I read a very interesting article on Marketing Week earlier recently about the disconnect between brand promise and the actual experience delivered. According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing, brands risk losing customers because they fail to deliver the experience promised in their swanky marketing campaigns. Apparently this is down to the boardroom, marketing and customer experience not being aligned.
I don’t want to sound like Mr Grumpy, but I can’t say that I’m all that surprised. My mobile phone company advertises that it is ‘always thinking about me’ yet their online experience is fairly rubbish. Their virtual agent doesn’t understand natural English and returns irrelevant responses and it’s actually quicker to call them up then it is to make changes to my account via their dedicated portal. A portal I presume that was designed to make my life easier, as well as reducing their costs.
Perhaps one of the most telling statistics to come out of the study was that 69% of marketers believe that spending on customer experience is more effective than investment in marketing communications when it comes to building brands. Yet a mere 13% think that their company excels at delivering a day-to-day brand experience that matches the brand promise.
That is quite some admission. And I can’t help but wonder if it has anything to do with everyone getting caught up in the ‘next big thing.’ Currently the darling of the marketing world is mobile. But in recent conversations I’ve been having with people, they’ve been warning against prioritising channel over experience. Just look at the BBC and how it is preparing for the Olympics. It has a new four-screen strategy with content being optimised for desktop, tablet, mobile and yes even TV, because Auntie is all about inclusion. It delivers a service to one and all, whether you are a 90 year old granny or a mobile 19 year old with a smart phone.
The fact is that you can’t retrofit a brand and its content to fit with a certain channel. Instead you need to think about which channel will provide your customer with the best experience. Of course everyone wants to be everywhere, but perhaps it’s time experience was thought about from the customer perspective rather than what’s ‘cool.’
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