Customer experience is on the rise, and marketing is on the hook. That was the key finding from the 2014 Gartner survey on the role of marketing in customer experience (see “Importance of Customer Experience Is on the Rise; Marketing Is on the Hook”). This research showed that, in the absence of lasting and durable product and service advantages, by 2016, a supermajority of marketers expects to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience.
Websites – Despite the explosion of multichannel digital touchpoints, your websites probably remain your primary face to the market. According to Gartner research, the corporate website ranks second only to digital and online advertising in spending priority at 10.3% of overall digital marketing budgets
Mobile – Mobile is the connective tissue between online and offline experiences, providing the basis for concierge-like experiences as customers traverse a decision journey and over the course of their lifetime relationship with a brand (see “Gartner Mobile Marketing Scenario, 2015”). For many brands, the majority of audience traffic and a sizable percentage of commerce transactions — some 29% of 2014 Black Friday sales — are attributable to a mobile device. This means that the customer experience marketer must serve the needs of both prospects and customers via mobile- optimized websites and native mobile apps. The latter, in particular, are crucial for creating loyal customers.
- Social – Ninety-two percent of consumers trust earned media — in effect, social networks — over other forms of advertising and influence. This finding, while perhaps not a surprise, points to the growing urgency for brands to cultivate advocates on the social Web (see “Top Use Cases and Benefits of Social Marketing”). Increasingly, prospects seek the opinions of these trusted social networks as part of their own self-directed research. That’s why, as a customer experience marketer, it’s critical to incorporate social sharing features into multichannel experiences and to use social listening and sentiment analysis.
Commerce – Savvy marketers recognize that, in the hypercompetitive world of commerce, both online and off, the “four Ps” are no longer sufficient to create and sustain differentiation that creates loyalty and advocacy. These traditional dimensions — product, price, place and promotion — are table stakes, the ante to enter the game. Marketers have the opportunity to create differentiation on the basis of the commerce experience itself. Consider Amazon’s successful use of one-click ordering, subscription-based reordering for replenishing regularly used products, and site personalization of targeted recommendations. Or how Starbucks has incorporated its loyalty program and mobile payments into the in-store experience through its popular mobile app. Or how Nordstrom has eliminated the seams between online and offline channels by integrating its supply chain and allowing great flexibility in pickup, delivery and return options for orders through all channels. These are notable examples because they better serve the customer by reducing friction and adding convenience in the commerce experience.
(Copyright – Gartner 2015)