Take a moment and think about your favorite customer service experience. Whether it’s getting your hair cut at your local barbershop or salon or dining at your favorite restaurant, chances are the reason it is your favorite customer service experience is because it feels specifically tailored to your needs.
For instance, the reason many people decide to stick with their local barbershops over national brands like Super Cuts is that their barbers know their names, remembers their last haircut and, for the most part, understand their style preferences without much discussion. It’s these little qualities that keep customers coming back.
This attention to detail is the basis of “experience marketing,” according to Global Director of Sitecore Business Optimization Services Lars Birkholm Petersen. In a recent webinar titled “Digital Marketing Is Dead. Long Live Experience Marketing,” Peterson explained that, in the digital-first world in which we live, enterprises need to leverage an overarching experience across all verticals for their customers to cut through the noise with which competitors pollute the industry.
During the Webinar (which can now be viewed on-demand here), Peterson recounted some of his least favorite interactions with digital marketing, using the journey he took in purchasing his new iPhone 6 as a prime example.
After visiting the Apple support site through his iPhone 5 browser—a painful experience, he said, that required much “zooming and pinching”—and placing his order, he was upset to learn that Apple couldn’t remember, even shortly after, that he had just purchased an iPhone 6. Each time he would revisit the site, whether logged in or not, Apple would continuously try to sell him the product he just bought, rather than showing him great content related to his purchase, like “iPhone 6 Tips and Tricks,” as he had hoped. The customer service experience, he said, was disjointed.
“Clearly this is a bad experience and it’s not connected to me as a user,” Peterson said. “And this is not a content problem.”
As many digital marketers know, the content marketing vertical is growing exponentially; however, digital marketing in the sense of abstract ad placements and disconnected user experiences, is killing the digital marketing vertical, according to Peterson.
This disconnect, he said, is happening because major companies who weren’t born digitally (like Amazon or Uber) have one customer service technology for each vertical and none of them communicate with each other.
Peterson explained, “That means essentially what most organizations are doing is ‘keyhole marketing,’ only using a small amount of the data that they actually have, based on that channel and that technology … to target that customer. This is where disconnected and irrelevant interactions occur.”
Businesses that focus on the consumer by collecting data on their tendencies and interactions with their brand, and are able to track the customer experience through all verticals whether digital or in-person, are the businesses that are leading the way in experience marketing. As Peterson puts it during the AAJ webinar, “The customer experience is really based on all the interactions.”
A business focus on who the customer will have to start digitally because consumer’s today are digital-first-minded. When they are deciding on making a purchase (whether they are in the B2B or B2C vertical), their first instinct is to search online for content and peer reviews.
While this continues to make digital marketing, which is mostly content-based, essential, forward-thinking businesses must align their objectives, strategies and tactics across all verticals and provide real-time contextualized experiences that support customer needs.
If you’d like to learn more about experience marketing, how it can increase revenue and where to get started, click here to register and watch the on-demand webinar. As Peterson put it, it’s a great way to learn how to build lifetime customers, one step at a time.