If your customers aren’t highly satisfied with your business, there is a high chance they’ll move on to your competitors that do meet their expectations.
That’s why analyzing everything that could potentially affect the customer experience is critical. Marketing, in particular, plays a significant role in how a customer views and engages with a business.
The link between marketing and the customer experience is pronounced. Properly acknowledging this connection and implementing marketing practices that intentionally elevate the customer experience can take any business to the next level.
The Link Between Marketing and the Customer Experience
Many people are introduced to a brand through their marketing content. Whether it’s an ad, social media post, a freebie for an email list sign-up, or a blog post, marketing materials are a huge part of the reason why someone comes across a brand and develops their relationship with it.
Good marketing feeds into a positive customer experience. Conversely, if a person’s experience with marketing materials isn’t enjoyable, that can impact how they perceive a brand and interact with a business moving forward — if they decide to do so at all. Even if a customer loves a brand, 32% will stop doing business with them after just one bad experience.
If you want customers to get to the point of making a purchase or converting, you must focus on creating a memorable experience for them and that often starts with your marketing.
Marketing Best Practices for Elevating the Customer Experience
To create a memorable experience for your customers through marketing, you must approach all things marketing with a customer-first mindset. These best practices will help you develop this mindset and create marketing materials that elevate the customer experience.
Understanding Your Audience
There’s no way around this step if you want your marketing to have a positive impact on the customer experience. You can’t provide them with the marketing or customer experience they want if you don’t know who your customers are and how their journey with your business unfolds.
First, dive into customer data to understand who your customers are, what their demographic information is, and how they think, behave, and live. You can find what’s meaningful to them and use it in your marketing to emotionally connect with them, setting the stage for a positive customer experience.
For example, let’s say you’re marketing to a primarily Gen Z audience. Individuals from this generation tend to be attracted to brands that genuinely support different social causes. Your next step should be discovering causes this audience and your company both support, and then highlighting them often in your marketing to appeal to them.
Here’s where you can find data on your customers to get you started:
- One-on-one conversations with customers;
- Customer surveys, polls, interviews, and focus groups;
- Internet research using search engines, blog posts, articles, scholarly journals, and other online data sources;
- Built-in analytics tools on your website, social media, email marketing software, and any other digital marketing channels you have.
Mapping your customer journey
In addition to understanding who your customer base is, it’s also important to know how their journey unfolds with your business. A customer journey is every step a person takes with a business, from introduction to making a purchase and beyond.
It’s important because it helps you visualize how a customer thinks, feels, and behaves at various touchpoints with your business, giving you insight into how to best serve them and accommodate their needs.
Customer journey mapping is a core component of improving the customer experience.
You can identify points of friction. You can see how marketing impacts various touch points in the customer journey. You can also see if marketing has anything to do with why a certain part of the customer journey is struggling.
Do the following to create a detailed customer journey map:
- Create buyer personas that represent your ideal customers;
- Map out each touch point you think these buyer personas would take, from being introduced to your brand to purchasing to how things would be after making a purchase;
- Detail what actions you think they would take at each touchpoint;
- Keep track of customer information and interactions with a customer relationship management (CRM) system;
- Compare the actions your customers actually took with the journey you predicted once you have actual data on the customer journey;
- Edit the customer journey as new information arises.
When you know your customers and the journey they take with your business, you can create a marketing and customer experience that is as seamless as possible.
Put Emotional Intelligence at the Forefront
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand, process, and manage one’s own emotions. In addition, a huge part of EI is being able to understand and empathize with the emotions of the people around you.
Doing both makes it easier to have a positive relationship with yourself and others. Nurturing genuine relationships with your customers is critical in providing an exceptional customer experience. Also, EI is key in building the trust necessary for these relationships.
It starts with putting EI at the forefront of your marketing. Every marketing message and piece of content should be weighed against the questions:
- Is this mindful of my customers’ emotions?
- Will it help form an emotional connection with them?
- Will it come across as genuine?
- Is it addressing a pain point or challenge they’re currently facing?
If you can answer yes to these questions, continue. If you can’t, make intentional adjustments that are more thoughtful, transparent, honest, and intimate.
Tell Good Stories
“Only 5% of people remember statistics, but 63% remember stories,” according to Go-Globe. People remember stories for quite a few reasons. For example, stories are more enjoyable to listen to. They’re more emotionally rooted and captivating. They make you feel.
If you want your customers to feel good and remember your brand, tell them really good stories. Tell stories about:
- Your brand;
- Your employees;
- Your mission and values;
- Customer experiences;
- Your business operations;
- Your products and services;
- How your business betters people’s lives;
- How your products and services solve customer pain points.
Stories humanize your marketing. And that only makes for a better customer experience.
Marketing plays a crucial role in shaping the customer experience. Often, it’s what kicks off a person’s relationship with a business. And as they continue to engage with well-put-together marketing materials and campaigns, it deepens the relationship and makes the brand that much more memorable to them.
To ensure you’re using marketing effectively to elevate the customer experience, you must understand your customers and their journey with your business. Finally, put emotional intelligence at the forefront of all things marketing and tell really good stories.