Within the last couple of years we have seen buzzwords such as 'Digital Disruption', 'Big Data', 'Cloud' and the list goes.
I believe that Customer Experience will be the reigning buzzword covering everything and anything which involves the customer.
With the increased patronage on the World Wide Web, we are able to connect instantly through any device, anywhere, anytime. There is one thing that is certain now and that's constant change, but it is also how we embrace it and mold it to how our customers are changing that makes all the difference. The internet has made information easier to obtain due to transparency of social media, websites and other channels. Every business function (Sales, Marketing, Consulting, Service etc) must therefore be able to function as a single unit/brand to keep Customer Experience consistent and personal.
Customer Experience can mean many different things, but the way I would define it is any business function or channel that is exposed to the public (Sales, Marketing, Mobile, Social etc). One major component which I would say is at the forefront of the digital age of Customer Experience is Marketing.So how has marketing changed over the years? There are many variables to consider when discussing this, but the single most important catalyst is technology. It is also important to note that marketing budgets are increasing dramatically to incorporate more technology, skills and capabilities to meet higher KPI's in acquisition, retention and expansion of customer relationships (Gartner's CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016). There are a few points which lead me to this conclusion, they are:
Data - I wouldn't be surprised to see data being part of financial statements over the next coming years. Data has a price tag within the black market and that is why we see an increasing amount of activity in hacking. By gathering data on consumers we are now able to build a persona and even a unique ID linked towards an IP address. This point becomes increasingly important as analytics tools cover 6.7% of marketing budgets and expected to spend close to 11% over the next three years, according to CMO survey. Companies like Facebook which is built on data are worth a lot more money than traditional companies - Some fruit for thought; Facebook is worth approximately $200 billion USD now and Qantas is worth $15.8 billion AUD but owns planes, airport facilities etc.
Marketing Orchestration - Social, Indirect Channels, Direct Channels, Multi-Device are just some of the channels which are used on a daily basis for companies. Marketers sure are finding it tough to orchestrate the same message across all channels and device forms - this is why there are dedicated marketers for each type of customer channel interaction in larger companies (e.g Social Media Marketers, Direct Marketers etc). Thus having the capability to build a consistent Customer Experience across all channels can be tough and at times daunting.
Applications - There are thousands of marketing applications available within the market concurrently and cover everything digital from Analytics, Campaign Marketing, Social to Hyperlocal. Choosing the right one can be hard especially since there is a tonne of information available on the internet for everybody to read up on. There are great companies on the list which provide solutions to very targeted marketing functions to solutions that aim to cover the gamut of marketing functions. A company that can accommodate the growth that a client wants to achieve is extremely important since a broad solution could make things easier especially if multiple tools are required.
There are many other points that I could have mentioned, but each of these points can be discussed even further and I will do just that over the coming weeks. I think it's amazing to see such a big change in the way marketing is approached and even other business functions which all relate to Customer Experience. For now, I will be diving deeper into the marketing world and sharing my experiences and knowledge on the subject. We will cover more content like Hyperlocal, SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile), Viral Marketing and loads more.
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