4 winning ways to turbocharge your CXM this year
Two-thirds of businesses admit to having a murky CXM strategy, but these proven approaches can offer immediate clarity.
Customer experience management (CXM) isn’t rocket science. Since it involves so much data, cross-functional leadership, and new technology, however, CXM can be a big challenge — even for the most seasoned digital marketers. This explains why most of our customers say they don’t have a clear strategy and report not having a single executive in charge of customer experience, leaving individual proponents to fend for themselves.
It’s not that companies don’t believe in CXM, though. More than 80% of surveyed businesses are actively pursuing it, and over 50% have made it their top priority over the next five years. That’s for good reason — better customer personalization, the end goal of CXM, can boost customer spending by as much as 40% and outperform 75% of the competition, studies show. To put it bluntly, some of our customers have told us that if they don’t act, their customers will go elsewhere, employees will leave, and they’ll lose a lot of money.
Although worth the effort, CXM requires significant people, process, and technology changes to succeed. Having helped hundreds of recognized companies with their personalization mastery over the last decade, Adobe Professional Services knows firsthand how to unify customer data, awaken touchpoints, and energize customer experiences.
Here are four things your organization can do right now to realize short-term wins while preparing for long-term success.
1. Framework first — build these critical disciplines
Since CXM touches over two dozen functions of a company’s total operation, you may rightfully wonder: where’s the best place to start? What should we focus on? Having worked on thousands of CXM engagements, Adobe Professional Services has identified four key areas of focus if you want to achieve company-wide personalization:
- Data: Build a single CXM database, make it available to all parties and channels, and align it with your overarching business goals.
- Content: Create a centralized content repository to increase “findability” and gain traction by rewiring your workflows between creative and sales teams.
- Delivery: Outline every customer experience across all touchpoints and measure the content effectiveness through regular A/B testing.
- Orchestration: Identify the right people with the right content at the right time with the help of your overall technology, strategy, and cross-functional collaboration.
2. A plan is only good if everyone knows about it
Although well-intentioned, “more personalization” is not a measurable goal. In our experience, many companies assume that every other company already has a strategy to do this — though few actually do. While some companies can run individual CXM campaigns by department, these efforts often only work with one touchpoint and aren’t synchronized across the entire customer experience. As with CXM in general, setting measurable goals must be a company-wide effort if you really want to have a robust CXM operation. Without executive commitment and cross-functional collaboration, your CXM program will be stunted.
Getting everyone on the same page starts with leadership buy-in and insight-led decision-making. In addition to bringing them to the table, you’ll also need to include everyone in your organization that handles every customer touchpoint. You’ll need to decide what your priorities are as an organization, which performance indicators you’ll monitor, and how fast you’ll move through each step in the process. Overall, your business goals should be tied directly to the customer journeys you hope to improve.
3. Change your future by changing your approach
Consider the challenge of identifying a handful of products that an individual customer would most likely buy at varying times from a warehouse full of hundreds of thousands of products. How does that work, and how can you get them to buy with greater frequency on different devices? Answering those questions requires a lot more than just one person or even one team to pull off. Elevating the customer experience is everyone’s job.
But most organizations are still incapable of scaling CXM at a company-wide level. It takes time to accomplish something you’ve never done before, and you need to give your team time to learn. You need to train them and adapt your approach as their skills mature. In that way, successful CXM demands as many (if not more) people and process changes as it does technology changes.
Strategy alone won’t fix a data problem, and technology alone will never fix a people or process problem. That’s why Adobe Professional Services spends most of our time training customers and redesigning processes to make the most of the software our customers often already have. As you start to add technology to solve your marketing challenges, we don’t recommend a lift and shift. To build a better program, you must re-evaluate your use cases and the processes behind them.
4. Unifying is key — don’t let data bring you down
How do you unite customer data from multiple databases? Most companies don’t. Studies from Gartner show that most businesses are missing important data, can’t identify customers with existing data, or are unable to personalize in real time. This is the biggest pain point for our customers. Since data comes from so many different sources, it’s difficult to house a single source of truth. Despite all the data innovation over the last two years, data is still housed in silos for many companies.
But unifying data is only half the battle. For CXM to succeed, companies need two kinds of data integration. After solving the unified profile challenge, you need to share that profile with all your applications and channels successfully to deliver personalized experiences. Although a data platform can help solve this, most companies don’t have this in place — even if they run advanced marketing automation and campaign orchestration. And if you can’t unify your data, your CXM won’t succeed.
Obviously, execution like this doesn’t happen overnight. But we’ve found a great deal of success with a laser focus on data, content, delivery, and orchestration. Those are the bases your organization needs to cover, and that focus offers the best way to avoid pitfalls, measure success, and improve your customer experiences.
John Zimmerman also contributed to this article.
Leo Magaña is a digital strategist for Adobe Professional Services and is passionate about improving the customer experience for his clients. As both a creative and analytical resource, he’s helped implement solutions across a range of focus areas such as UX design, web analytics, and web optimization and personalization. Connect with him on LinkedIn to discuss all things UX and digital marketing.
John Zimmerman is a senior strategist on the Adobe Professional Services team. He focuses on driving value to both his clients and their customers and supports customer experience, experimentation, and personalization efforts for Fortune 500 companies across healthcare, telecom, financial services, and ecommerce.