Expand Marketing’s Definition From Campaigns to Customer Experience


When asked, “What is marketing?” many marketers would say it is the outbound channels by which we try to influence customers’ decisions. This could be a single or combination of channels or experiences such as digital media, email, or your website. However, in recent years, new channels have emerged, such as influencer marketing, mobile apps, and other digital experiences where customers and prospects interact with brands. 

Expanding the Definition

With these changes in consumer behaviors comes the need to shift from simply pushing messages out to customers in single channels to building a holistic view of the entire customer. Who are they, how do they interact with your brand, and where? It’s time we evolve the definition of marketing and move more closely to something resembling influencing the consumer experience. 

If we’re thinking about the full customer experience, any interaction that a consumer would have with your brand should be considered an opportunity to influence and include as a marketing opportunity. This includes areas that may not traditionally be owned by marketing, such as commerce and service. Once the definition of marketing is expanded, you also must expand the capabilities in terms of marketing technologies. 

See More: Improving Customer Experience through Automated Solutions in Tourism

One Goal, One Team

This daunting task can’t be done with a siloed organization. Sales, IT, customer service, and marketing teams must partner together to make this expanded definition of marketing a reality where the customer and their journey are the connected center point of all brand interactions. 

Ecommerce, for example, is traditionally owned by IT, but data captured in this stage must be considered and available to marketing to ensure it is integrated into customer journey efforts. Just as brands want to create a cohesive in-store experience for customers, the digital commerce experience should be connected to all touchpoints. Consumers have also come to expect frictionless physical-digital experiences, so they can pick up where they left off, whether in the store or online. Without this connection, marketing could be wasting ad dollars on promoting a product or service that the customer may have already purchased or is not interested in. With cloud-based data connections and a consolidated consumer profile in place, your brand can have a 360-degree view of your consumers for a more relevant and impactful experience based on past purchases, likes and dislikes, and more key insights. 

For another example of how vital linking business groups are, let’s look at service. Service is a massive marketing opportunity that many organizations accidentally make a pain point instead of a major win. Most customers who engage with the service department are already those trying to resolve an issue or set up new work. There are opportunities to improve or keep them from a bad experience at this stage. If service team members have access to the customer data they need via an integrated ecosystem, they can utilize that information during the call to bring up relevant offers or promotions that the customer might enjoy. 

In some cases, service could also flag a customer who should not receive messages from marketing and be added to a suppression list for a certain time or to nurture further if relationships are not in a good spot. Imagine getting targeted ads for a brand after just issuing a complaint! Not a good look, and it could make the relationship even more contaminated. 

Most interactions happening at the customer service level, such as a request for a replacement part, a service inquiry, or even a question about newer model releases, should be flagged as a data signal or attribute. What marketer wouldn’t want to be able to segment audiences and target users based on their interest in a new product launch?

Tech Stack Considerations

In most organizations I’ve observed, the ownership of service and commerce technologies, in particular, sit outside of the marketing department. They might even sit outside of marketing technology and live within an IT group. If the latter is the case, the ability for marketing to have any control or influence on the usage of those technologies or data stored within is much more difficult. Consumer-centric brands and organizations must move to more streamlined technologies where the service and commerce data are integrated with the larger marketing tech stack and certainly integrated with a larger consumer data store. Connect tech, connect the data, and tie together consumer profiles so that all teams can access the information they need to give customers better experiences with your brand. 

See More: How To Best Utilize the Literal Voice of the Customer 

Where To Start

Easier said than done, right? To get started, establish a point person in your organization to lead these efforts. This role is usually a VP of marketing enablement who makes marketing consumer-focused through tech, data, and media. This role would help connect IT and commerce with marketing to create a collaborative organization. Your brand could also work with knowledgeable strategic advisors to assess your current marketing technology ecosystem to understand the current state, connections needed, and the roadmap to meet experience goals. 

How are you adapting your marketing initiatives to move beyond delivering campaigns toward impacting customer experience? Let us know on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .