Marketing’s Impact on the Customer Experience

Patti RennerThe classic, linear concept of a sales funnel is collapsing – from awareness to conversion was the old (and effective) way of outlining at your marketing plans. However, today’s approach needs to take a broader view of how your prospects and customers engage with your brand. This goes beyond the steady flow of email campaigns and offers. It goes beyond website navigation, special events and Facebook posts.
I believe it’s time to look deeper within your own organization (beyond the cubicle walls of your marketing team) and into the heart of each interaction with that customer – you know, the folks you invested so much to acquire in the first place. These outlier influences, ones within your own organization, if not managed well can have significant impact on how others perceive your brand.

Of course, as marketers, you want everyone to have a great experience with your brand. All those positive customer experiences take root, helping you grow your business – and your revenues. Life is good when people are happy.

That said, it may be time to take a step back from sell, sell, sell mode and look at the overall relationship people have with your brand, and how your brand’s unique value is communicated at each point of contact.

Developing a customer-focused approach for your messaging that spans across your organization doesn’t have to be complicated. First step is to identify each point of possible contact with the customer. Grab a pen and napkin and make a quick list. Who comes in contact with the customer after they’ve left the safe, controlled-messaging environment of marketing? Ideas might be billing, training, help desk, customer service, reorder/order fulfillment, scheduling, front desk, installation or delivery, back office, etc.

Now that you have your list, consider how each of these areas can further extend your brand’s value and communicate consistent messaging to customers. Map out the typical customer journey as an extension of your overall marketing approach. That means creating or designing a experiential approach to market beyond the funnel, one that’s managed and communicated into the heart of your organization. Consider managing your approach to ensure you engage customers throughout the lifecycle with your brand.

When you create a marketing campaign or messaging approach, you’re making an implied promise to your audience. You’re communicating what you’ll do for them – they can count on your brand to deliver, if they’ll just give you a chance. Now it’s time to wrap that approach around cross-channel digital touchpoints, and across each touch point within your organization. As you plan your campaigns, consider ways to map your messaging to those personal touchpoints along the customer journey. Design an experience to remember – one worth sharing with others (i.e., reviews, social sites, recommendations, blog posts, etc.). Enjoy the ride.

2 Comments

  1. mdm4
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on mdm4.

  2. Posted April 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    “When you create a marketing campaign or messaging approach, you’re making an implied promise to your audience.”

    Excellent point! And your brand has to live up to that promise every step of the way. Even one or two failed touch points can dramatically harm your customer’s perception of your brand.


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