The competitive arena of customer experience continues to influence how brands develop and evolve. Leaders across industries need to recognize how the customer experience is changing with time, and ensure that they make strides to improve their own programs.
To help brands stay on top of the latest developments, here are the most impactful customer-centric stories from the month of October:
Pinpointing customer experience leadership
Who should lead the charge on a customer experience initiative? This question was discussed in an article from CMO.com earlier this month, pointing to research from the Economist Intelligence Unit that offered some interesting insight.
CMO.com revealed that C-level leaders are given the most responsibility and authority when it comes to customer experience strategy, with 58 percent of leading companies stating that the CEO was at the helm.
Things may change soon, however, as 75 percent of CMOs stated that they'd be leading customer experience programs in three to five years. For now, companies should establish a dedicated team with the ability to move customer-centric programs forward.
Data unlocks marketing and ad collaboration
There has historically been some tension between marketing and advertising departments, but according to Direct Marketing News, technology is helping streamline their efforts for greater results. Many ad and marketing tech companies are merging to make better use of data.
"To me there's a trend that's different from the ability to just use data. The trend is activating data," stated Ed Montes, chief revenue officer at DataXu.
In other words, companies are relying on similar databases for both their marketing and advertising needs, and tapping into this information with a far more strategic focus will help unlock the power within these data sets.
Personalization is a top customer demand
Of all the components idealized in the perfect customer experience, personalization is certainly one of the most sought-after by brands and consumers alike. An article from eMarketer showed how important a personalized experience is to the modern shopper.
eMarketer highlighted research showing that more than half of consumers wanted brands to share relevant information in emails, including style, age and location. It's clear that the bar has been raised for e-commerce personalization, and brands must step up to meet it.
Identifying customer experience challenges
Business objectives vary greatly across industries, as do the challenges that arise in the development and refinement of the customer experience, as noted in an article from eConsultancy. This is largely due to varying levels of customer experience maturity.
For example, 58 percent of travel and leisure companies believe that their customer experience programs are "quite advanced," while only 29 percent of manufacturing companies say the same. No matter the industry in question, customer-centricity must be a priority moving forward.
The rise of the chief customer officer
It seems that there is a C-level position for every area of the modern business, and now it's time for the chief customer officer to move into the spotlight, according to eConsultancy. It's more than a fad, Gartner pointed out, as 22 percent of Fortune 100 companies have created CCO roles.
In fact, 77 percent of brands say they have a CCO position in place, or an equivalent of some sort. Brands should consider whether they could benefit from introducing a CCO in their own ranks if they have not yet already, or at the very least, establish a customer experience leader.
Infographic of the month: 10 eye-popping marketing stats from Advertising Week
It's fascinating to consider how fast the digital age has progressed, and an infographic from AdWeek conveyed some incredible developments in the marketing and advertising arenas.
The infographic evoked everything from app usage, to end-user growth and revenue totals. It should serve as a testament to the importance of customer experience.
iperceptions blog of the month: 4 Ingredients of a successful customer experience program
As brands come to terms with the essential role of customer experience, they'll need to know exactly what it takes to develop an effective program. Senior Vice President and co-founder Duff Anderson explored the four key ingredients that should be central in every brand's customer experience program.
Anderson stated that a grassroots approach is necessary to get a program moving in the direction. From there, customer experience advocates must get the C-Suite on board to generate funding and support. Finally, the team can move on to identifying components of the program based on customer needs, then leverage the necessary technology for success.