Is Customer Experience the new Marketing?
Should customer experience really be your marketing strategy?
While scrolling through Facebook this morning, I saw a graphic that said, "Customer Experience is the New Marketing." Now, as someone who loves both marketing and customer experience, this got me thinking.
Is this true?
The statement can certainly take us in the right direction. And I love that it encourages the conversation, but this thinking can be too simplistic and risky.
For sure, customer experience and marketing must hold hands and work together, but customer experience runs throughout the entire organization - from hiring to training to branding to execution and all in between. In so many companies traditional marketing needs to shift and customer experience can help with this shift.
When marketers look through the lens of customer experience they often see their marketing approach differently and adjust to be more customer-focused.
In this 2015 Forbes' article titled, Customer Experience is The Future of Marketing, author Daniel Newman argues that in the future (that would be now), even though marketing strategies from the past will still be relevant, all aspects of an organization must become customer-centric.
How can a focus on customer experience shift your marketing? Here are a couple of ideas:
WHEN A NEW CUSTOMER VISIT’S YOUR RESTAURANT'S WEBSITE
Your website is gorgeous - congrats! Beautiful food photography - way to go! But, do you know what this new customer wants to do first when he gets to your site?
Why is he there? Beautiful pictures of the food certainly help set the stage and give an impression of what the experience will be. And most restaurants do a good job of having the Open Table app front and center. But, if he can't easily find (and read) the menu, find your address/map or hours, will he just leave?
WHEN YOU ARE SELLING TICKETS TO YOUR EVENT
Does the description on your website or Eventbrite evoke the feeling that you want your attendees to have when they attend? Is it easy to see the different ticket options?
Once they purchase tickets, do you send them something to get them excited and pumped? Why not?
WHEN - OOOPS - YOU HAVE AN UNHAPPY CUSTOMER
This is both branding and marketing. The process and the attitude with which you solve their problem should be branded. Part of your marketing plan is your messaging - how you communicate - whether you are selling or solving a problem.
WHEN LOOKING AT SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
I think most people would agree that social media management falls under marketing. This post talks about your company's social media personality being different than your in-person personality. If the way your company lives and appears on social media is different than the way your customer is actually treated, then that is a problem that needs to be solved quickly. Actually, it show a deeper problem of either individual staff or perhaps the president of the company not understanding the brand values and promises.
WHEN YOU AFFECT THE WAY YOUR CUSTOMERS FEEL
Every time you make an emotional connection with your customer, it is marketing. Imagine the number of times a customer could have an emotional connection during the day - hundreds. No, probably thousands! But, it doesn't happen.
They check into the airport.
She has a tour of your spa.
He inquires about an insurance policy.
She shows up at yoga.
Most of the time, all of these experiences are just transactions - rote. What if your company was the one to make somebody feel something? You can't buy that sort of marketing.
To keep it simple: customer experience needs to be a driver in your business.
Whether you are a solopreneur or have 250 employees, customer experience needs to be a part of every conversation in your company:
the human resources conversation
the packaging conversation
the operations conversation
the marketing conversation.
So especially this time of year as you are planning your marketing for 2019, try and look at it through the lens of customer experience. Your entire company will be stronger for it.
look at all of your marketing through the lens of customer experience.