Rob Tarkoff, Oracle's Executive Vice President, made some pertinent points in his keynote address at the past Modern Customer Experience in Las Vegas.
The customer experience (CX) has reached a critical point in its evolution. A customer’s experience with your brand has become just as important, if not more, than the products and services that you provide. In fact, the experience and what you sell have become inseparable from each other. What does this mean then for digital marketers, especially with the continuing advance of technology, especially when it comes to mobile, voice assistants, and connected devices?
Tarkoff thinks that they have to be ready to deal what customers now expect:
For every interaction to be perfectly timed and personalized specifically to them
To be able to shop and transact anywhere, on any channel, and at any time
A seamless, frictionless experience where they can cross from channel to channel and pick up where they left off with no difficulty
Problems to fix themselves
Instant gratification (or as close to it as they can get)
Welcome to the Experience Economy.
A Race Against Time
The modern customer has a limited attention span. They have become immune to a sales pitch and are protective of their time. You therefore have to ensure that the time they spend with you is worthwhile and of value.
How customers use, interact with, and experience a brand is what now drives innovation.
"Companies have to empower whoever reaches a customer first, be it marketing, sales, service, or commerce, to deliver on an engaging experience to earn that customer’s business and loyalty," Tarkoff said.
He also added that you might view the Experience Economy through the lens of these four themes:
Discover – How quickly can your consumers find what they are looking for? Marketers are supposed to facilitate this process. You only have micromoments to make a good impression and start delivering on what a customer wants. Even a one-second increase in mobile page time can cause a potential drop-off. Google, in fact, says that such a one-second increase can cause a 20% drop-off.
Engage – Customers like being the guide of their own journey toward learning about you and your brand, but you need to be a trusted, expert source of information if they want go in for a deep dive about what you are all about and what you can provide.
Consume – Consumption is now an ongoing process, and commerce is everywhere. There is no longer a linear customer journey.
Serve – You now have to anticipate issues that might occur and fix them before they become real problems. Only a slight glitch or delay could cost you.
What Can Digital Marketers Do?
Digital marketers cannot waste a customer’s time, Tarkoff also pointed out. If they do, customers can always move on to another offer that is inevitably coming. They are bombarded with a multitude of marketing messages every day, and it is increasingly difficult to get their attention. Therefore, you need your marketing messages from the get-go to be:
Personalized and relevant
Delightful and engaging
Easy to understand and digest
Customers like to feel that you are speaking to them as much as possible. How can you achieve this? Data is your primary tool. Your customers' information, behaviors, preferences, and values will point you in the right direction. You can even create a competitive advantage for yourself by relying on real-time data. For example, rather than simply sending out an email, how about sending out an email based on the receiver’s real-time location?
You have to anticipate a customer’s needs, and data will show you what they might be. You might have to continue the conversation sales, service, or commerce was having with them or start one that those other teams have to carry on with, so you need to be prepared and sharing that valuable customer data. Ultimately, knowing your customer and marketing to them on as much of a unique, different, and appropriate manner as possible is what Tarkoff feels will drive results.
You might be dealing with massive amounts of data, however. Managing it properly could take a great deal of time and effort that you don’t have. This then calls for a marketing automation solution. Find out how Oracle Marketing Cloud (OMC) can help you create better, more effective, and connected experiences using omni-channel fluidity and the data you have captured.
Michael McNichols is a Senior Content Manager for Oracle Digital Marketing. He has over ten years of experience in professional writing and has been widely published.