Gartner reports from 2018 that 52% of marketers with CX responsibility expect their budgets to remain the same or decrease. However, expectations with the importance of CX is continuing to grow. 23% of B2B CMO’s see CX as a top 3 objective. So how do Marketers that assume CX responsibility address this with less budget without giving up important technology needed for other aspects of Marketing? This research appears to demonstrate a clear truth: it is often easier to say something than to do it. So how do business leaders start developing a customer experience strategy that keeps the engine of marketing running with the least amount of friction? The answer to me is easy – do nothing without input from customers and as a marketer stop spamming your potential customers and engage with them. Our customers are in control, not us.

Here are a few ways to align CX in your marketing –

  1. Technology – align technology to provide a better experience for them, not a better experience for you. Your technology stack should have some tie to align to customer experience, if it doesn’t you are hurting your customers. For example, exit intent on the website, do you like it when this happens to you? I hate it when I am shopping for B2B tech, but I love it when I am shopping for clothes for my wife. Definitely give me that extra 30% and free shipping, I’m all about it.
  2. Omni-channel – just because there is a channel available to market into, doesn’t mean you should. Build the relationship with your customers so there is real value in what they engage with you on. Let’s take your email automation for example: it is meant to make it easier for you and other marketers, but it should never be at the cost of the experience of the customer. I see so often emails blasting to thousands of people at a time (it doesn’t matter how great your content is), ads run with no value, calls made with no context, etc. The old saying “Treat others the way you want to be treated” is cliché but true. I have 4K unread emails in my inbox not on purpose but because I don’t have time to click each one let alone read them.
  3. Listen – if you aren’t actually trying to listen to your customers and then taking action on it, what is the point? How do you listen to customers/potential customers if you don’t have an avenue to capture the data when you do? Implement small processes to poll people on your processes and functions within marketing. Ask them things like “How are we doing in Marketing?” or “What would you like to see more of?” or “Tell us what you think about our brand and your experience?”. I would have our SDR team ask questions like this in their opening statement with people and I can’t tell you how amazing the feedback was that we got.
  4. Product – Development, design, innovation, and adaptive. Change is always occurring, align your product to change with the trends to serve your customers.
  5. Translate Strategy to Experience – There’s evidence that companies which are known for delivering extraordinary customer experiences are also those which are clear about their leading value discipline.

In Forbes Insights 50 Most Engaged Companies, research shows leading brands known for creating higher levels of Customer Engagement. Such as, The Ritz Carlton, Amazon, Apple, Costco, Footlocker, Lowes, Southwest Airlines, Google, USAA, and Netflix. But none of these companies have CX as their core strategy. Consider the following examples: These companies do not separate their strategy from their CX strategy. Costco cannot stream their products to clients like Netflix does, any more than The Ritz Carlton can use Costco’s strategy of bulk reductions. Rather each tactic must concentrate on supporting the overarching strategy.

Remain Focused – Consider this famous quote from Steve Jobs, “People think focus means saying Yes to those things you have got to concentrate on. But, that’s not what it means whatsoever. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.” There are a number of options when designing a CX strategy. You may create applications, map touch points, streamline insights, and innovate all day long. However, the best way to navigate this maze of selections is to focus relentlessly on aligning CX to your main strategic initiative. The key to a differentiating CX is not about relentlessly concentration on getting closer to the consumer and forging strong bonds with them, but instead a relentless concentration on what you’re known for, and how it translates to value clients want to have. Forging strong bonds is still important and you must portay components of this in your branding and messaging. But if you don’t provide value regardless of the bond, it will fade. This is the recipe to building fandom with your clients. What value do you bring that is both related and unrelated to the product you offer? If you aren’t addressing the value in both areas it will be difficult to manage the expectations the new age consumer will have.