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Own Customer Experience or Else

Paul has a great interview with Carl Rose. Highlights well the need for marketing to own customer experience, not be purely a communications function, and to drive pricing to reflect the market dynamic – and that doesn’t mean discounting. Carl is spot on:

“It’s in business performance and the current corporate mantra for revolutionising customer experience that Rose says is where the marketing profession has missed a trick. Much of the conversation around the marketing discipline in public debate links marketing primarily to communications – media, advertising and digital marketing techniques. But Rose says it’s a “hard row to hoe” because it creates a disconnect with business units and their financial performance, particularly when new customer experience programs can be hardwired to metrics senior management can quantify beyond other softer marketing and brand measures.

The logical place for the ownership of customer experience is undoubtedly marketing,” he says. “I would venture to say in many consumer electronics companies, the customer service component is still stuck with engineering, spare parts and repairs. If marketing had perhaps done a better job commercially in the past, it could be more trusted with the customer experience job.

“A lot of companies don’t know where to put customer experience. They know it’s not a good fit with customer service in its traditional form because it’s very transactional. The key is the chief marketing officer needs to be joined at the hip to the commercial objectives and results of the organisation.”

It’s time for CEOs to trust marketers with customer experience – then they’ll get to see the commercial nouse that most marketers have. And for all to adopt a more strategic view of the brand – invest in the brand, drive openness/memory, and look to activate demand through means other than price.

“I found myself in the middle of lots of conversations with the fluffy CMO on one side and the very basic sales discount trading executive on the other. I would say ‘please don’t talk about fluffy stuff and please don’t talk about 10 per cent off anymore, or just tactical promotions. What can we do with strategic partnerships, for instance?’ We might need a promotional element but let’s move our brand forward in a way that isn’t just 15 per cent off.

So right. Wonder how many will have the patience to pursue this when faced with the pressure of near-term sales targets?

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