By now, you must have noticed that traditional & digital marketing isn’t what it used to be anymore. The eComm & Retail Arenas underwent a tectonic shift – characterized by insane
Social media platforms have also transformed, altering how consumers engage with brands.
Cookies once relied upon for tracking user behavior, are becoming less effective. Even with increased revenue, businesses often collapse under rising acquisition costs and uncontrollable customer churn.
Trying to achieve your company’s goals with traditional acquisition methods is like trying to win the F1 with a family car. Even if you put in insane hours and get through all the necessary training, you won’t stand a chance.
In this context, becoming a customer-centric company is no longer just a desirable trait but a necessity.
In today’s post, we’ll explore how the union between marketing and CX initiatives can help you achieve true customer-centricity and guide consumers toward customer success.
We’ll look at the “why” behind the initiative, the steps to achieving alignment, and even a case study for one of the most appreciated initiatives in modern marketing.
Why Should We Integrate CX and Marketing?
The shift in eComm requires companies to align their marketing strategies and customer experience efforts to create a seamless and personalized experience at every touchpoint.
This doesn’t mean you should neglect the fundamentals such as the 4P’s (product, price, place, promotion), 4C’s (customer needs, cost to the customer, convenience, communication), etc.
Yet, their effectiveness relies on the alignment with each customer journey stage.
To maximize profitability, you must recognize that marketing and customer experience can no longer operate in silos.
Instead, they must work hand in hand, understanding that the customer journey encompasses pre- and post-purchase experiences, as well as the post-usage moment.
The marketing department plays a vital role in attracting and engaging customers before they purchase.
The Pre-Purchase Stage
Regarding the acquisition stage, marketing must leverage data-driven insights and segmentation strategies to deliver personalized messages and relevant content to different target audiences.
This targeted approach ensures that prospects resonate with the acquisition methods and are more likely to purchase and trust the brand.
Customer-centric marketing strategies such as personalized recommendations, tailored promotions, and seamless omnichannel experiences all contribute to creating a positive pre-purchase experience.
However, marketing needs data from the CX department to achieve this granular communication targeted for different customer profiles. Insights generated from surveys, tickets, or reviews are the ones that guide the acquisition or even retargeting strategies.
The Post-Purchase Stage
The task isn’t “done” when the customer clicks the “Complete order” button.
In the post-purchase stage, the CX department will take the lead in ensuring customers have a seamless and delightful experience.
This includes efficient order processing, fast and accurate shipping, easy returns and exchanges, and proactive customer support.
Marketing can support the post-purchase experience by providing relevant and valuable communication, such as order confirmations, shipment updates, and personalized recommendations based on the customer’s purchase history.
At the same time, the CX department is responsible for collecting and analyzing customer feedback through various channels (surveys, reviews, interviews, etc.)
After analyzing the feedback, CX people translate it into actionable insights for the marketing team, generating improvement initiatives based on customer feedback.
The two departments can work together to implement improvements and revisit strategies to address pain points, ensuring that customer expectations are consistently met exceeded.
It’s the Ouroboros of the integrated approach.
Both departments feed each other with data and insights, repeating the cycle of acquisition-retention-loyalization and becoming better and better in the process.
You see, collaboration and alignment between these teams come down to the following:
- sharing customer insights,
- enabling the creation of targeted marketing campaigns, and
- creating personalized nurturing experiences.
Yet, if it were simple, everyone would be doing it.
The issue with inter-departmental collaboration lies in each team’s different KPIs and objectives.
The marketing team is stressed about acquiring new customers. The CX team is interested in what happens after the purchase.
Marrying these two departments and getting them to build a home together will require patience, compromise, and hard work. And, above all, a common goal.
In our case, the common goal should be adopting the CLV metric as a North-Star metric.
However, switching to CLV as the primary metric is an ongoing process, requiring a company-wide shift.
We’ve developed the Customer Value Optimization (CVO) Methodology to help companies embark on this journey and get everyone on board.
Let’s explore how this Methodology works when you’re shooting for an integrated approach between marketing and CX.
How to Get CX and Marketing on the Same Page
While following the CVO approach for a seamless alignment, you can focus on the following processes:
- Continuously monitor relevant metrics and key performance indicators to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and satisfaction levels.
- Identify and prioritize initiatives that align with delivering exceptional CX and maximizing customer value.
- Use RFM Analysis to categorize customers based on purchasing behavior, allowing for targeted and personalized marketing efforts.
- Conduct qualitative research methods like Net Promoter Scores (NPS), online surveys, and Jobs to be Done interviews to gain deeper insights into customer needs, expectations, and pain points.
- Validate insights gathered through qualitative research by conducting statistically significant quantitative studies.
- Analyze customer buying patterns to identify trends and preferences, enabling better targeting and tailored marketing strategies.
- Develop detailed profiles of ideal customers to guide marketing efforts, ensuring messaging and campaigns resonate with the target audience.
- Map out the entire customer journey, including touchpoints, pain points, and opportunities for improvement. This helps identify areas where marketing can enhance CX.
- Address areas of improvement, such as optimizing customer service, eliminating friction in the purchasing process, and continuously improving products based on customer feedback.
- Develop strategies to retain customers by providing ongoing value, personalized experiences, and loyalty programs.
- Utilize gathered insights to design and implement targeted initiatives focusing on customer acquisition, onboarding, prevention, referral, loyalty, and reactivation.
These steps can become a practical framework for Marketing and CX to align their efforts and objectives effectively.
How does Marketing help you deliver a delightful experience?
The only job for marketing departments nowadays seems to be spending a budget. Yet, there’s a lot more that they can bring to the table.
Marketing can be pivotal in delivering a delightful customer experience by employing various strategies and leveraging different metrics throughout the customer journey.
Here are just a few examples of how marketing contributes to each stage of the customer journey:
Growth & Awareness
In this stage, the focus is on attracting and engaging potential customers.
Marketing teams deploy SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing (SMM), or AdTech to increase brand visibility and generate awareness.
Practical implementation of pre-purchase techniques ensures prospects have a positive first impression of the brand, and your future relationship starts on the right foot.
Educate & Engage
Once customers are aware of the brand, marketing efforts shift towards educating and engaging them.
From the customer’s perspective, this stage is all about having access to relevant and valuable content and recommendations.
Engaging experiences, even before they place an order, contribute to an enhanced customer journey.
Convert & Monetize
To push people from interest to desire and into action, marketing teams should collaborate closely with the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) department to get relevant insights and materials.
Combining insights derived from customer data with acquisition tactics, Marketing, and CX can deliver a smooth and personalized buying experience – eliminating any friction points in the process.
While the CX teams own the post-purchase initiatives, marketing can still contribute by ensuring a seamless transition from sales to customer service, providing ongoing support and assistance.
At the same time, marketing teams can also have a hand in building a positive brand reputation and creating customer loyalty with their retention strategies.
On the one hand, you have spammy upsell techniques, trying to milk customers for more purchases even before they open their orders.
On the other hand, you have those perfectly-timed restocking emails brimming with personalized recommendations and best-deal discounts.
With help from the CX teams, your marketing department can orchestrate campaigns from the second category, increasing sales and generating higher AOVs without annoying customers with intrusive messages.
As you can see, marketing can act as the right hand for the CX department – contributing to a consistent, relevant, and personalized customer journey.
Marketing teams help attract and engage customers, nurture relationships, drive conversions, provide post-conversion support, and continuously optimize efforts to meet and exceed customer expectations.
And the symbiotic relationship goes even further.
Exploring the Relationship between Marketing and CX
How do you evaluate whether the Marketing + CX ship is a healthy relationship or a toxic one?
A green flag is when marketing succeeds in setting the stage for a positive customer experience.
- conveying the right messages
- promoting quality products
- demonstrating consistent support throughout the customer’s lifecycle
In the CVO Methodology, Marketing and Customer Experience are intertwined. The Methodology is built upon three Pillars:
- What you say (marketing)
- What you sell (product)
- What you do (customer experience)
While the product pillar is a topic for another day, the “saying” and “doing” part illustrates the marketing-CX relationship.
What You Say (Marketing, Pre- and Post-Purchase)
Marketing holds the reins here, being tasked with shaping customer perceptions through communication.
This task involves crafting compelling messages that resonate with the target audience at different customer journey stages.
Pre-purchase marketing focuses on attracting and engaging potential customers, while post-purchase marketing ensures ongoing communication and support.
Consistency & relevancy in messaging across all touchpoints help build trust, manage expectations, and deliver a positive CX.
What You Do (Supporting the Customer Journey Over Time)
Actions speak louder than words.
How a company behaves and supports customers throughout their journey greatly influences CX.
This includes customer service, responsiveness, problem resolution, and ongoing support.
Marketing can contribute to CX by ensuring seamless, consistent, and responsive customer touchpoints.
At the same time, both marketing and CX should work together to identify pain points in customer profiles or friction points in the customer journey, then work on addressing them.
Leveraging Customer Data for Targeted Marketing and CX Enhancements
So, if most of the insights come from the Customer Experience department, how does a marketing professional use this perspective?
How is customer data going to help?
Here are a few ideas you can leverage to make the most out of the collaboration with the CX department:
- Analyze Buying Habits
Buying Habits analysis provides insights you never considered before. For example, you can spot high-quality products that generate repeat purchases.
Conversely, you can identify toxic products (causing customer churn) and eliminate them from your acquisition campaigns.
- Customer Lifetime Value
Analyzing CLV highlights your most valuable customers and helps you understand their preferences. Armed with this insight, you can make room for data-driven marketing initiatives.
- RFM Segmentation
RFM segmentation is another fantastic technique to identify your best customers. However, it goes one step further, showing who is about to churn or eat up resources without generating revenue.
You can become more tactical with your retention campaigns by leveraging RFM to target customer segments with a relevant retention, prevention, or loyalization campaign.
In turn, you prevent churn, increase loyalty, and generate more recommendations.
- Acquisition Campaigns
Use data on your best customers to generate better audiences for acquisition. If you pay for it anyway, you could at least bring in the best possible customers, right?
You can attract more customers, like your best customers, and keep the ROI of acquisition as high as possible.
As you can see, seamless data flow between CRM and Marketing systems is essential to ensure effective collaboration between the two departments.
Do you need help here? Check out Omniconvert’s Reveal capabilities to interpret vast amounts of data and facilitate personalized marketing campaigns!
Building Customer Trust and Loyalty: Delivering on Promises through Unified Strategies
Trust is a complex topic. It’s hard to earn, easy to lose.
And, as Social Media and instant communication become the norm, breaking the trust of a valued customer can break your business.
Sometimes it only takes a tweet to ruin a brand’s reputation. As was the case for the Fyre Festival, one viral tweet canceled months of hard work and wasted an insanely over-budgeted event.
You will need unified strategies that align pre-purchase and post-purchase experiences to ensure you’re delivering on promises and exceeding customer expectations.
Let’s explore how pre-purchase Net Promoter Score (NPS) and post-purchase & usage NPS can help you understand whether you respected the principle of under-promise and over-deliver.
Pre-purchase NPS looks at the customer’s satisfaction before they see the order.
In other words, it measures the customer’s willingness to recommend the brand based on their initial interactions: marketing messages, product information, and website experience.
A high pre-purchase NPS indicates a positive perception of the brand and can show trust in the promises made by the company.
Post-purchase and Usage NPS
Post-purchase NPS (and post-usage) measures customers’ satisfaction after they have a chance to use the product.
It provides insights into customer satisfaction based on experience, helping brands evaluate whether they have met customer expectations.
If the NPS reveals a significant difference between pre-delivery and post-usage, it means you failed to keep your promise. Follow up with further questions to understand what went wrong, then fix the gap.
Remember that it’s essential to avoid exaggerated claims and set realistic expectations from the beginning.
This will help us establish trust with customers immediately and won’t over-promise.
Your focus should continue beyond the purchase, actively concentrating on providing exceptional experiences after the sale.
This means ensuring prompt and efficient order fulfillment, reliable shipping, attentive customer support, and hassle-free return processes.
Collect feedback, address customers’ concerns, and provide additional value through personalized recommendations, educational resources, or exclusive offers. T
This proactive communication shows your commitment to customer satisfaction, earns customers’ trust, and makes them more understanding and compassionate toward possible hiccups.
Key Metrics for Evaluating the Impact of Integrated Marketing and CX
Besides the NPS, plenty of other KPIs can help track your progress toward unifying marketing and CX under the same objective.
Let’s look at some of them:
- Purchase Frequency
PF is crucial to evaluating the impact of integrated marketing and CX because it indicates customer engagement and loyalty to the brand.
Higher purchase frequency suggests a stronger connection and a positive customer experience.
- Repeat Purchase Rate
This metric directly reflects customer satisfaction with the ordered products.
The higher the repeat purchase rate, the more loyal the customer is; choosing you repeatedly for his restock needs.
- Customer Retention Rate
Retention highlights the effectiveness of marketing and CX strategies in keeping customers engaged. This rate shows how successful customer relationship management is and reveals its positive impact on brand growth.
- Customer Lifespan
This metric refers to when a customer remains engaged with your brand or continues to purchase.
You can use it to assess the long-term impact of integrated marketing and CX efforts. In the long term, optimizing this metric will drive revenue growth and maximize the value of customer relationships.
- Customer Lifetime Value
CLV measures the total value a customer brings to a business over their entire relationship.
Perhaps the most revealing metric, the higher the CLV, the more profitable you are. A focus on
CLV means an emphasis on nurturing and retaining high-value customers, resulting in sustainable growth.
Whether you pick one metric, all of the above, or a combination of them, keep sight of the customer. Getting sucked in the numbers and trying anything to raise the rates is easy.
Yet, people aren’t robots; you need to be empathetic and human in all your endeavors.
What are a few Examples of Integrated Marketing and CX Strategies?
Let’s move on to the fun part: examples of how integrated marketing and CX strategies can revolutionize how businesses engage with customers.
Let’s talk about customer journey mapping.
When a brand focuses on the customer journey map, it generates the feeling of embarking on an exciting adventure where the business truly understands your path.
By visualizing each stage and touchpoint, integrated marketing and CX strategies can align marketing efforts to deliver experiences that perfectly cater to customer needs and preferences.
Journey mapping is all about being in tune with customers’ desires, guiding them seamlessly toward their goals, and building meaningful connections.
Social media is another example of businesses engaging with customers.
Integrated strategies take it a step further with social listening and engagement. Picture a brand actively monitoring conversations, responding to queries, and addressing customer feedback on social media.
By truly listening and engaging, businesses can enhance their brand reputation, foster loyalty, and create a genuine connection with customers. It’s like having a friendly conversation with a brand that genuinely cares about your opinions and needs.
Yet, there’s one example that stands out…
Case Study: Always Uses Integrated Marketing
An excellent example of Marketing and CX alignment in action is Alway’s “Like a Girl” campaign.
The CX department (helped by 3rd party contractors) brought exciting insights about the challenges girls face during puberty to young adulthood.
The Marketing team (and 3rd party contractors) designed a creative campaign to empower girls representing the brand’s future.
The undercover objective of the campaign was to demonstrate the brand’s purpose and support girls’ self-assurance during this pivotal phase.
The team launched an integrated marketing campaign that included television, print, and social media channels. The campaign’s centerpiece was a video created by documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, which garnered remarkable results, as reported by D&AD.
The video achieved over 85 million views on YouTube, reaching audiences in more than 150 countries. Before viewing the video, only 19 % of 16- to 24-year-olds positively perceived the phrase “like a girl.”
However, after watching the video, 76 % no longer saw the phrase negatively.
Furthermore, two out of three men who watched the video said they would think twice before using “like a girl” as an insult.
There’s more to say about this campaign, as it required the hard work of multiple departments coming from different backgrounds with different ideas.
However, it beautifully illustrates how much awareness a brand can earn when integrating customer experience strategies into their marketing initiatives, taking into account customers’ authentic and undeniable pain points.
So, what did we learn today?
We discovered the untapped potential of a “marriage” between Marketing and Customer Experience.
In today’s customer-centric landscape, merging these two powerful forces will unlock endless possibilities and create extraordinary customer experiences.
Dare to envision a future where marketing and CX intertwine seamlessly, generating customer loyalty and unprecedented business growth.
Are you in?
Frequently Asked Questions about Aligning Marketing and CX
Marketing shapes and delivers the brand’s promise to customers.
It involves creating and implementing strategies to attract, engage, and retain customers, while ensuring that their interactions with the brand are consistent, seamless, and delightful.
Marketing activities such as messaging, branding, customer communications, and touchpoint optimization all contribute to crafting a positive and memorable customer experience.
CX integration means aligning and integrating customer experience initiatives across all departments and touch-points within a company.
By integrating CX throughout the organization, businesses can ensure a consistent and cohesive experience for customers, enhancing their satisfaction and loyalty.
In today’s customer-centric landscape, marketing cannot operate in isolation from CX. Both are interconnected and should work hand in hand to deliver exceptional experiences.
Integrating CX within marketing ensures that customer-centricity is at the core of all marketing efforts, fostering long-term relationships and sustainable growth.
Customer integration in marketing refers to the process of actively involving customers in marketing activities and decision-making.
It can take various forms, such as conducting market research, gathering customer feedback, involving customers in co-creation initiatives, or leveraging user-generated content.
By integrating customers into marketing processes, businesses can better meet their expectations, create relevant campaigns, and foster a sense of ownership and loyalty among their customer base.