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With more places for customers to engage with your brand than ever before, the customer journey has never been so important. In the session Why Marketing Needs To Own The Customer Journey, Stefan Nandzik (SVP, Brand Experience at Signifyd) and Emily Culp (CEO at CoverFX) discuss why the marketing organization needs to own the entire customer journey and how to make those changes.
The world changed quite a bit in 2020. Covid-19 disrupted retail and accelerated the digital transformation trend in consumer behavior. The industry figured out quickly how to pivot in-store strategies to focus on touchless commerce and made digital the default shopping experience. Consumer behavior also became more robust and complex and hiccups in the customer experience could turn a customer away for life.
Now, as we anticipate a post-Covid retail world, Signifyd conducted a consumer survey that revealed a majority of 2020-induced consumer behavior is here to stay, such as:
- Curbside pickup (26.4%)
- Buying online and picking up in-store (33.7%)
- Shopping online (49.2%)
So what do these new behaviors mean for marketing?
“Brand” is often a misinterpreted phrase, attributed to just a logo, colors and what’s published. But, “brand” is really what people say about you when you’re not there—and it can’t be directly controlled.
However, you can fully control and design the customer experience and if it’s done well, customers will become advocates, influencers and tastemakers endorsing the brand on their own without your intervention. Advocates, brand and customer experience then become the main three components to success, and all are closely linked to marketing goals and functions, which is why it’s critical for marketing to own customer experience.
Brand, Advocates and Experience Fuel Each Other
To further break down the relationship between brand, customer experience and advocates, Nandzik described a four step process:
As marketers well know, if brand promise and customer experience are not inherently linked, the customer will have a confusing customer journey. And, bad experiences along the customer journey destroy CLV and retention rates. This newest generation of buyers expect flawless experiences online and competition is fierce—there’s always another place to buy a similar product online. If the shopping experience doesn’t clear a certain bar in multiple areas, customers won’t stick around.
Given the overlap and synergies between all four steps, marketing is perfectly equipped to lead this process end-to-end. Many brands are accelerating or launching D2C practices because they understand that in order to own and develop a customer experience that they want and need, they need to own the entire customer journey. By creating their own D2C business and not solely relying on retail partners, brands are able to give marketing control of the experience.
Fireside Chat with CoverFX
Nandzik was joined by Culp to further discuss the importance of marketing in the customer journey. Here are a few of the insights they shared:
- An omnichannel CMO should be orchestrating the entire consumer journey, and every single employee should study the customer to fully understand every small detail that improves the overall experience.
- Omnichannel marketers should focus on KPIs like increasing market share, growing not only top line growth but profitable growth, increasing lifetime value and securing future distribution.
- Despite ceding some control, joining a marketplace (like Amazon) is essential because your customer is there. By not participating, you risk having your brand represented by gray marketers or third parties who do not know your brand or do justice to its essence.
Mastering your customer experience is essential to keeping customers satisfied in 2021. And who is best cut out for the job? Marketing! Let that team take the reins and watch your ROI grow.