Aligning Advertising and CX

Advertising and CX often seem disconnected from each other. Even though they both share the common aim of strengthening the connection between customers and the business. Is there inherent tension here that’s unsurmountable? Or is it possible for brand advertising and CX to work in harmony? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • It’s sad but true: the web has become “almost unusable.”
  • As we browse, we’re bombarded with ads that seem self-serving or even aggressive. They come in many forms, most of them extremely annoying.
  • All these ads make it difficult and time-consuming to find exactly what we need online. Some sites make us scroll all the way down the page—or through several more—because of all the paid results.
  • A major culprit here is Amazon. Once a leader in customer-centricity, the company has become one of the world’s biggest advertising platforms—showing paid ads and promotions for their house brand ahead of organic results.
  • According to Paul Worthington, it’s only going to get worse.
  • He predicts that more tech companies struggling to make profit will turn to advertising. Uber, DoorDash and Lyft are the latest to follow suit. Others are expected to do the same as the tech sector flags.
  • If these companies fail to account for the customer experience, they risk losing their customers—and hurting their business.
  • All for the sake of something most of us don’t want and mistrust.
  • So are advertising and CX fated to be eternally at odds?
  • Experts believe there is hope for a reconciliation—and offer some valuable tips for those brave enough to try for the best of both worlds.
  • Niyi Duro-Emanuel suggests integrating CX into media planning by asking ourselves guiding questions like: how relevant is our proposition for customers today and tomorrow? And how can we improve their experience across the lifecycle?
  • In Designing for Emotion, Aarron Walter notes that pleasure sits at the top layer of the pyramid of user needs. Things need to be functional before they can deliver any pleasure.
  • Chaitanya Chandrasekar adds that improving the customer experience should be a site-wide mission. Important factors include mobile optimization, site speed, navigation and content.
  • He believes that when customers see an ad, the timing should align with where they are in their journey. And if they click on the ad, they should receive content that delivers exactly what they’re looking for.
  • If tensions can’t be resolved, the customer experience should be prioritized above all else.
  • As Rishad Tobaccowala puts it, a product that gets it right won’t need much advertising. It’ll speak for itself and the rest will follow.
  • Bottom line: what’s bad for the customer is bad for the business. You may be able to get away with things for a while, but—in marketing as in life—unhealthy habits have a way of catching up with you eventually.
Issue #160
Jan 22, 2023

Further Reading