Content That Drives Customer Experience

What do marketers focus on when developing their digital channels?

A key stat from ForeSee’s December 2016 “Experience Index: US Retail” showed that “for many internet users, the journey is no longer a linear one: it often extends across multiple channels” . Research revealed that customers complete purchase on desktops, laptops, mobiles and in-store. Each and every touch point contributes to the whole buying experience in varying degrees, oftentimes interchangeably.

The struggle to tie content marketing strategy with measurable, attributable results is real. What do marketers focus on when it comes to developing their digital channels to enhance overall customer experience?

Here’s an interesting November 2016 survey run by EConsultancy and IBM Watson Marketing called “The New Marketing Reality” saying 79% of Client-Side Marketers optimize desktop website and 61% optimize mobile website for better customer experience. This is closely followed by Email (53%) and social is ranks 4th at 37% and Search at 31%.

The top 5 priorities for channel optimization remains the same for the most part.

On the flip side, marketers surveyed in a study by CMO Council in partnership with RedPoint Global in March 2017 revealed that over 20% of marketers are either only able to deliver a handful of real-time data-driven experiences through owned platforms and touch points, or struggling to drive engagement at the optimum levels .

With increased attention to personalized approach and strategic messaging, brands are in for a challenge. If we step back and look at the current landscape, digital delight means quick, relevant, timely and helpful . Take a step further and zoom in on the cogs that make the whole digital machine run, we get to see a great shift in need for steady supply of (content) fuel that brands must inject to make ‘quick, relevant, timely and helpful’ happen. The machine is encapsulated like so…

In my mind, brands who make a difference have long shifted from the ‘silo’ mindset. No longer is the web and app developer alien from the the email and social media manager; no longer is customer service alone in the ‘front lines’ or sales distinct from the content planning committee. The visual is unified. Each role is a critical contributor to crafting the total experience.

15 years ago, when you call a toll free number on a website and ask about a product, you get a somehow-scripted answer from a human version of the HTML catalog. Now, the toll free number is usually a vanity number that most people don’t even care to remember. People search on the web, in your website, your competitor’s website or on a third party site selling your product, read reviews and check ratings and recommendations. Customers bookmark, download, watch, interact with your brand more than they ‘talk’ to a live person.

Can you picture shifting the role of the ‘live person’ to a content creator, or contributing writer/email copywriter or social channel moderator? Can you picture everyone contributing to or sharing a common key performance indicator? While the skills may greatly vary, the underlying challenge for brands now doesn’t rest on the marketing or the sales silo alone. The challenge of creating the digitally delightful experience rests across the board. Much can be said about the increasing demand for creating unique omni-channel experiences. The case I make is in the ownership side.

I conclude this post with ‘What If’ questions:

  1. What if the way to operationalize a fully functional and highly-effective omni-channel strategy lies in enhancing the skill stack of teams representing the brand itself?
  2. What if there is a way to standardize the approach using scalable business processes?
  3. What if the way to equipping teams is to engage employees to use the tools and channels themselves with a mindset to continuously improve available content?
  4. What if within easy reach, companies who lack expertise have access to skills they need to operate and take this competitive stance?

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