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By Angel Vaccaro

Moments now matter more than place or channel for brands trying to connect with consumers. To deliver the most engaging experience in the moments that matter, CMOs need the right strategy, technology, organizational structures, and metrics.

Today’s connected consumers expect instant information and experiences that “wow” them. If they have a question, they want to do a quick search on their phones and get an immediate answer. If they’re buying concert tickets, they want to see seating options, the view from their selected seats, and the best place to park—all before hitting the buy button. If they’re B2B customers, they want seamless contracting, procurement, and supply chain processes. In this instant-access economy, brands are challenged not only to deliver the right information over the appropriate channel but to give consumers relevant, personalized experiences in the make-or-break moments that matter.

Brands that can do this effectively have an opportunity to improve customer relationships, differentiate themselves from the competition, and drive brand value. Consider a retailer that has a loyal, high-revenue-generating customer who gives a one-star rating to a piece of clothing sold on the brand’s web site. Beyond just aggregating this review with all the other reviews to determine whether to keep this product in the lineup, the brand can go a step further. It can acknowledge this person as a high-value customer and take a personalized action such as sending the customer a replacement free of charge or giving her a gift card.

Or consider a sports venue that wants to create a more personalized fan experience to drive people off their couches and into the stadium. The venue could use a one-stop app for everything: If a customer shows a preference for a premium beverage, the app could trigger a notification asking whether he wants it delivered to his seat and, later, as the game comes to an end, give him access to nearby restaurant reservations reflecting his preferred cuisine. Throughout his visit to the stadium, the customer could be given personalized photos, the opportunity to engage in interactive gaming through augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR), and tips on the most efficient navigation for his journey home.

Delivering this type of one-to-one interaction and exceptional customer service in crucial moments can result in improved customer satisfaction, repeat business, and positive social media promotion, all of which lead to increased experience value for the customer and increased business value for the brand.

But how can brand leaders maximize business value without underinvesting or overinvesting in these experiences? As CMOs are increasingly charged with driving revenue and growth for their companies, they can rethink technologies, organizational structures, and metrics to help them find the perfect balance.

The “Three Ds”—Data, Decisioning, and Delivery

CMOs can consider the three Ds when designing and implementing technology platforms to support the offering of relevant, personalized content to consumers in the moments that matter:

  • Data. A customer data platform that contains relevant information about customers—who they are, how they have interacted with the brand before, where they browse, how they respond—is foundational to enabling this type of personalized engagement. It is also important for CMOs to make sure their companies are in compliance with applicable data privacy laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act.
  • Decisioning. Once companies have compiled customer data, they can use software and analytics programs to make decisions about how to deliver the right content to customers in relevant moments and how to maximize value. It’s no longer a matter of creating awareness at the top of the funnel or driving purchase at the bottom of the funnel. With advanced analytics and decisioning software, brands can interact with consumers at precise moments throughout their journeys to create that wow factor and differentiate their brands.
  • Delivery. Finally, brands can orchestrate their responses and other interactions with consumers based on data and insights from analytics programs, whether that means sending a personalized email offer at just the right time or advising a support agent what to say when a particular customer phones the call center. Customer engagement orchestration software can help enable the automated, contextual delivery of one-to-one communications with customers. Emerging technologies such as AI, AR, VR, and connected devices give marketers more ways than ever to provide contextually relevant, immersive experiences to customers.

Organization and Talent

As they look at deploying new technologies to deliver relevant content and experiences to consumers, it’s important for companies to start with a well-thought-out strategy that’s supported by senior leaders.

It’s also essential for ownership of CX to be clear and consistent across the enterprise. At more than half of large organizations, the role of CMO has been expanded to include end-to-end CX. (Alternatively, CX may be elevated to a distinct function, led by a chief experience officer, complete with a dedicated budget, staffing, and governance of all CX capabilities enterprisewide.)

To support the technical enablement of CX, CMOs are partnering closely with their chief information officers, often bringing critical CX processes and skills back in-house and using cloud-based solutions, plus adding more tech-savvy professionals—data engineers, data scientists, business intelligence specialists, and the like—to their teams.

Proving ROI on CX

As the CMO role becomes more influential in the C-suite, marketing leaders are under increasing pressure to demonstrate a return on their investments, particularly when it comes to the value of CX to the organization. CMOs can start with a few initiatives and track select KPIs that support the case for investing in end-to-end CX technologies and capabilities.

Some CX-value metrics include:

  • Net promoter score
  • Customer satisfaction score
  • Usability score
  • Average revenue per visit
  • Brand engagement frequency
  • Campaign ROI
  • Repeat visits
  • Social sentiment (e.g., shares, likes)
  • Referrals
  • Average customer tenure/loyalty.

Steps CMOs Can Take Now

To help their organizations deliver the most engaging content and experiences to consumers in the moments that matter, CMOs can take the following steps:

Create a new mindset. Providing contextually relevant content and experiences to reach consumers in the right moment is not just a project—it requires a shift in mindset. CMOs can lead this charge by becoming CX champions at their organizations and having a plan in place to show the tangible value of investing in CX.

Start small. Begin with a pilot project focused on a single engagement channel (e.g., email or mobile app engagement) or single outcome (e.g., increased enrollments, increased satisfaction score), show some quick wins, demonstrate value, then create a road map to scale across the organization.

Reorganize for CX. Determine the organizational structure needed to operationalize change, for instance by creating a CX leadership council with clear accountabilities made up of marketing, sales, service, and other functions that interact with the customer.

By Angel Vaccaro

Angel Vaccaro, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP; and Natalie Groff, senior manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Sourced from The Wall Street Journal