Customer Experience is Everything: Forrester Consumer Marketing Forum 2017

Forrester Consumer Marketing Forum 2017

In their conference description, Forrester described today’s consumer landscape as “challenging and volatile”—and they’ve got that right. Marketers feel like they’ve lost control (because they have) while consumers demand constantly enriched experiences (because they can).

The Forrester Consumer Marketing Forum sought to connect marketers, business leaders, agencies, and partners to discuss the latest industry trends and creative solutions to marketing’s greatest obstacles today. In my humble opinion, they had the right people in the right rooms—likeminded individuals from a variety of disciplines within marketing came together to share essential knowledge and ideate on the future of our industry and the impact of the consumer upon it.

IT’S ALL ABOUT CX

Looking at each of the session summaries, I quickly gravitated toward one overarching theme: Customer experience. There has been a notable and growing focus on CX within the industry as the relationship between brands and consumers evolves. Communication has fundamentally changed; where we used to see carefully crafted one-way messages from company to customer on traditional channels, we now see real-time, two-way conversation between both sides of the market across multiple devices.

Given the flood of available content, seemingly constant communication, and ready connections consumers have to brands, Adobe’s George Sadler emphasized the importance of creating “moments that matter.” To cut through the noise, marketers must take advantage of technology to deliver highly personalized, relevant messages to individuals—that, or risk being forgotten or forgone by empowered consumers.

With the opportunities that individuals now have to interact directly with companies, like social media, the human element is more essential to marketing than ever. This was highlighted by Joanna Coles, who discussed the importance of authenticity in messaging. Anjali Lai from Forrester echoed this sentiment by maintaining that people naturally seek and remember meaningful experiences. While it’s up to consumers to decide how a brand fits into their lives, marketers have the ability to strategically influence deeper, more personal bonds between consumers and brands, improving customer satisfaction and retention.

MARKETERS MUST ADAPT

Ultimately, marketing owns the customer experience. It’s up to us as marketers to adapt! We must pay attention to consumers’ needs and desires in order to align them to our business goals and objectives. The true Adaptive Marketer works alongside other departments, like sales, client services, and support, to carefully craft superior CX and thrust our teams into the modern era of marketing.

While I have many takeaways from the forum, I’d like to leave you with an all-encompassing sentiment from IBM’s Jay Henderson: “Make every touchpoint an opportunity.”

P.S. I have to give a huge shout out to Ink Factory for creating some phenomenal visual notes live during the sessions. Now that’s good marketing!

Akilah Murrell headshot

Akilah Murrell, Sr. Director of Global Marketing

Akilah Murrell is a marketing executive known for her global marketing experience in both B2B and B2C organizations. Having spent the last 17 years working for companies who drove results using marketing technology, Akilah decided to join Alterian, a leading martech company that provides marketers with tools to help them provide targeted, relevant, and timely campaigns to their end customer. She is driven by overcoming obstacles and being part of a company that is focused on going from good to great. 

At her core, Akilah strives to keep a well-balanced life with her husband and two kids. Traveling the world with her family is always an adventure and provides her with a refreshing point of view on life.