Consumers' Great Expectations Will Reinvent Ad-Dominated Marketing Industry

The marketing industry is approaching an acute period of change that will redefine the way brands think about marketing in relation to business operations -- but, even more importantly to the way brands relate to people.

Creative advertising is and always will be essential to brand performance. Bit by bit however, all the other aspects of a relationship with consumers -- from branding, UX, events, website, sales and call center experiences -- are gaining influence.

The concept of an expectation economy where business performance depends on the ability to deliver experiences that satisfy, reward and inspire is becoming very real -- 66% of consumers care more about experience than price when making a buying decision, according to recent Merkle research..

By 2023, businesses worldwide are projected to be investing almost two trillion dollars in digital transformation projects, according to IDC forecasts. In comparison, they’ll be spending a relatively humble $600 billion on advertising. A big slice of the money spent on digital transformation will be spent on improving consumer experiences across every conceivable touch point.



This shift in focus and investment can be described in simple terms as a shift from short-term, advertising-campaign-focused marketing, toward a rounded approach to customer experience management (CXM).

The twin forces behind brilliant customer experience management

Brands are embracing the need to transform their operations around the experience they deliver to people. The twin drivers of this process are digital transformation and data transformation.

Given the growing number of channels available to people seeking information, goods, or services, a company’s customer experience (CX) needs to be consistent across them all. Digital transformation requires brands to understand, use and integrate the technology that powers modern customer experiences.

Technology and social forces are creating a circle of behavior, attitude and demand, and new innovations are integrating into the map of how a brand should approach CXM. For example, voice-activated devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home now seamlessly integrate with websites, social media, online search, and recommendations.

Brands like Amazon and Netflix have set the bar for speed, while D2C brands like HelloFresh and Harry’s Razors have upgraded expectations for agility. Customers know what a good experience looks like, and what technology can do. If they don’t receive it, it creates unwanted friction.

The fuel that drives experience

Data transformation lies at the heart of CXM. The foundation of future business performance is the way brands invest in and design data infrastructure that will enhance and adapt to not only people’s changing lifestyles but other technological and social forces.

By creating a flow of customer data across business units and functions, as well as building the analytical and management infrastructure, organizations can plan, respond, adjust and tailor the experience they deliver to people. It’s about getting advertising and every other experience “right” by using customer data to the fullest. Advertising will become a critical component in marketing, but not the focal point.

The era of 20th century short-term, mass product marketing is drawing to a close. People and brands are adapting fast to what the world has to offer  -- and people have great expectations.

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