Baskaran Natarajan
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CX and Modern MarketingHow does customer experience (CX) impact the marketing function? Modern marketing is no longer all about TV ads, direct mail and billboards. There’s an intense, interactive, customized digital world that consumers across all industries have embraced. They’re using social media and apps constantly. The world of Facebook, Twitter, Google, search, social and mobile engagement is where modern marketing is making waves.

Still, when I meet with marketers I sometimes feel like they are only paying lip service to the realities of modern marketing. They are beginning to grasp the concepts, they are beginning to “talk the talk,” but too often they are still dabbling in the modern marketing space. And they are often still heavily invested in the marketing media of old. If anything, they may have given a few of their agencies a short leash to play in the digital and social space, but it hasn’t become part of their core strategies, and their internal marketing environments are not yet set to capitalize on these new arenas.

I had the pleasure of sharing the stage recently at Oracle OpenWorld with our client leaders from American Airlines, Ascena Retail and Eaton to talk about the ways that they utilize CX to better meet the needs of their customers. We feature many of these best practices in greater detail in a recent white paper, “Winning over the modern digital customer”.

Keeping up with CX

Modern marketing tactics have evolved quickly and continue to do so. It’s hard to tell what is fashion versus foundation. It’s hard to make sound marketing investments in systems, information or integration when you don’t know what the future is going to look like in mere months. In my opinion, most marketers need to start “walking the walk” immediately. Even if we don’t precisely know what the future of marketing holds, we do know that:

  • Modern marketing will continue to get more information-intensive and more technology-intensive, both on the sides of the customer experience and the marketer’s toolset.
  • Customer experiences will continue to become more personalized, contextual and digital.
  • If we don’t embrace today’s modern standard, we’ll surely be unprepared for what is coming next.

In my view, this means that the modern marketing environment has to be brought in-house and it has to start being built aggressively. It also must be an integral part of the new marketing toolset, mostly because the customer data and the points of customer interaction must be owned by the company itself if the interactions are going to be consistent and personal across all channels (both digital and traditional).

My top priorities of where modern marketers should start include:

  1. Building an agile and scalable marketing operation to compete effectively against competitors’ marketing initiatives.
  2. Developing contextual multi-channel digital campaign management capabilities.
  3. Enabling personalized marketing communications to drive better engagement to prospective customers.

All of this, of course, must be preceded by a smart and comprehensive CX strategy that will likely include items such as a customer engagement maturity assessment, goal definition, customer journey maps, and a roadmap. This strategy can be pursued aggressively so that the highest priorities are identified quickly. Everyone these days is “talking the talk” of modern marketing. It’s now time to “walk the walk.” I encourage you to read some of my other recent CX blog posts and share your comments.


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