said, “Customer journeys cross over an increasing number of channels and devices, becoming even more complex with every new connected device that is launched. Adopting more scientifically rigorous measurement methods, such as incrementality, is now essential for anyone looking to understand the true value of every customer interaction.

“Competition is only going to get fiercer and it is not enough to simply assume tactics are working. Traditional attribution methods often require some level of guesswork and don’t deliver the accuracy required to truly understand the value marketing delivers. Only those who recognize the need for precise measurement of campaign success will remain competitive as pressure to meet business objectives continues,” he concluded.

Video and Mobile: Breaking the Halo Effect

For a large part of the decade, we have been hearing about Video Advertising and Mobile Marketing becoming the ubiquitous platforms to deliver customer experience. With mobile CRMs, live streaming and event automation growing faster than initial anticipation, we see the halo effect broken among disillusioned marketers who thought it’s OK to overlook mobile as a marketing channel. For example, Instagram advertising has exploded as the go-to marketing and advertising platform in 2018.

Noam Neumann, COO, Glispa, said, “Video Advertising surged in 2018 and mobile is expected to account for almost 50% of the total US ad spend by 2022. As brand advertisers look to find increasingly creative ways to engage their users, playable ads can provide the answer, with seven out of ten advertisers claiming they are highly effective.

Noam added, “Despite the initial slow adoption of interactive ads, 2019 will see them flourish, as more marketers realize the creative potential of this ad format. With the ability to generate high user engagement, enhance the user experience and reduce ad fraud, playables will continue to provide new opportunities for mobile advertising in 2019 and beyond.”

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Hello, TV! Taking the Veil Off TV Advertising….

Daniel Gulick, Head of Customer Success, TVSquared, said, “The US still commands impressive TV viewing figures — with the average American adult spending four hours and 46 minutes a day watching live and time-shifted TV. Up to three times the number of US millennials watch ad-supported TV than use YouTube or Facebook. TV’s reach is hard to beat, which has helped to establish the US TV market as one of the most advanced on the globe. But this year, developing a winning campaign strategy to primed, engaged audiences is crucial — particularly since media fragmentation is not slowing down.

“TV advertisers need to go beyond the ‘what, when and how’ of TV attribution, and dive into the ‘who’ behind TV performance. The most sophisticated marketing strategies will leverage both behavioral and demographic data — which goes well beyond age and gender — to identify and then target the audience segments that both respond and convert due to TV ads. In 2019, we can expect to see more TV advertisers using both probabilistic and deterministic data to gauge a deeper understanding of consumer response patterns to ensure content is consistently relevant for the right viewers,” he added.

Data Privacy: Is it the Thorn in Fulfilling Customer Experience Promises?

 Brian Kane, COO and Co-Founder, Sourcepoint, said, “Data privacy and consent will continue to be key themes as we move into 2019 following both the implementation of the EU’s GDPR and the signed California Consumer Privacy Act. For publishers’ strategic planning, consent is not only critical to meet ever-increasing regulation but also to build consumer trust and choice about how their personal data is used.”

“We expect there to be varying opinion and debate about the need for further legislation, with industry bodies advocating for self-regulation, while other groups push for GDPR-like regulation. We also think there will be calls for federal approaches to privacy regulations – such as Senator Ron Wyden’s proposed Consumer Data Privacy Act vs. state-based – to avoid complexities associated with doing business in the United States with privacy regulations that vary from state to state.

“Looking forward, publishers will bring privacy to the forefront, while working to refine and improve their approach to consent management. Future-facing media companies will begin to view consent as yet another user preference that can be leveraged to provide tailored digital experiences. By concentrating on enhancing the quality of the user experience, both publishers and consumers will enjoy a greater level of transparency, leading to relationships built on trust and choice,” he added.

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With the hope and confidence that we would see further disruptions to the definition and scope of Customer Experience in 2019, especially in customer service, we expect business initiatives to accelerate further around swift integration Marketing Automation, Content Marketing, Customer Data, Marketing Analytics, Advertising, People-based Marketing, and Interactive Customer Service.

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