4 Steps to Creating a Billion-Dollar Customer Experience

A more informed omnichannel strategy

For brands without multi-million-dollar marketing budgets, achieving omnichannel nirvana might seem more of a pipe dream than reality. Your marketing team may be asked to deliver cross-channel customer experiences that are on par with mega-brands like Marriott, Walmart or Apple—just minus the resources.

Luckily, with the right approach, alignment within your company and technology, you don’t need endless resources to create a billion-dollar customer experience. Here are four ways to create a more informed omnichannel marketing strategy:

1. Define uniform KPIs

Above all else, measure leads in a way that demonstrates alignment between different parts of the organization. Achieving this alignment is crucial for omnichannel, and fortunately, measuring it costs almost nothing. What’s more, if you’re tracking the right metrics, you may be able to uncover immediate business benefits before your omnichannel strategy is fully implemented.

For example, the “sales response time” metric demonstrates alignment between marketing and sales teams. Once marketing qualifies a lead, how long does it take a salesperson to see the new lead and then make a call or send an email? Statistics show that this process usually takes too long. Even in the automotive industry—which tops all industries in terms of responsiveness to leads—25% of qualified leads aren’t contacted at all!

However, if you can bring your sales response time down to five minutes, your leads are 21x more likely to enter the sales cycle. Prioritizing this metric could be a quick win on the journey toward a comprehensive omnichannel strategy.

2. Seek organizational alignment

Once you have metrics in common, you’ll be able to bring various teams into the fold. This is the time to begin laying the groundwork for an omnichannel marketing stack. Rather than choosing the technology itself, decide which key stakeholders will own the decision-making process.

For instance, you might begin by hiring or promoting a chief digital officer (CDO) or marketing technology-focused leader. Companies such as McDonald’s and Johnson & Johnson have taken this approach in recent months.

Similar to a CIO, the CDO’s job will involve choosing, sourcing and implementing technology that drives the digital customer journey. Beyond the long-term importance to the omnichannel roadmap, there are immediate benefits to hiring a CDO. Whether or not a multichannel plan exists, marketers are already spending (and wasting) huge amounts of money on technology (in fact, up to 30% of marketing spend is wasted!) Hiring a tech-savvy marketing leader gives you the opportunity to spend more strategically.

3. Design your customer experience intentionally

Before choosing a technology, develop a customer experience strategy that will inform your buying decisions. Start by finding the channels where your customers are giving you the most attention and studying the ways that they interact with your brand. Then, use these preferences to refine their experience.

Every customer experience is going to have both a front end and a back end. The front end is what the customer sees—for example, a website that saves their communication preferences and reaches out using that channel the next time the customer wants to speak. The back end makes the customer experience work—for example, the support ticketing application that saves the customer’s communication preference so that marketing can pull from it for their next campaign.

The design process should ensure that both the front and back end are working in unison across the customer’s preferred channels. That’s where the next step becomes crucial.

4. Choose your technology wisely (and plan for the future)

Now it’s time to choose a marketing stack that will make it all work. Behind the scenes, you’ll want a single source of data that feeds your marketing, sales, product and support organizations, so the omnichannel experience feel seamless to the customer.

Next, you’ll want robust, detailed workflows. For example, if your customer experience involves sending a thank-you email once a customer purchases a product, then waiting for the product to arrive and prompting the customer to leave a product review, those prompts need to happen in that exact order with enough space between them.

Finally, actions that occur in one channel should be mirrored on another. Customers that save a product to their wish list on mobile should be able to find the same information in their desktop browser. If they opt in, they may want to receive an SMS message about that product when it goes on sale. Many marketing solutions don’t have the integrations necessary to build this type of omnichannel experience. Look for a solution with open APIs and integrations between the various tools you plan to use (or may want to use in the future).

The pipe dream of a seamless, cross-channel customer experience doesn’t have to come with the marketing budget of a Fortune 50 company. With the right strategy in place, most organizations can build a customer experience that feels like magic, converting one-time customers into loyal brand advocates.

With nearly two decades of professional experience driving demand for B2B software and technology solutions, Katie Staveley was the first marketer to join Mautic in 2016 to lead the team in disrupting the multi-billion-dollar marketing automation market. She rejoined the Acquia team as part of the recent acquisition to help accelerate market awareness and adoption of Mautic’s open marketing platform.