As we continue to understand the entire customer journey and how customers interact with brand we need to understand the importance of brand perception, the intersection with customer experience and marketing and advertising channels. This is not a new concept, but now we have the ability to take a holistic view of this ecosystem: leverage technology, marketing automation and analytics to understand, visualize and determine the overall impact to the business.

Think of them as the three pillars –  brand, customer experience and digital technology. All of these are essential to drive engagements with the end consumer and deliver “ultimate value” to the consumer.

Brand is the DNA or the central nervous system of any organization that interacts directly with the consumer. It emphasizes the trust the consumer puts in it when they decide to interact with the brand. Once the customer decides to interact, we have to integrate the brand promise with customer experience. This enables ease of use and allows the consumer to interact seamlessly with the product and services the brand has to offer.

Also, brand builds the “trust” and experience drives the “sale” of the product. Couple that with the marketing and advertising technology and analytics and you have a trifecta – a winning combination for marketers and consumers alike. Marketers win by finding the right consumers and consumers win since they don’t have to spend extra time and effort trying to find what they need. This is true both in the digital and non-digital world but it is more relevant in the digital world.

The companies and brands that win are able to create unique digital experiences for the consumers and offer the experiences that are appropriate in the channels, leveraging the right technology and marketing and advertising platforms.

Intersection

Most organisations are still trying to find the intersection of the “three pillars” so they can deliver customer value. It is not hard, but one has to look at it from the holistic point of view vs. looking at it from the organisation structure point of view.

In most traditional organisations, brand, customer experience, and digital technology sit in different parts of the organisation with only some overlap. This is not enough. In today’s world, where technology is changing and experiences evolve one has to have a mindset for changing at a fast pace, to evolve and participate in this digital world.

It is not a simple task, but one that is necessary and much needed. One can achieve this integrated vision since we have the marketing platforms and the technology at our disposal. We can measure the impact easily if we structure the measurement correctly, but we should not overly obsess with perfection in the initial phase. Some of this is going to be new and we should feel comfortable with the testing and seeing the directional impact.

We can develop the use cases around the three pillars and keep on building on it. It is going to be a combination of art and science to find the right recipe. One has to be comfortable leading the charge for change and evolving. Status quo will not help.

As practitioners and marketers, we need to experiment and have the courage and fortitude to take bold steps. It is never going to be perfect. There will be misses, criticism, and things may not go as planned initially, but we should be able to course correct and try new things. As Jeff Bezos said: “If you never want to be criticized, for goodness’ sake don’t do anything new.”

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