Forget marketing’s traditional ‘four Ps’ – in today’s competitive landscape, customer experience IS your product, no matter what you sell, price, place or promote.
Although customer experience is the responsibility of every part of an organisation, marketers are generally leading CX initiatives.
According to Salesforce’s Fourth Annual State of Marketing report, 68 per cent of marketing leaders say their company is competing on the basis of customer experience – and organisational structures and capabilities are shifting in responses, with marketing roles now aligned more to customer journey touchpoints than traditional product siloes.
So what skills will those new marketing roles demand?
Although our recent Customer Experience Think Tank acknowledged a significant skills gap in turning customer data into actionable insights, it is also clear that our most valuable capabilities are the ones machines cannot replicate: human instinct, curiosity and the subtle art of influencing others.
“Marketers don’t need to be digital operators, they need training and expertise to think outside the data and metrics at their disposal,” said eHarmony Managing Director Nicole McInnes at ADMA’s Customer Experience Town Hall in September. “I think we’re building a huge skills gap in young marketers, because if they come out as software operators, that is the first role that gets taken over by machines or an algorithm.”
1. Strategic thinking
Successful marketers understand their external competitive landscape and how to manage their internal siloes – and can co-ordinate company-wide efforts to achieve measurable targets.
2. Persuasive art of the pitch
Any influential marketer knows that getting things done depends on getting others on board with your ideas – from the CEO down.
Building a business case, and bringing competing interests together to put the customer first, is an important strategic skill.
3. Customer empathy and intuition
Whether you sell in a B2C or B2B space, you are still selling to humans – and it’s fundamentally an emotional decision to buy. In the B2B case, their business or job could be on the line with the decision to choose you as their vendor. “I think we need a bit more psychology, and a bit more intuition and human connection,” said Lachlan Austin of Strativity at the Town Hall.
4. Creative spark
Having data to tell you the right placement or channels for each message is one thing. Creative campaigns and communication touchpoints that capture the imagination, demonstrate you really understand an individual customer’s needs and create that emotional connection will ultimately win on cut-through.
5. Understand the technology enough to challenge the output
Making sense of the data is what really matters. You can have analytics on tap, but unless you can quickly identify and resolve the points of friction it won’t shift the needle on customer experience. It also takes confidence to challenge the data output if it conflicts with your knowledge of your customer. Sometimes you need to go with your instinct, but sometimes you need to test if your long-held assumptions really are valid.
If you think your team may have a skills gap in any of these areas, ADMA’s IQ courses are a good place to start.
Interested in more insights from ADMA’s CX Think Tank? Read our white paper, Building CX programs for the future.