- Customer experience is the required key focus
- User generated content is the key for building customer loyalty
- The Marketing officer must design marketing strategy with customer in focus than brand.
Human behaviour keeps changing and consequently customer buying behaviour too keeps changing. As this market behaviour changes the marketing officer is required to adapt to the changing behaviour and this trend will keep continuing.
The world is rapidly changing in terms of technology, customer behaviour, market trends and to keep up marketing has to evolve at the same pace or faster. The marketing officer is faced with the challenge of taking care of the branding and marketing to align with the changing market. He also is facing a challenge to keep up the business growth and customer experience. To keep up the growth or recover from a slump the marketing officer needs to meet the changed needs of the customer and the business consistently.
Customer experience is the main focus area, more than any other marketing element.
Various market research has proven that customer experience or CX is the key focus element to meet the challenge of the ever changing market. More than being the goal of the marketing department, Customer experience is the responsibility of every employee in the organization to do the best in customer experience in his/her sphere of influence.
Have a look at the figure below which gives a comparison of current leaders to traditional marketers in terms of customer experience.
The key strategy to drive a more enhanced customer experience lies in making customer experience more human and fostering engagement with customers over the entire customer relationship cycle. The question to be asked is “What all are the ways in which we can provide a superlative experience to the customer in every phase of the relationship with our organization”. It is no longer about how you can bring more leads and get more revenue, instead its more about how you can provide the kind of customer experience which will make them come back for more.
The marketing trend is very clear; it is shifting to customer centred from a company centred approach. The marketing officers who have got the feel of the need agree that the company’s culture should be designed around customer experiences and relationship more than the traditional methods to keep in line with the constantly changing needs. The alignment of the marketing team should be around shared customer experiences to ensure that the marketing officer gets the feel of the changes in customer behaviour which will enable him to design suitable strategies.
Continuous human story telling over individual campaigns
For brands to be more effective the campaign has to be a continuous process and which needs to be continuously refined and adapted. The old model of campaigns based on planning, campaigning, reporting and reviewing is on the way out. The old model of publishing an one off article, checking the results and then trying to improve in the following campaign is not the case anymore. With new technologies content management is very flexible with real time based feedback, changing trends. Today’s marketers can constantly measure the results of their campaigns and change it according to the trends. New technologies have enabled such continuous marketing optimization in real time. Research shows that 30% of organizations have some level of new technologies to satisfy these needs and get the upper hand over their competition. In this situation technology is the key differentiator which ensures marketing officers deliver high class customer experiences through personalization and real time interactions.
Story telling has always been there in traditional marketing but recently there is more sharp focus on this element due to lack of consumer trust in brands and their need for more genuine content. The marketing officer needs to think what the organizations stories are , more than about the organization’s brand. He/she needs to find such enthralling stories and stitch it into all the content produced and present it in all the channels used for marketing. With so much going on in the market, human connection and storytelling are the key elements of a successful customer experience strategy. The marketing officer needs to use his human skills more than data and make the connection with the people that matter and find what motivates them and give them that.
Collaborative and Co-creation of content with customers
The trend in content marketing strategy is towards customer created content or co-created content (UGC : User generated content) more than content created around a brand. In traditional marketing the content is internally produced and revolves around the brand whereas now its evolving to creating content together with customers. There is trend towards having continuous conversations with customers to understand their needs thereby arriving at what kind of content will fulfil those needs. The role of the marketing officer and his team is changing from content creation to co-creation with customers and curation of content.
The evolution is clear with some of the biggest brands seeing success with user generated content. There has been a replacement of brand advertising and the rise of the social media influencer and brand ambassadors. The main advantages of user generated content (UGC) is that it can be cost effective, less burden on resources and it is very effective in getting the desired marketing impact. The underlying factors with user generated content being the authenticity and trust it generates in the market. Viewers are likely to share more of user generated content than brand based content because of the trust factor on their user peers than with businesses. User generated content is a brilliant tool that keep the connection and engagement with the existing customers making them get the feel of your organization’s success story which in turn generates the long term relationship and loyalty. The required shift for the marketing officer is the ‘Customer Voice’ rather than the ‘Brand Voice’ so that you can relate to your user base and produce even more relevant content.
The Marketing Officer’s learning curve
As these trends indicate there is new learning for the marketing officer. He/ she needs to evolve and make sure that the marketing strategy reflects the needs of the market and those strategies are carried out effectively. The goal is to have exceptional customer experiences while keeping the traditional marketing goal of creating awareness of the organization and brand to the market. The marketing officer also has to ensure the entire organization together with all its departments are in alignment with the total marketing vision and committed to a customer oriented culture. As seen in research every individual and department has some level of effect on the overall customer experience. As the chief experience leader the marketing officer has to bring together every individual in the organization to meet the primary goal of customer experience. The onus is on the marketing officer to ensure collaboration of the customer with the brand and across all department. The customer themselves have to be made part of the marketing process to ensure success of the goal of customer experience. The marketing officer has to ensure this collaboration and make customer the integral part of the marketing strategy. In an overtly tech-dependant future the marketing officer must be the main decision maker when it comes to technologies that support customer experience.