It’s tough to be an ambitious marketer when the full customer experience you want to create depends so greatly on factors often out of your control. Seventy-three percent of respondents to a survey by Chief Marketing Officer Council and SAP say that customer centric business practices are one of the top factors in any company’s success – yet that same group admitted it was easier said than done. While the internal goal is clear, the outward image doesn’t reflect the move toward customer centricity. Of those surveyed, 86 percent of respondents didn’t agree that “customer centricity is a hallmark of their company.”
Sure, marketers know that synchronizing the facets of a customer’s experience pre- and post-sale is one of the best ways to convert a first-time or occasional customer into a loyal, evangelizing fan. That positive customer experience can translate to exponential success for your business. But if the rest of your company isn’t on the same page, customer centricity can get lost in a grab bag of priorities.
One way to re-orient the culture of a company is to ensure you have the tools to do so. A failure identified by respondents was that the technology and ability to leverage customer data was lacking. Less than 20 percent of respondents thought their technology platforms could deliver on marketing promises, and only 10 percent of companies were “highly confident in their ability to leverage data.” That state of affairs does little to craft a customer centric experience.
Well-meaning marketers can hire talent, establish processes and talk priorities, but without functional tools to harness the wealth of information in the customer’s experience, you’re treading water. In addition to (and often prior to) marketing automation solutions, more and more CMOs are implementing SaaS-based preference management platforms designed to deliver on campaign promises.
Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication, empowers a company to honor a customer’s wishes and refine their communications accordingly. In doing so, the reduce opt-outs and boost marketing ROI.
Get beyond saying and start doing by offering your company a solution to the challenges it faces. Customer centricity is a goal that’s absolutely within reach once you can automate data and re-orient priorities.