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Marketing or Branding is the way consumers ‘perceive’ your brand. It’s about creating and delivering messaging about your brand and utilising communication strategies to mould consumer perceptions. Customer experience, on the other hand, is how  your brand is felt by your consumers, depending on the quality of  your customer-related services.   

Unaligned Marketing and CX can lead to consumer confusion, lack of trust and difficulty in staying loyal. 

Some companies combine CX and Marketing activities in the same department to maintain this alignment. Customer Experience is a total sum of the complete customer journey, and goes into areas of promotions, purchase, payment, after sales and customer support. 

Even if your company does not combine Marketing and CX in the same department, the right thing to do is to keep CX and Branding in tune by aligning the activities that both perform. This will maintain the required synergy. A common pitfall is when creative advertising teams position a brand using exaggeration or unrealistic promises. When the experience does not match the brand image, things can get sour. You will lose customers and worse, they will leave, quite displeased.  

You may also like: What Is Customer Experience Transformation? How To Protect It As You Scale Your Business 

What Marketers Should Know

Optimum CX can be achieved when a company ideates, manages, delivers, and improves by measuring the degree and method in which customers are interacting with a brand, across all their journey touchpoints. Technology can assist with real time tracking and analytics to deliver more personalised experiences to individual customers or customer groups. The overall experience should be relevant and seamless towards better engagement and loyalty. 

If you’re aiming for Digital Transformation, involve technology to carve a CX plan early on and continue to polish and redefine as the market demands. 

In a traditional set up however, it can be a challenge to align Marketing and CX. So, here are a few steps in getting both on the same page:

  • Conduct Joint Meetings

Internal CX meetings should be conducted with marketing, IT and customer support teams in attendance. Processes, roles and responsibilities should be discussed and CX milestones should be shared, with each team contributing according to their expertise. 

This habit should be inculcated at an early stage and communication lines should be kept open between these departments. 

Cross-functional leadership also facilitates this process. Combining the 3 areas of marketing, IT and customer support helps to break down watertight silos that create distance between each function, leading to fragmented CX. 

  • Invest Together

CX budgets should include marketing activities, customer journey touchpoints, IT and customer support activities. Joint investment in the latest infrastructure, well defined systems and processes will ensure alignment, shared responsibilities and the best CX.

To begin with, study the current stack of marketing technologies that are being used, for any overlaps and need gaps. Aim towards investing in an advanced digital experience that is personalised, reliable, consistent and satisfying. You may choose to outsource your customer support for a superior CX offering. Leading customer support companies work via unified, omnichannel platforms that interact with customers via phone – video, audio, chat, email, and social media. 

Shared ownership makes the job easier. Added to which, the right skills, tools and processes are needed to offer a future-proof and seamless customer experience. 

  • Motivate Employees

Apart from the marketing, IT and customer support teams, pay attention to every employee that contributes to your CX. Focus on keeping them happy and watch it translate into a positive CX.

Infuse transparency and communication in the work environment. Encourage team building exercises, motivational activities and employee reward systems. 

Characteristics of Aligned Customer Experience

So, what does well aligned CX look like?

It can be divided into 3 main aspects – Customer Relationships, Implementation and Organisational Health.

Customer Relationships

It highlights the depth of how well your brand translates via your CX. This can occur only when a company accurately understands the emotional and rational sides of every customer journey by utilising customer data in the best manner. You know when CX is perfect when the brand narrative or story is being told rightly via customer experiences. 

Implementation 

Ideal execution involves constant optimization and improvement of customer experience, consistently across buyer touchpoints. Your research, brand communication, marketing and CX comes across as a collaborated effort and not individual sections, working in isolation. 

It’s when the brand promise is fulfilled via CX.

Organisational Health

This aspect involves the employees of your company and ensures that they are motivated and in tune with the brand values, to be able to portray them via every customer interaction.

Motivated, responsible, positive and innovative employees are a way to improve your CX by aligning all the departments. 

Rekated: Why An Excellent CX Requires Proper Organisational Structure And Team Setup

Summing up

Customer experience is how a brand’s essence and values manifest via physical activities. The brand sets the expectation which is then fulfilled by CX using a strategic plan.

Today, customers are engaging with brands in multiple ways. This is increasing customer expectations and this expectation flows into the area of customer experience. Years ago, it was all about building and promoting the brand. In 2021 and beyond, branding cannot exist without CX, as consumers are judging brands through their interactions with them, as opposed to flashy TV ads and hoardings. 

Lucky for us, technology can help us to deliver CX using omnichannel platforms. However, the true key to success is an organization’s ability to scale, alter and react to market conditions, in order to get their CX aligned. 

If you wish to know how to align your marketing with your CX, call us to discuss your needs.

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