CMO Perspectives (3rd Oct, 2014)

This week’s edition of CMO Perspectives is all about art and science, aesthetics and the engineering that lays behind it. As Loie Maxwell, former VP of Creative at Starbucks explains, what a customer experiences as “magic” is actually driven by data and carefully engineered design. This week’s authors discuss various aspects of how to engineer magical customer experiences, from SMO (Social Media Optimization) to Customer Journey Mapping, to converting customer data into insights, and insight into action faster than the competition does.

We hope you enjoy these articles. Let us know your thoughts by commenting below, or reach out on Twitter: @NICE_Enterprise.

The Zero Moment of Truth is Now Defined by Shared Customer Experiences []

How do customers discover your product or brand? Author Brian Solis points out that in the past many customers found companies through search engines. The moment of truth for a company occurred when a customer decided they wanted something, say, a chiropractor or wedding cake, so they conducted a web search. If you came out at the top of the search results, you were way ahead of the game. Today, many customers turn to their social networks for advice on products and services. SEO is still relevant, but so is SMO (Social Media Optimization), not to mention SMO on mobile.

Solis coins a phrase, “the ultimate moment of truth,” which refers to the moment a customer is so enchanted with your brand that they decide to create content about it on social media. He stresses that in addition to an SEO program, your marketing team needs to optimize these shared experiences.

Data-Driven Design Reshapes Businesses And Experiences []

Customer experiences are being increasingly digitized. In other words, much of a customer’s interaction with your company will be mediated through digital channels. What that means is that you will have a plethora of customer data to mine. But with so much knowledge come new pressures.

One of these is the fact that the speed with which companies can convert customer data into insights and insight into action is now a critical differentiator. As Marc Andreessen recently tweeted, “Cycle time compression may be the most underestimated force in determining winners and losers in tech.” Companies that fail to adapt to these new dynamics will soon find themselves falling behind.

How Relevant are you to your customers?[]

The author, Margaret Molloy, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Siegel+Gale, argues that even for B2B brands, connecting with consumers matters. This trend is known as the “consumerization of B2B” and Molloy’s company recently published a study that revealed business decision-makers are more likely to consider B2B brands that consumers know and feel connected to.

One test of your company’s relevance to consumers is whether your friends and family understand what your company does and how it makes a difference. Molloy singles out General Electric’s “Childlike Imagination” campaign as a compelling approach to brand engagement. The commercial features a little girl telling the story of GE through vivid descriptions of her mom’s role at the company. Here’s an interesting thought experiment: Can your child describe what your company does?

How To Create a Customer Journey Map []

If you’re acquainted with customer experience literature you know by now that every interaction a customer has with an organization has an effect on their satisfaction, loyalty, and the bottom line. That’s why it’s extremely helpful to plot out your customer’s emotional landscape by way of a Customer Journey Map, or Experience Map — which, when done right, can shed enormous ­­­­light on key opportunities for deepening those relationships.

The author gets into the nitty gritty of customer journey mapping, naming five must-have components (personas, timeline, emotion, touch points, channels), as well as eight essential steps in the process. Her point-by-point walkthrough can serve as an excellent starting point for your own company’s efforts. She actually makes it sound fun. So get out your “compass” and start mapping!

Data Driven Experiences []

In this video clip, Actuate VP Product Marketing & Innovation Allen Bonde chats with Loie Maxwell, former VP of Creative at Starbucks, about data-driven experiences in customer-facing applications.

Maxwell stresses that big data is critical to loyalty programs. She says that the better use you make of your data, the more creative you can be in launching your “next big app.” She says that great customer experience is both an art and a science. From the customer’s point of view, it feels “magical,” or like “design serendipity.” Behind the scenes, however, this “magic” is created with the help of cold hard data.

We hope you enjoyed our picks and bookmarked a few articles for future reference. Please don’t forget to share with other CMOs.

Are there any other marketing topics that interest you? Tweet us, or comment below to let us know!

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