Marketers are trained to think about driving demand for our products and services; helping customers find and engage with our brand is what we do. However, how often do we think about the customer experience in all of the engagement and demand we are generating? What actually is customer experience as it relates to B2B marketing and how do we use customer experience to help us build our content strategy?
According to Jeff Marcoux, CMO Lead, World Wide Enterprise Marketing for Microsoft, “Every touch point with a customer is marketing.” As one of the keynote presenters at this year’s B2B Marketing Exchange event in Scottsdale, Arizona, Marcoux explained to the crowded room that he is a bit of a “Customer Experience Crusader.” Marcoux made a strong case for why we, as marketers and sales professionals, need to help transform ourselves and our organizations to be lazer-focused on the customer.
Every touch point with a customer is marketing.
To create great customer experiences, Marcoux offered the following advice:
1. Know who your customer is
First and foremost, we need to understand who our customers are. Are we a product-centric or a customer-centric company? We often think we know who our customers are, but do we really? Dig in to build out buyer personas to accomplish this. No, buyer personas are not old school. They are essential to understanding not only who our customers are, but also what motivates them to move forward. When developing personas, identify where customers go to consume information, what channels they prefer to engage with, and what kinds of content they consume. This, in part, is the data that a customer-centric content strategy is built from.
Marcoux reminded the audience:
You don’t need technology to build out buyer personas. Sometimes… technology alone is not the answer.
2. Identify (subsets within) your total addressable market
As Marcoux sees it, within your total addressable market (TAM), know that some customers just won’t be a good fit, for a variety of reasons. Others will be a fit, though at different stages in their buying journey. Then you’ll have those that are already engaged as customers, either with you or your competitors.
Understanding what segments to target is important because we need to use different content, different messages, and different approaches to engage with potential customers. Customer-centric marketers need to know where to focus and where not to focus. There are potential customers throughout the market, but don’t try and boil the ocean.
Being customer-centric means utilizing specific programs, data, and technologies to best target those customers and recognizing that each journey is different from the customer’s perspective.
3. Take a walk in your customer’s shoes
Now that you know who your customers are and what segment of the TAM they are part of, take a walk in their shoes. Start by taking your entire customer journey, from start to finish and pay attention. Is there friction along the way? Are you delivering value in each and every interaction? Even if a customer does not buy from you, you should be delivering value and leave them a better, more informed consumer after the interaction. Think about it. What kind of experience are you delivering today? If you are not delivering an exceptional customer experience, make some changes.
As Marcoux boldly stated:
Take the training wheels off – your customers will thank you.
Customer experience is what is going to set you apart from your competition and will define who you are as an organization. Be ruthlessly authentic and always focus on the customer in all you do.
Want to see a full-talk video of Jeff’s #B2BMX17 presentation? Re-live the experience by accessing our free Uberflip-powered B2BMX Flipbook, containing 10 KeynoteInks™ and slides, plus 8 video recordings.