CX: The Most Important Marketing Acronym

Alterian Hosts elevateCX Dallas with Ansira Guest Speakers

In marketing, it always seems like there’s always one acronym or another on everyone’s mind. ROI, SEO, CTR, KPI, UX… but we’re focused on the big CX. After all, customer experience has become one of the most essential metrics for determining a company’s success.

Alterian Customer Experience

To discuss the importance of superior CX to modern marketing, Jess Hilton, SVP of Client Partnership, and Kelly Jo Sands, EVP of Marketing Technology from Ansira joined us as guest speakers at elevateCX, our global customer and partner event in Dallas.

Crazy for CX

First, how do we define customer experience? Sands describes it as, “the product of multiple interactions between an organization and a customer throughout their relationship.” Why is this important? Let’s start with the stats from HuffPost:

  • 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience
  • 67% of consumers cite bad customer experiences as a reason for churn
  • 72% of consumers will share a positive customer experience with six or more people

Needless to say, it’s been proven essential that companies strive to make every customer experience count. Delivering an elevated experience, Sands says, is becoming the gold standard for differentiation. The first step toward this new standard is to break free from the industry norms that were built up around channel-optimized technology and opt for a true omnichannel solution; this is because people are in control of their own customer journey, not you. There’s no way to predict a consumer’s behavior, only to adapt to it. CX is about seizing these micro-moments of opportunity. Customers expect—no, demand seamlessly personalized CX across all channels and devices in real-time. That’s a tall order, but it can be done.

Now, it would be perfectly easy for me to pitch you on Ansira or Alterian solutions at this point. Can we accomplish everything I just laid out? You bet. However, you still need to take a step back and start with strategy before technology. I often meet clients who are overloaded by information and vendor tech talk but still nowhere nearer to understanding CX best practices and overall thinking. Sands expressed similar anecdotes, and agrees that strategy comes first and foremost, followed by the right technology to enable that strategy.

Customer Service vs. Customer Experience

A prevalent topic that is deeply intertwined with customer experience is, of course, customer service. Everyone tends to have the chicken and egg problem with these two—is CX part of customer service? Or the other way around? While good points can be made on both sides of this argument due to the extreme amount of overlap between the two, I would still assert that customer experience is the overall umbrella. CX is all touch points to a customer, not just marketing messaging or in-store experience, social media responses or call center satisfaction. It’s not marketing’s job, or support’s job, or sales’ job—CX is everyone’s job. Sands expressed this well: “Customer experience is a company-wide mentality everyone needs to embrace to positively impact customers.”

Marketing can’t magically solve everything with technology. Trust me, all of us as marketers wish that we could… but the intricacies of commerce today mean the two little letters, “CX” hold a lot of weight.

Slow Data + Fast Data

Now, it might not be magic, but there’s a pretty neat trick we can do with our Dynamic Decision Engine. Sands describes it as one of Alterian’s key differentiators that she finds particularly exciting as a unique CX solution. Because our marketing-specific decisioning engine is completely channel-agnostic, or centralized, historical customer data and in-the-moment behavioral information are both considered in full context in less than 100 milliseconds as a brand interaction is occurring, determining the optimal personalized messaging to deliver to your consumer.

Slow Data Fast Data Real-Time Personalization Alterian

We call this an Adaptive Customer Experience™: A customer experience that automatically adapts to the unpredictable behavior of your customers and naturally improves every single time a customer interacts with your brand, no matter when or where the interaction occurs.

See, Sands puts it this way: “It’s not about real-time all the time; it’s about operating at the speed of the consumer.” You have to address both slow and fast data, she explains, because it’s the key to truly solve for the entire consumer vs. a mere slice of them in the moment only. Does the secret to CX to ultimately lie in data?

It certainly begins there. Your strategy and the technology that enables it take it from there, and your company culture is the big old bow on top. CX success is an through-and-through commitment from companies to truly put the customer first and overhaul old marketing practices. As you venture forward, I’ll leave you with two solid pieces of advice:

  1. Don’t get lost in the buzzwords. CX should be at the core of everything.
  2. Stop optimizing the channel and start maximizing the opportunity.

Partner Perfection: Ansira

Ansira is the leader at leveraging intelligence at every interaction to acquire, grow, and retain your best customers. Their data-driven marketing helps brands create and strengthen customer relationships at a national and local level through customer engagement and channel partner empowerment, delivering long-term profitability for their clients.

Ansira Logo

Ansira is one of the largest independently owned digital, CRM, and channel marketing agencies nationally and is among the 10 largest independent digital agencies in the United States. They were built to help brands, consumers, and channel partners win in today’s complex, rapidly changing business environment.

A huge thank you to Hilton, Sands, and several other Ansira team members for joining us for the first US elevateCX event. We’re looking forward to partnering with them again on future events to support our greater client base through our valued partners.

Interested in becoming a partner yourself? Partners have an advantage with Alterian; we’re nimble and we make our dev team accessible so you can enjoy one of the fastest end-to-end implementation and deployments in the industry. So, let’s go make some money.

About the Event

elevatedCX was small but spirited. We created an intimate forum that facilitated in-depth conversation amongst panelists and guests not typically found at larger events. It’s always interesting to see how different crowds of people from various marketing and technology disciplines can drive the conversation in so many targeted directions. While we can all gripe about travel days and hotel beds, I enjoy the opportunity to meet and engage with so many unique perspectives and talented peers at these events.

“I’m so glad that I invested the time to attend elevateCX. The content and discussion was informative, and the environment allowed for additional conversation afterwards. Thanks for putting this together.”

– Steve McGehee, Chief Marketing Officer, Nothing Bundt Cakes

We ended the day with Topgolf, which I’m glad to say was a hit. Who doesn’t love driving a few golf balls after a day of discussing and debating some of the hottest topics in the industry? Between the games and a few drinks, I’m confident that everyone left feeling like they learned some new tricks to implement at the office and blew off some steam, too.

If you’re interested in discussing prevalent marketing and customer experience topics, learning about Alterian solutions, and having a bit of fun, let us know. We’d love to invite you to a future elevateCX.

Bob Hale headshot

Bob Hale, Chief Executive Officer

Bob Hale is a global technology executive known for successfully transforming and leading marketing technology organizations with domestic and international settings. With 27 years of executive-level experience in the industry, Bob operates with a hungry, start-up mentality wherever he goes and inspires his team to do the same. He understands the diverse and ever-changing nature of technology and prides himself on recognizing and pursuing opportunities for change. 

Bob loves living in the beautiful Rocky Mountains just outside of Denver, Colorado and enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. Outside of the office, Bob likes to hike, tinker on projects around home, and has a passion for classic cars. 

Why do you do what you do?

“Marketing is what humanizes a company to its customers. Helping companies be better than their competition is my passion. Plus, at the end of the day, we are all consumers—how would you want to experience a brand? That’s how we get to the heart of business’s needs.”