We all hear talk about how important the customer experience is and we probably think we are doing a good job with it. A good customer experience drives sales and makes your customers more loyal to your brand.
But do you know how your marketing ecosystem affects your customer experience? Let me tell you.
Your marketing ecosystem is constructed of all the different martech tools that you are using. This means all of your tools like CRM, marketing automation, CMS, analytics, personalisation tools and so on. All of these smaller and bigger pieces of the puzzle have an effect on the overall customer experience.
The effect that your marketing ecosystem is having on customer experience might not be news to you. But have you thought about how you can actually improve the customer experience with the tools in your ecosystem?
In my recent master’s thesis, Improving customer experience through the utilization of the digital marketing ecosystem, I conducted a scientific literature review and expert interviews to delve deeper into this subject. Both the academic world and the practice seemed to share the idea of what actually makes the connection between the two phenomena.
Here are the findings in a bite-sized nutshell:
Step 1: Acquire customer data
Customer data means knowledge, and these days there are plenty of integrated data sources within a company’s reach. These integrations are crucial in modern marketing.
Step 2: Understand your customer
When this data is brought into the integrated ecosystem of marketing tools, simple data sets that by themselves won't create an elaborate big picture of the customer and their behaviour. Building an understanding transforms data into knowledge.
Step 3: Segment your customers
When the customer and their needs are understood, a sales organisation can properly segment their customers and target them with personalised content, offers and communications. Here the role of marketing automation is emphasized, as it enables this personalisation in a scalable way.
Step 4: Deliver relevant and personalized marketing
Personalisation means that the customer gets content and recommendations delivered based on their previous or predicted behaviour. This can come in the form of personalised messages and offers, automated content recommendations or displaying products similar to those that they have previously viewed. All of this can be summarized with one word: relevance.
Finish: Improve your customer’s customer experience
RELEVANCE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS
The main conclusion is that a marketing ecosystem can directly improve the customer experience through relevance. Relevance was also the overarching concept that was seen to include all of the most important business-to-business customer experience aspects that other researchers had found in their previous studies.
In my study I found that companies had several goals for their marketing ecosystem.
- Brand awareness
- A better understanding of the customer and their customer journey
- Sales support such as lead generation and lead nurturing
- Delivery of relevant content to customers
Companies had used different martech tools to reach these goals. Marketing automation in combination with CRM and different analytics tools were seen as the most important tools in the ecosystem, as they enable modern targeted marketing the best. They perform the actions that need to be taken to proceed from the first step all the way to the finish line: an improved customer experience.
Whether you already have an intricate and well-oiled marketing ecosystem or not, here’s something to take away for everyone. Relevance, personalisation and understanding the customer can be achieved without any martech. Offering customers what they need is nothing new. But instead of doing it manually and relying on personal sales reps, modern martech tools allow this to be done automatically on a much larger scale. This is where the real benefits of marketing ecosystems come into the picture.
Join ID BBN's workshop
If you are interested in developing and improving your company’s customer experience, please join our popular Customer Experience Journey Mapping workshop.
The next Digi-CXJM takes place on 22nd of May in Helsinki. The workshop will be held in Finnish.services.
About the writer
Tuomas Pitkänen is a fresh graduate from Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku and co-founder of Hydrohex Ltd, a sports start-up providing water exercise techniques. This ambitious problem solver has marketing analytics in mind, his left foot in the startup world, his right foot in video production and content creation at heart. Some of his biggest passions are aerial photography and fiddling with custom mechanical keyboards. If you hear lots of loud keyboard clicking, that’s probably Tuomas.
Tuomas Pitkänen received a scholarship from ID BBN for his master’s study and Susanna Juusti from ID BBN was his mentor during the research. ID BBN collaborates closely with the educational institutes of marketing and technology.