My wife started travelling again for work while COVID-19 was still in full swing. During one of her return trips, a delay at the arrival gate caused her to miss a close connection. Instead of the smiles of her family, she looked forward to a disappointing eight hours in the airport. Unexpectedly, her experience went from disappointment to delight. The airline mobile app on her phone buzzed (as well as a text message). The airline informed her that she had been automatically rebooked on an available flight, her bag was being transferred to the new flight, and she had 45 minutes to get to her new gate – enough time for Starbucks! Finally, seated on her new flight, she received an apology from the airline for the change, some mileage points for the interruption, and a discount on priority seating for her next flight. She is now a loyal customer and promoter of that airline.
Understanding the full Customer Experience (CX) to give context to the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns is essential to match experiences with campaigns that deliver for customers and organizations alike. VoC insight and CX metrics work together to supply digital marketing leadership sources to prove and improve the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns.
Another airline, Virgin Atlantic, needed detailed understanding how customer facing experiences aided the end-to-end customer journey understanding to develop greater customer insight[i]. Virgin Atlantic discovered their data was trapped in functional silos, creating a roadblock to understand the complete CX. Virgin Atlantic integrated the full customer experience dataset to “see” the start-to-finish CX and translate experiences into effective multichannel engagement. Siobhan Fitzpatrick[ii], Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, stated, “That’s been absolutely critical for addressing that single experience touchpoint a customer has. We’ve got visibility of all of that [customer experience] and ultimately that will start to impact and drive your NPS scores, your preference scores, love and consideration.”[iii]
Gartner’s Digital Marketing Survey 2021: Industry Insights on Multichannel Marketing Effectiveness recommends Marketing leaders “align multichannel marketing measurement with business outcomes.”
Here are four recommendations to evaluate and integrate CX practices with digital marketing practices:
- Align CX Personas and Customer Segments. Personas are “fictional representations of existing subsets of your customer base who share similar attributes.”[iv] Customer segmentation is the process of grouping customers according to how and why they buy. Personas and customer segments rarely have a 1-to-1 relationship. Start with matching personas to their customer segments. This allows joining CX data reflecting experiences with digital marketing campaign datasets to create a foundation to understand campaign results with experiences.
- Join CX & Marketing Campaign Effectiveness Data. CX metrics incorporate qualitative insight (surveys and calls) and quantitative customer-facing metrics (on-time delivery % or invoice disputes). Unite CX data with marketing campaign effectiveness data aligned to personas and customer segments to create an integrated dataset. This creates the opportunity to match and align campaigns with the customer’s unique experience. In my wife’s experience with her missed airline connection, the missed connection due to the arrival gate delay created a brand imbalance, a poor experience. The airline observed and moved immediately to rectify with service recovery (a rescheduled flight) and a marketing campaign aimed to cement my wife’s loyalty.
- Discover the Relationship Between CX & Marketing Campaign Effectiveness. Analyzing the CX & marketing campaign effectiveness allows marketers to see if a poor CX resulted in a lower marketing campaign effect and vice versa. The analysis allows different analytical approaches to observe if the delivered CX for specific personas, segments, products, services, or geographies influenced an improved or reduced campaign effectiveness. An on-line retailer could discover lower delivery survey scores in a specific zip code on a Saturday afternoon where their delivery service is struggling to deliver on time. In this case, a marketing campaign could recognize the reduced service and offer a small discount on their next purchase as well as help the delivery service perform better.
- Consider Marketing Campaign Adjustments Based Upon Observed CX Influences. Once the analysis is complete, the marketing team can evaluate what, if any, changes to make to their marketing campaigns based upon the CX. Intuitively, marketers realize a campaign delivered following a poor CX risks reduced results or worse, making the company appear indifferent and tone deaf. Again, in my wife’s example, the airline could use the joint service recovery plus text engagement approach as a model for all customers experiencing a delay. This wider approach to customer engagement following poor experiences seeks to cement a customer as a promoter and a loyal customer even when confronted with a potentially poor experience.
Brands win with customers when their campaigns match their customer experiences. CX metrics working alongside digital marketing effectiveness creates opportunities to build greater customer loyalty.
Recommended Gartner Research:
- Research – Digital Marketing Survey 2021: Industry Insights on Multichannel Marketing Effectiveness
- Research – How to Make Your Customer Personas Actionable Using Data-Driven Insights.
- Webinar – Effective Personas Can Work With, Not Against, Segmentation
[i] Pham, Manny, “Virgin Atlantic: What’s the point of having data when you can’t do anything with it?” Marketing Week, 08 June 2021, website: https://www.marketingweek.com/virgin-atlantic-data/, accessed 22 July 2021.
[ii] Virgin Atlantic, Corporate Site, Leadership Team, https://corporate.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/leadership-team.html#.
[iii] Pham, Manny, “Virgin Atlantic: What’s the point of having data when you can’t do anything with it?” Marketing Week, 08 June 2021, website: https://www.marketingweek.com/virgin-atlantic-data/, accessed 22 July 2021.
[iv] Ray, Augie, How to Make Your Customer Personas Actionable Using Data-Driven Insights, Gartner.com.