CMOs are becoming increasingly responsible for the end-to-end customer journey, shifting the focus to customer experience for competitive advantage. This means getting to grips with a whole new approach and a look beyond traditional rosters for agency support.
Customer experience has evolved as a distinct discipline beyond early customer service and UX associations. It starts from a simple premise – that your brand is defined by the sum of all interactions someone has with it. That its value goes beyond the product to the complete experience.
At its heart, CX involves identifying moments in the customer journey and mapping actionable brand experiences to them. And it’s these moments that distinguish experience planning from traditional comms. Moments come from the customer’s perspective, not the brand’s. They map customer needs in context NOT media touch points. They are opportunities to add value through the experience, not just to communicate marketing messages.
In this sense, CX borrows much from other disciplines. It requires a deep understanding of your brand purpose and story. It borrows the ‘mental model’ and persona approach of UX. It calls on the customer data and personalisation used in social advertising.
It’s why in many ways a CX-led agency bridges the gap between the ad agency intent on cultural fame, and the intense targeting of the digital and media firm.
Deliver in the moment
But it differs hugely in intent. We are less concerned with using the brand narrative to build attention and fame, more with how to deliver the brand purpose and utility in the moment. UX design is concerned with how someone uses the thing, CX looks at how the thing delivers the brand promise in the moment. CX is not about using data to target messages, but using data to be relevant.
A practical approach
Key to a CX approach is understanding that there is not one all-seeing customer journey. There are big journeys, and little ones, (macro and micro if you prefer). Journey and story mapping isn’t a one-off high-brow exercise, but an approach to dealing with practical, everyday marketing challenges like acquisition and loyalty.
CMOs looking to own the experience need agencies on their side that understand the value in the journey as much as the destination. Partners that can help to map journeys and work collaboratively on fast, actionable insights to deliver powerful experiences. This is a new breed of CX agency, and you need one.