Modern marketers have plenty of responsibilities to juggle, and tracking customer experience trends is all part of a day's work. Only by staying in the CX loop can marketing teams push the boundaries of what is possible and rise above the competition. But with so many developments taking place in this realm, marketing pros could use a helping hand to stay informed. In this edition of the iperceptions customer-centric roundup, we dive into April's biggest stories from the world of CX.
The innovator's toolkit
What are the conditions of innovation? When and where do big breakthroughs take place? What does it take to advance the digital customer experience in a practical way? These are some of the questions explored in an article from Econsultancy's Ben Davis earlier last month.
Highlighting four distinct innovation methods, Davis explains how the customer experience evolves out of the creative process and a systematic approach to problem solving. Labs, Socratic circles, hackathons and company culture each have unique pros and cons, and it's up to CX leaders to determine which dynamics work best in the context of their organizations.
Practical CX strategy
Too many companies only have a conceptual understanding of the customer experience and the benefits of focusing on its development and refinement. In an article for CMS Wire, Dave Angelow encouraged readers to take a more practical approach to CX, stressing the importance of organizational alignment and leveraging new capabilities to achieve real objectives.
Angelow suggests using concrete metrics and measurements to define the goal of a CX program, and implementing new IT tools that will directly impact the areas of performance identified. Any brand looking to revamp its customer experience initiatives should begin with these foundational guidelines and start taking real steps toward their goals.
Major shifts in marketing
Marketers know that technologies and customer trends are changing, but what innovations will actually prove influential over the next five years? A report from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), sponsored by Marketo, unveiled many interesting statistics and predictions that are sure to change the direction of digital marketing and customer experience leading up to 2020.
The report revealed that CMOs are feeling responsible for all things CX, and that a single view of the customer will be necessary to facilitate the experiences that build real brand equity. The pressure is on for marketing teams to drive overall business performance, making their role more crucial than ever before.
Context = Stronger CX
As marketers navigate the digital age, they are realizing that quantitative customer data is no longer enough to targeted, intelligent marketing campaigns, let alone quality customer experiences. Content Marketing Institute contributor Melissa Eggleston explained in a recent article why qualitative research is so valuable for understanding the context behind customer decision-making.
She recommended that organizations use a combination of voice of the customer methods to discover what customers intend to accomplish in a given visit, and whether they were able to easily and intuitively do so. Marketers should check out the article to get a better understanding of the "why behind the what" in web analytics.
The power of programmatic
Customer experience is all-encompassing, meaning that digital display advertising is one of the many components in the CX mix. Now, according to Digiday, programmatic advertising is a growing phenomenon, pointing to an eMarketer report predicting a 40 percent increase in spend this year.
Customer experience innovators should be thrilled about the rise of programmatic, as this medium offers the ability to target audiences with data-driven precision. Brands cannot shrug off programmatic advertising as a passing trend, and must instead collect information that will fuel these efforts.
VoC programs pay off big
While most CX leaders will argue the importance of voice-of-customer programs, few companies are actually making strides toward a well-defined, goal-oriented VoC strategy, according to an article from CMO.com. And in a customer-centric landscape, this does not bode well for lagging brands.
CMO.com pointed out that while 95 percent of companies listen to their customers, "Only 29 percent of firms with VoC in place systematically incorporate insights about customer needs into their decision-making processes." The majority of organizations have to implement solutions that help turn VoC insights into meaningful, tangible data that informs the direction of the customer experience.
Infographic of the month: Brand Experience Survey 2016
This month's infographic is jam-packed with insight about the customer experience. Marketing Profs collected data from 2,200 global marketers, who shared their priorities and challenges when designing and managing various CX components. Interestingly, senior leaders and employees don't seem to recognize the power of brand experience, meaning that CX champions have plenty of work to do.
It appears that CX leadership is lacking beyond the marketing department, however, as 68 percent of respondents did not have champions positioned in other areas of the business. It may be time for marketers to seek a bit of support from teams throughout the enterprise and leverage more diverse data insights.
iperceptions blog of the month: CMOs, It's Time to Step Up to the CX Plate
For now and the near future, customer experience will be the responsibility of the marketing department, and more specifically the CMO. This blog article from Duff Anderson maps out what is expected of these executives moving into a new era of marketing, and how CMOs can bring their brands to the top of the CX arena. It's a can't-miss piece for any customer-centric executive.