In my opinion, the biggest trend we will witness in 2016 is the convergence of Marketing and Customer Experience. Traditionally, marketers have been back office, systems focused. Sales have been the front line. The link from marketing to the customer. In recent years this has changed. As marketing has involved from a transactional focus to one of building relationships, we have seen how ensuring high levels of customer experience is vital to setting your business apart from the rest.

The #Marketingtrend to watch for in 2016 – The Convergence of Marketing and Customer Experience 

Staying ahead of your competition is not easy. One of the best ways to achieve this is to ensure your customer experience is exceptional.

“The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.”

~ Jerry Gregoire, former CIO of Dell and Pepsi. Read more at http://www.business2community.com/brandviews/act-on/customer-experience-hot-new-thing-marketing-01453092#QCGmAZXqQH15hepK.99

For us in the events industry, this is often assumed to be limited to onsite/or at the event itself. But what about how our customers experience our marketing?

The Buying Process – ask yourself how easy is it to register for your event? Can you improve the functionality of your website to optimise the customer’s experience? Having a mobile friendly website is one such (very important) way of doing this.

Copy – why is spamming so frustrating? Because we live in a world where business executives receive hundreds, if not thousands of emails a day. And this makes it nigh impossible to filter out those that are relevant. Let’s be totally honest, companies are not going to stop emailing. What needs to change is the message. I am assuming you have received an email from a conference company, probably encouraging you to download a conference brochure. Open it – and I guarantee it will contain a conference agenda that is highly detailed. How do you spot the information relevant to you? That’s where copy can help. Copy should be used to streamline the customer’s experience of your product information. Focus their attention on to what is relevant to them. What will help them to solve their business needs.

Content Marketing – there aren’t many events companies that have successfully used content marketing. In my opinion, this is because we forget to think about the customer experience. We release content that we have, share it across our third parties, and onto our blogs. Is it really the content that our customers want? Is the content in a format that suits the customer? Is a downloadable PDF what they really want? Could the key information be condensed to a blog or an info graphic? Is video or audio an easier way for your customers to absorb the content?

Multi-channel approach – don’t be afraid of using multiple channels to communicate your message. Remember that this message needs to be consistent. It is frustrating for customers who see one message and then receive another. For example, clicking on a ppc advert that advertises an eBook on How to generate high quality leads for sales. But instead of being directed to a download they are taken to a page that talks about your product, that in fairness, can help you to generate high quality leads. This is misleading to the customer. Make sure the message across your channels align. And if you have multiple messages for different target profiles (as we all often do), ensure that the customer is guided through your marketing so that they experience a consistent message.

Internal customers – don’t forget these guys. They are as important as external customers. How do your colleagues experience marketing? I wrote a blog a long time ago about how I felt my job had become one of nagging. Since then, I have tried to change this. As marketers, we need our team mates. We need Sales. We need Production. We need IT. We need Finance. They also need us! But perhaps instead of discussing the nagging – I should’ve looked into how these customers experience marketing.

Instead of focusing on solely on how customers experience your product, think about how they experience your message and your communication as well.

 

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