For marketers, delivering exceptional customer experiences is about hiding the seams. It’s about making paid, earned and owned channels complement and amplify each other in mutually reinforcing ways.
But in order to pull this off, marketers need to learn to close the loop. Too often, customer experience is a vague promise, an intractable ideal that marketers can’t really deliver upon in practice. Why? More often than not, it’s because they haven’t really closed the loop:
- Across channels—where paid, earned and owned touch points are aligned and coordinated across media, method and message to achieve coherent brand storytelling.
- Between moments of truth—where each interaction informs the next, adapting to a consumer as they wind and wend their way through the decision journey.
- Across organizational silos—where the seams are erased between the organizational silos that stand in the way of exceptional branded moments. Here, seamless handoffs between marketing, sales and support help organizations consistently achieve and sometimes vastly exceed customer expectations in the service of daily customer interactions.
The highest performing customer experiences happen when organizations walk the talk, investing beyond the window dressing of customer-centric philosophy and finding ways to deliver exceptional branded moments that surprise, delight and renew brand affinity in ways that are both scalable and repeatable.
Closing this loop depends on a digital marketing hub, which brings together:
- A unified audience profile to inform relevant experiences;
- A content supply chain to feed the beast with rich and engaging stories;
- Collaboration and workflow to align people to plan, execute and respond apace;
- Orchestration to automate repeatable procedures and actions at scale; and,
- Analytics to fully close the loop, so each interaction informs the next.
In any large-scale operation, logistics are often the unheralded hero. Anticipating and coordinating resources to meet a future point of need in an underrated skill.
In a sense, the best digital marketers are masterful logisticians. They’ve closed the loop to run marketing like a flywheel-driven machine, like a profit-driven business and like an instrument of customer delight.
Of course, doing this is easier said than done. But as product and service advantages erode in the face of hyper-competition, its customer experience that becomes the new competitive battlefield.
How do you make customer experience your competitive weapon? Start by closing the loop.