Your Company Doesn’t Get CX

Marketers have the tools, insights and skills to field amazingly creative and successful channel experiences. Most organizations have talented and dedicated channel marketers who improve on their K.P.I.s every year. When the goal shifts from a campaign focus to growing customer value however, these professionals have a more difficult time arriving at the right answers.

Why is this the case? Organization is a likely culprit, and stale reporting structures are obvious barriers to a more customer-focused model. We will discuss organization, processes, governance, skills and incentives in a future chapter. I would like to suggest a more fundamental reason for this disconnect between expertise and change: the organization simply doesn’t get customer centricity or how it will help them do their jobs better.

Customer-centricity sounds wishy-washy! A flavor of the month! A brief storm that will pass on the way to retirement! I’ve seen the apathetic looks on the more seasoned marketers as we describe the benefits CX – and who can blame them? Think of how many technology and marketing “transformations” your teams have slogged through in the last decade. Now close your eyes and think of how many of those have lived up to the hype.

Today’s marketing ecosystem really does provide a functioning platform for acquiring prospects, retention, and growing customer value over time. This over time aspect is one of the biggest mind-shifts required of your marketing team. No longer is it enough to execute a stellar acquisition campaign when you are hemorrhaging those same customers a few months later (I’m looking at you health insurance industry).  Cultivating customers, what formerly was someone else’s job, is now within everyone’s remit. A shift from a point-in-time approach to an always-on marketing model that addresses each customer’s needs across all lifecycle stages is required for success.

How can we turn the ship around? 

Achieving this change in orientation is way easier said than done, especially in industries where marketing hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years or so.  Employees focus on optimizing results in their channel or function, and once the prospect becomes a customer they become someone else’s problem.  It’s hard for folks who are not immersed in CX, digital marketing, or CRM visualize “what’s going to be different” or “what’s in it for them”.  Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Start at the top. Make sure that you and leadership share the same vision and definitions of success.  File this under: Duh! if you like, but executive support, not technology, will make or break most transformations.
  2. Get the teams thinking. Ask questions like “what kind of data will help you improve marketing results? Or “what programs or treatments would you like to field if data and technology weren’t an object?” Or “what does your ideal prospect or customer look like”.  Use basic visuals to create simple use cases that capture the new campaigns, programs or pilots.
  3. Create a simple business case.  I am not a fan of the complex NASA scientist-brewed business case.  I feel that they provide false precision and are hard to re-evaluate a few months later.  That said, using a basic set of assumptions to assess the macro benefits and costs of CX Optimization vs. CX Innovation can be eye-opening and tick the “Whats In It For Me” box for your marketing team leads.
  4. Boondoggle time! Sometimes your teams need a trip to Vegas or a fine eating city like Memphis to break out of the old model and get immersed in the art of the possible. I’d encourage attending industry or agency conferences and events.  One of my best experiences ever was Camp 1to1, where the Peppers and Rogers group sent rookies each year to get immersed CX.  I’ll tell you more about this in an upcoming post.


CX is not a new concept, but today’s ecosystem provides the long-anticipated ability to orchestrate interactions across time and space.   Marketing organizations need to catch up and make the mind-shift from discrete marketing campaigns a more strategic approach that conforms to an individual’s needs, context and stage in their relationship.

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