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Customer Experience

CX and Marketing as One: The Key to Brand Success

cx and marketing

How do CX and Marketing work together?

Marketers often think that customer experience is someone else’s job, as Marketing’s core function is to improve brand awareness and acquire new customers. But today, customer experience has become everyone’s job.

Since customer experience (CX) includes every single interaction that someone has with a company, by definition, it starts with the marketing or advertising that a prospect consumes. Thus marketers have the opportunity to set the expectations for the future experience that a customer will have when doing business with the company.

The Power of First Impressions

A company can provide useful educational content that helps a prospect along the buying journey, or it can employ annoying pop-up ads that negatively affect brand perception even before someone even becomes a customer. Today’s informed customers can see through empty promises in advertising, and have high expectations for a great experience.

Breaking Down Organizational Silos

In many companies, a siloed organizational chart creates confusion both internally and externally. This is why it is critical to have one high-ranking executive in charge of the entire customer journey.

For B2B companies, this means ensuring that Account Management or Customer Success can actually deliver what Sales or Marketing promises. In B2C, it means making sure the Instagram-worthy imagery on TV or in magazines is what the actual product looks like.

Modern Approaches to Organizing CX

There are two prevailing models in modern corporate organizational structure as it pertains to CX. 

The first employs a Chief Experience Officer (CXO) or Chief Customer Officer (CCO). This person is in charge of the entire customer experience, including all transitions from one department to another. The advantage of having this senior role is that it telegraphs to both employees and customers that CX is a top priority in the organization. 

The second model involves putting CX within the purview of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). The reason for this is that Marketing is often responsible for customer acquisition and communicating with existing customers, so that department is already contributing a lot to the overall experience. And as CX has become the last true differentiator between brands, it is important that Marketing build experience into the brand promise. 

Both models can be used effectively as long as accountability for the entire customer experience starts and stops with a single department, even though the responsibility for creating remarkable experiences lies with nearly every department in the company. Without someone seeing the 30,000-foot view of the customer journey, many seemingly small parts of the experience will fall through the cracks.

Walking in the Customer’s Shoes

One of the most important functions of this singular department is to actually experience being a customer of the company. This means signing up for the company’s product or service and using it, visiting any physical locations, calling (or emailing or chatting with or tweeting) Customer Service, using the website and mobile app, etc. 

Communication between departments is also critical. A fatal flaw in siloed organizations occurs when Marketing operates separately from Customer Service or Customer Success. These two departments should be working hand-in-hand to ensure that what’s promised in advertising is actually delivered once someone becomes a customer. 

Customer Service should be well-versed in every marketing campaign, so employees can answer questions for prospects and customers, and so the department is properly staffed for increased activity after a big marketing campaign. Otherwise, a customer’s first experience with a company may be waiting too long for a service agent that isn’t up-to-date on recent promotions. 

CX and Marketing as One: The New Age Marketer is a CX Champion

The marketer of today must be educated in customer experience, because his or her work is often the first experience a customer has with the company. It sets the customer’s expectations for what’s to come.

What’s more, as customer experience has become the last true brand differentiator and customers desire more Immersive experiences, it becomes the single most important selling point in attracting new customers — exactly what Marketing always thought its job was!

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