Customer Experience Marketing: What Is It?

Customer experience marketing is about putting the customer at the forefront of your marketing strategy. Instead of trying to sell customers on features and benefits, shift your mindset and think about them. Why do they want to engage with you? Why are they reading or viewing your marketing material?

If you only do marketing to get more sales — you’re taking the wrong approach. In 2014, customers are picky. Gone are the days of blast email campaigns, gone are the days of treating every customer like a number.

Customers expect more. Customers want an experience that is consistent across all marketing channels. They want you to use the information they give you to provide more value and offer a personalized experience.

Customer experience marketing is similar to customer experience management, but instead of focusing on ‘managing customers’, it focuses on improving the customer experience through engagement. Customers don’t want to be “managed”. Ernam Roman conducted a VoC research study and found customers call this experience ‘ being manipulated’.

We don’t want to be manipulating our customers. So make the shift in mentality and approach marketing differently – focus on the customer.

“Customer experience is now the fifth marketing P that needs to be managed as purposely and carefully as the product, and the price, and the promotion, the traditional Ps of the marketing mix.”  Lisa Macpherson, Hallmark


Why customer experience marketing is important

  • Amazing customer experiences help retain customers and build loyalty.
  • Consistent experience. Customers wants a consistent experience across all departments.
  • Customers want personalization. They want to be treated like a human, not a record in the CRM. Create customer profiles, offer up customer service and material that is relevant to their needs.
  • Make customer experience a priority. It needs to be at the forefront of all marketing communications. Right from the first point of contact, the customer experience starts.  What experience do you want to deliver? It needs to be consistent from the initial marketing that grabbed the customers attention, all the way through to after sales support.
  • Poor experiences cost you money. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience (Understanding customers, Ruby Newell-Legner). A 5% reduction In the customer defection rate can increase profits by 5-95% (Bain & Company).


Related: 15 customer experience statistics that you cannot ignore


Challenges with customer experience marketing

  • Hard to get buy-in from all departments. To make this a success, you need to embody it throughout the company.
  • It takes a different approach to marketing. This approach makes you rethink marketing – sometimes it’s hard to start thinking about what the customer wants, not what you want to sell. Take a consultative approach to solving customer problems, rather than selling features and benefits.
  • Hard to measure ROI. Marketing is generally driven by metrics and revenue. Customer experience has many more holistic benefits; it is not singularly tied to revenue.


3 keys to successfully implementing customer experience marketing

Get buy-in from all departments

This new way of thinking is hard for the old guys to comprehend. We have all been doing marketing the same way for so many years, change can be hard to justify. Explain to other departments that marketing has changed. No longer are we living in a world where the customer doesn’t have a voice. No longer are we limited with the data we know about customers.

It’s time we use the data we have to create better customer experiences on an individual level. We must rethink every element of our media mix and have one purpose – to serve and satisfy customers.

Use customer case studies and other references to get support from departments. Offer to do a pilot program for six months to demonstrate the value.

Add customer experience to your marketing plan

You must be able to provide quality customer experiences throughout the customer’s lifecycle – not just at acquisition and renewal. Customers remember all the experiences they have with your company.

By integrating the customer experience into your marketing strategy, you can ensure that your customer is at the forefront of all new initiatives.

Create key initiatives that create amazing customer experiences

Now let’s look at some initiatives you can use to create amazing experiences for your customers.

1. Segmenting customers

You might have some customers on monthly contracts, others just on ad hoc plans. These customers are different. They have different needs and wants, so from a marketing perspective — to keep them happy and to grow new business, you should engage with them differently. Think about why they are doing business with you and send them special offers, educational content and personal follow-ups that are based on that why.

2. On-boarding new customers

Do you have a standard on-boarding process for all new customers? Think about how you can tailor the on-boarding to each specific customer. You will no doubt have different types of customers (like the above example, monthly vs ad hoc). Different expectations need to be set for each customer type. Use the on-boarding to create those personalized experiences.

3. Up-sell opportunities

This is where the money is made and where you can see the benefits from customer experience marketing. After segmenting your customers, you can tailor up-sell promotions and marketing around their specific needs and wants. Studies by Jupiter Research have shown that relevant emails produce 18 times more revenue than standard email blasts. Use the data you have on customers to tailor marketing messages and up-sell your products.

See also: 5 customer experience strategies that work


The customer experience is now a part of your marketing strategy

The customer experience should no longer be left to the customer service team. Marketing needs to take a proactive approach to create campaigns that focus on the customer and deliver an amazing experience. Your customers want a personalized and consistent experience across all marketing channels.

Use the technology and data you have to ‘WOW’ customers and offer value that extends above their expectations.

Move beyond just ‘managing’ the customer experience and toward ‘improving’ the customer experience.

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Gordon Tan

Gordon Tan is an entrepreneur based in Australia who has started and sold multiple technology companies with a combined value of $150m. This included a client satisfaction benchmarking platform which gave him first hand insight into the best practices of over 6,000 businesses. After retiring at 35 he is now a recognised thought leader on winning and retaining clients - His two passions: making clients the heartbeat of a business no matter what the product or service and this blog.

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