Customer experience. The two words that haven’t stop buzzing in our ears since 2015 with no signs of slowing down. Because when it comes to delivering world-class B2B businesses, an on-point customer experience is a cornerstone of both customer acquisition and retention.
What does marketing have to do with effective CX? With digitally consumable content driving the customer experience—content created by marketers—the marketing organization is able to take hold of the customer experience, in messaging, delivery, etc.
At Kapost, we strongly believe that consistency across all content at each and every touchpoint is one of the most powerful ways for marketers to drive an effective customer experience.
And, after chatting with some of the best B2B marketers, they seem to agree. Here’s what they had to say.
As a marketer, is delivering a consistent customer experience something you and your team prioritize? If so, what do you consider the key factors to ensuring consistency and effectiveness across the customer journey?
Yes. For external users, reusable, modular content is essential. It enables you to deliver personalized content. This entails training your content developers to do topic-based authoring, and adopting technology that supports conditionalized text, variables, and multichannel delivery–i.e. COPE, or Create Once, Publish Everywhere.
On the strategy side, you must train the marketing programs and product marketing groups to start thinking in terms of modular content. Quality, legal, and regulatory groups must understand the implications of approving content that can be combined in many ways. For internal users, a single source of truth with excellent accessibility and flexible navigation is essential. If you don’t have that, then people will damage your content integrity by copying content into separate repositories to fill the gaps of the central repository.
Gainsight is the Customer Success Company–with a tagline like that, we have to live up to our brand promise to deliver a truly special customer experience across all channels.
We believe that our first impression with a potential customer has to be great from the moment they first interact with us–whether that’s a piece of content discovered in long tail search, a display ad they see when surfing the web, the experience when landing on our homepage, or even offline engagements such as our events and conferences or speaking to a rep on the phone.
One of the emerging ways of delivering consistent and effective experiences is personalization, a trend being championed by many vendors in the Account Based Marketing (ABM) space. The belief is that we’re living in a world of the informed buyer, where the prospect knows about your business and products far before they fill out the Contact Sales form. However, today we know much more about your buyers as well–what companies they work for, what function they are in, whether or not they are showing buying intent, etc.
So what if we as marketers can use that data to create personalized experiences for our prospects across the very channels I mentioned before? Perhaps a personalized piece of content relevant to the industry vertical they operate in. Or a display add that mentions their company by name or shows a relative case study from a company in their ecosystem. Or even changing the hero area of your website to welcome them to your site by name, and reveal important content items relevant to their size and stage of maturity.
If Marketing Automation has turned marketers into robots, ABM will make us human again.
Consistent customer experience is becoming a much higher priority. This is facilitated by collaboration and visibility made possible by technology–content marketing platforms, for one. I’m currently helping a client roll out a CMP that will bring all the (previously siloed and independent) marketing teams together.
It’s really interesting to see what that looks like and to consider how to implement for adoption and acceptance. This includes creating a standard taxonomy, workflows, and processes that connect the work of the teams in a way that amplifies the value of all of the company’s content, eliminating the random acts of content that can result in the production of fragmented customer experiences.
We prioritize a consistent customer journey, yes, but know that we can do better. When you think about the groups that “touch” a customer, it really spans everyone, from your office manager, to Finance, to Legal, to Engineering, to Marketing, and to Sales. Creating a consistent customer experience extends well beyond Sales and Marketing.
As far as Marketing goes, I’m exploring the use of structured content, which some people call intelligent content. I want to store my content in one place, then tag it with meaningful metadata for re-use across multiple channels. I can still adjust certain messaging elements based on the destination channel, but I know that the primary content is consistent, because it’s coming from one place.
Absolutely and any organization that wants to better Engage, Nurture and Convert their buyers and eventually turn them into Advocates must deliver a consistent customer experience. This is done through content, through engagement with sales, through engagement with customer support–where all aspects of the customer experience, every touch point has a thread of consistency throughout.
I hear marketers talk about “consistency” a lot, but, I’m not sure what it means. Does it mean the same people interact with the customer throughout the journey? That’s not possible. Does it mean the same voice is expressed throughout the journey? I’m not sure that’s possible either—I mean, the voice in a top of funnel piece of content is going to be very different from the voice in a competitive comparison sheet, which, in turn, will be different that the voice of the legal department.
We just try to deliver a positive experience at every interaction—whether it’s an interaction with a person, with the product, or with our marketing content.
In terms of customer experience, this is critical. Our company is a B2B SaaS solution that requires a significant investment of time, capital, and resources on the part of our clients. We aren’t going after thousands of accounts; we’re going after a few strategic accounts. That being said, it’s critical to serve outstanding quality content to each vertical, and ensure that content is kept up-to-date and remains relevant.