When Big Ideas Collide: Marketing vs. CX

Marketing and Customer Experience: two big, closely-related concepts with porous borders that tend to be discussed in slightly different circles. How should these two ideas intersect? Is that intersection worth exploring? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • First some context: Forrester’s 2018 Trends Report (PDF) predicts that the advertising market will flatten in 2018—causing a painful correction in the agency and adtech markets—while spending on improvements to the customer experience will grow.
  • Ebiquity’s Nick Manning argues the shift from spending on ads to spending on CX is already impacting the agency business (paywall): “Marketing spend is going up but increasingly the money is going towards customer experience rather than advertising. This presents a big challenge to the holding companies.”
  • All of this lines up with a long-held view among customer experience practitioners: the customer experience function should own marketing. Full stop. But is the equation that simple?
  • Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova thinks the question of ownership misses the point. “Everyone in an organization executes on CX”, she says. Therefore a customer experience focus must be prioritized by leadership and built into the company’s DNA—within and beyond marketing. We agree.
  • Where does this leave marketing leaders? The customer experience clearly includes marketing, and—to Kay’s point—a CX mindset can help marketers break through and do better work. But Thomas Barta has some pragmatic advice for CMOs: “Never claim to own the customer experience; this will set you up for disaster”. Instead, Barta recommends building your own knowledge and authority while striving for influence instead of ownership.
  • Speaking of influence, if you’re looking for a simple way to get your team thinking in CX terms, start with the word “personalization”. Marketers tend to equate it with targeting, but viewed through a CX lens it’s much bigger. McKinsey’s Robert Tas explains: “Think of personalization as helping manage a customer through their journey. That could include advertising. That could include experiences, both physical and digital.”


Copyright © 2018 Modern Craft, All rights reserved.

John Ounpuu
Issue #33
Dec 2, 2017

Further Reading