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Understand the Consumer Experience

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain why today's customers require personalized experiences.
  • Describe the effect of poor consumer experiences.
  • Identify the obstacles that prevent brands from delivering great experiences.

Experience Matters

The challenge for marketers is clear. Consumers are loyal to experiences, not companies. 

In fact, according to the Salesforce 2017 State of Marketing report, 52% of B2C customers say they’d switch brands if they didn’t feel they were getting a personalized experience. Do you want to lose half your customers to the competition?

In addition, 86% of top marketers say they are increasingly competing on the basis of customer experience, and 89% say they are leading the customer experience initiatives across the business.

Customer experience statistics from the Salesforce 2017 State of Marketing report.

Consumers are humans—with a never-ending evolution of needs, passions, distractions, and desires. To meet those needs, marketers must develop strong, adaptable customer relationships by inspiring timely, relevant engagement everywhere a consumer interacts with their brand.

But that’s easier said than done. Many marketers are using disparate tools to manage channels, and many brands aren’t sharing consumer data between departments—which means multiple teams are trying multiple ways to market to the same consumer. In short, there’s a lack of internal governance over marketing campaigns, resulting in a disconnected experience for consumers. 

Meanwhile, connected consumers are expecting incredible relationships and brand experiences. They’re so used to seeing their names in email subject lines and tailored offers in their social media feeds, they embrace the brands that can go beyond those simple examples of personalization.

Obstacles to Delivering Great Experiences

Corresponding diagram of 3 key factors that make consumer experiences hard.

To sum it up, most brands simply aren’t set up to deliver personalized experiences to the consumer today. They suffer from some or all of the following issues.

Disconnected channels result in disconnected engagement for the consumer. The brand cannot connect the experience across online and offline channels and inbound and outbound channels.

Inconsistent experiences hamper the marketer from truly delivering value wherever the customer is. 

Internal silos prevent teams from easily accessing data, understanding customer needs, and developing a holistic plan to deliver value. 

To truly deliver value to the customer, brands must undergo a cultural shift from campaign-centric engagement to customer-centric engagement. This requires agile processes and tools that not only give you visibility into consumer behavior but enable you to quickly react to changing consumer needs.

That’s where real-time interaction management (RTIM) can help. In the next two units we define real-time interaction management, address what to look for in an RTIM tool, and walk you through implementing a consumer engagement strategy.

retargeting