B2B Beat: Why Customer Experience Should Be a Marketer’s True North

August 9, 2015

customer experience

Let me get this out of the way first: I co-wrote a book with the subject of this blog post, Russell Glass, who is Head of Products at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, and I wrote The Big Data-Driven Business, which was released last year.

Russ recently sat down with Glenn Gow, the CEO of Crimson Marketing, for an edition of "The Moneyball for Marketing Podcast." The podcast covered a number of topics of interest to marketers, such as data, mobile, and marketing technology. But the focus of the conversation was on customer experience and how marketers should be using every tool at their disposal to build exceptional customer experiences online, in person, on the phone, and everywhere else businesses encounter their customers.

Russ said in the podcast that the 10 percent of marketers who are leaders in leveraging the possibilities of big data – these are the marketers we featured in The Big Data-Driven Business – think first about their customers. “The 10 percent tended to start with the customer,” Russ said. “They tended to look at the persona of the people they were going after, the types of companies they were going after, and they asked themselves a simple question, ‘What kind of experiences do I want to create for these customers?’”

Russ noted that Amazon has set the bar high for online customer experiences. But excellent customer experiences can also arise in unlikely sectors – such as the airline industry, which has been infamous for “horrific” experiences with automated call centers. But Russ pointed to United Airlines as a company striving to improve that experience for its customers: “Now if you call United Airlines, and you're in the Frequent Flyer Program, you get a, ‘Hello, Mr. Glass. We recognize you by your phone number. Are you calling about your flight this afternoon? We notice it's on time.’ So think about how much better that experience is and this sort of game changing interaction that United has now created with their customer base compared to the way it used to be.”

Creating this customer experience took a lot of effort and a lot of data integration. “If you get down to how that happened, you realize how complex this was for United to pull off,” Russ said. “Somebody had to say, ‘Okay, I want to create this amazing experience,’ because they had to pull databases from groups that were probably flown around the world, account databases, frequent flyer databases, flight information databases, information about my cell number. All this information had to be pulled together and there is no way an organization can get that kind of collaboration together unless somebody's thinking experience first.”

In "The Moneyball for Marketers Podcast," Russ offers many different examples of how marketers can use this true north of customer experience. Listen to the podcast, to hear how customer experience can be a guiding principle in:

  • Selecting the right marketing technology for your business.
  • Practicing mobile marketing that is not intrusive.
  • Using predictive intelligence to create great experiences for prospects – even before they become customers.
  • Applying product usage data to reduce customer churn.B2B Move of the WeekSample

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For more information on how data can factor into a full funnel approach to marketing, download the new guide, The Sophisticated Marketer's Crash Course in Full Funnel Marketing.

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