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Challenges Facing Today's Marketing Leaders

As a marketing leader, you have a lot on your plate: strategy, revenue generation, and building a strong brand image. But everything comes back to the customer experience.

As a marketing executive, all of your responsibilities -- sales and marketing strategy, revenue generation and growth, and building a strong brand image -- come back to the customer experience. Marketing is the voice of the company, formulating its story by coordinating insights across the organization.

As such, you have many priorities competing for your attention, trying to be receptive at all times to information from production, information technology, corporate communications, documentation, public affairs, legal, human resources, and finance. With all the racket, it can be challenging to focus on the most important voice: your customer's. 

Changing consumer realities

Today's consumers have liquid expectations; meaning, once they have a great experience with one company, they automatically expect the same level of service from any company -- regardless of the competitive environment. Millennials and Generation Z have even higher expectations for brand experiences (especially digital interactions) and lower levels of trust in brands, requiring you to focus on staying relevant to them in order to protect and grow market share.

For example, say a consumer has an excellent experience using Alexa to answer questions and find information. From then on, he'll expect the same ease-of-use and intelligence from interactions with your company, even though you're (probably) not Amazon. All companies are being held to a higher standard than ever before when it comes to the customer experience.

For marketing leaders, this means one more problem that needs solving. You're dealing with long, double-booked, often unpredictable days. You must juggle the needs of your team with the demands of your CEO. You have to keep your team's work in alignment with the company strategy -- and the company budget. To confound this effort, marketing is the catch-all in many organizations. When there doesn't seem to be a place for a project in any other department, it often falls to marketing. And these initiatives don't always align with what your key priority should be: the customer experience.

Why marketers must be devoted to the customer experience

For most marketing leaders, being strategically oriented towards the customer experience is not 100% new. Marketing leaders have often been stewards of the customer experience throughout the entire product lifecycle. But savvy marketers are taking it a step further, understanding that nothing matters more than the customer experience. No amount of advertising or clever emails or useful content can make up for a poor (or even just mediocre) customer experience, which causes attrition, negative word of mouth, and damage to the brand. It's easier than ever for potential customers to learn about what it's really like to do business with you.

To better understand the impact of less-than-great customer experiences, consider how they affect these three KPIs:

Revenue. A poor customer experience decreases customer loyalty by 20%, according to data from hundreds of studies conducted by John A. Goodman, author of Customer Experience 3.0. For every five customers that have a negative experience with your company, you are likely to lose one of them. Could your customer experience be shaving 20% off your revenue potential? 

A poor customer experience decreases customer loyalty by 20%.

Profit margins. Studies show that price sensitivity doubles when customers experience problems, and doubles again when problems recur or multiply. For instance, say 25% of customers who haven't had any problems think your prices are not a good value for their money. When customers encounter issues, that number shoots up to 50%. This is why companies that provide consistently positive customer experiences can command higher margins.

Word of mouth. Compared to positive customer experiences, poor experiences cause two to four times as much negative word of mouth, and online reviews have made it easier than ever to spread. Even though only 5% of consumers typically post reviews, 30% of consumers use reviews when making a purchase decision.

Where Astute Solutions fits in

Major consumer brands all over the world rely on Astute Solutions to help achieve their customer engagement goals. Here's what our software suite delivers for marketing executives:

Improved customer loyalty. Eliminating friction during each step of their journey keeps customers coming back. No matter where customers are looking for help or answers -- or even before they realize they need help -- Astute enables brands to provide a seamless omni-channel experience across any device or platform. And happy customers talk, generating positive word of mouth that's more powerful and cost-effective than any other marketing strategy.

Consistent brand experience. Regardless of the communication channel they're using or the service agent they're talking to, customers absolutely must have a consistent experience with your brand. Astute makes this possible by providing highly accurate answers from a unified knowledgebase and by managing every service interaction -- emails, live chat, phone calls, social media, and more -- in a single CRM that actively guides agents through conversations. Our system provides the one right answer for every customer, every time, whether the response comes from a human or a chatbot.

Greater marketing agility. Adapt to audience feedback and market conditions as they change using the real-time social listening command center in Astute Social. The social management software also lets you set up and run ad campaigns across multiple social platforms in one place, automate ad testing, and make adjustments on the fly for better results.

Comprehensive VOC. Having a unified customer engagement platform like Astute's means that voice of the customer data becomes more accurate and reliable. Enrich your VOC data by augmenting traditional VOC data collection with the software's analysis of unstructured customer data, like social media posts, inbound emails and chats, and agent case notes. A richer, more accurate understanding of your customer helps the entire organization to put the customer first. 

Brand monitoring and reputation management. Identify and head off threats to your brand using our social listening tool. Not only will it monitor mentions of your brand, your products, and competitors across major social media platforms, it will also continuously discover new sites where your brand is being discussed.

Insights into performance and trends. In addition to delivering relevant VOC insights and enabling better reputation management, Astute's social media monitoring also provides insights into emerging trends, influencers, ad campaign and product performance, and the competitive environment. Keeping a finger on the pulse of the market makes your strategic decisions more informed, and gives you the insights you need to stay relevant in the minds of your consumers.

Better website conversion rates. By making help easy to find and/or proactively engaging customers when they're shopping on your site or mobile app, the Astute suite drives higher conversion rates and more revenue.

Astute knows how to help marketers win. Schedule a personalized demo.