The Kapost C-Suite: 2016 Is the Year of the Customer Journey

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B2B marketers have come a long way in the last ten years.

Technology has changed how we communicate and operate within our organizations. It has empowered B2B buyers, and made marketers accountable for pursuing and serving the buyer at every step of their journey. Technology has also produced a myriad of digital channels, managed with a portfolio of new tools to engage the buyer across these channels.

But for all of the progress made in this digital transformation, chaos still reigns in most of our marketing efforts. Given the current complexity generated by digital, it is time for the pendulum to swing back toward simplicity and alignment—particularly in the experience we provide to our customers—in order to capitalize on new technologies and deliver a positive customer experience.

Enter 2016: The Year of the Customer Journey

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The Kapost C-Suite: 2016 Is the Year of the Customer Journey

  1. 1. The Pendulum Swings Back Toward Alignment Toby Murdock, CEO & Co-Founder B2B marketing has been reeling over the past years as it withstands the tidal wave of technology that has crashed over it. Marketing has been scrambling from one tool to the next trying to meet their buyer in every digital channel the buyer demands to be served. Disparate teams have taken ownership over different tools at different points in the buyer’s journey—corporate marketing runs the blog, demand gen runs email, product marketing runs webinars, etc. With all of these tools managed by siloed teams, buyers are being ping-ponged from one value proposition to the next while different teams deliver different and disjointed messages. In 2016, B2B marketing organizations will work to rationalize the chaos that their technology “scramble” has created. Nader Akhnoukh, CTO & Co-Founder Content marketing will continue its trajectory through the early majority. The term, however, will begin its decline as B2B marketers come to the realization that content powers all marketing channels. Consistent marketing content is needed at every stage of a buyer’s lifecycle, not just the top of the funnel where “content marketing” has been thriving. “86% of senior-level marketers agree that it’s very important to create a cohesive customer journey.” -LinkedIn and SalesForce Marketing Cloud, The State of Marketing Leadership: How Senior-Level Marketers are Redefining Success and Integrating the Customer Journey “As the customer focus becomes a cross- functional responsibility, collaboration is key. 56% of marketers view their relationship with the CIO as absolutely critical or very important, but that number must increase.” -Salesforce, 2015 State of Marketing Christine Viera, SVP of Marketing In 2016, B2B marketers will put promise into practice to deliver a marketing-driven customer experience. Here’s what to expect: 1. An increased focus on a strong content strategy, tightly aligned to every stage of the customer’s journey and mapped to revenue impact. 2. The dream of sales and marketing alignment becomes a reality with true visibility and consistency across cross-departmental plans. 3. Post-sale communications and messaging cement the role of content as the glue of customer experience. 4. The advances in these other areas bring alignment of content with go-to-market plans to the CMO’s table. Measuring satisfaction on customer journeys is 30% more predictive of overall customer satisfaction than measuring happiness for each individual interaction. In addition, maximizing satisfaction with customer journeys has the potential not only to increase customer satisfaction by 20% but also to lift revenue by up to 15%. -McKinsey Company, The Three Cs of Customer Satisfaction: Consistency, Consistency, Consistency 30% 20% Increase in customer satisfaction 15% Lift in Revenue MAX Customer Journey Satisfaction Potential Reward Patrick Cameron, SVP of Sales Sales people who do not engage their prospects with compelling and meaningful content that drives business value for their prospects will become irrelevant as the customer journey shifts to immediate value. Nine month roll-outs will become a thing of the past as companies provide significant value sooner and free trials in B2B software will go away—it’s a waste of everybody’s time if you aren’t doing real work. Barriers to entry to demonstrate real proof of value from within your own organization will drop. Ryan Flynn, SVP of Customer Success CMOs will feel the pressure to deliver on customer experience and sales/marketing alignment as post-purchase customer marketing “comes of age.” Those who succeed will insist on an integrated, customer-centric strategy with set and measurable performance metrics. It’s time to align marketing to the ownership process not as an afterthought, but as a critical piece of the go-to-market strategy. Riley Gibson, VP of Product Right content, right person, right time. It’s hard to find a 2014 or 2015 marketing prediction that does not include these words. But for the B2B marketer, a major roadblock to this vision is forming. Content being served up to prospects in a B2B environment will become increasingly customer-centric, educating, informing, and leading prospects through the buyer journey. B2B marketers will continue to facilitate and navigate a long and complex process, but consistency across every channel, tool, and team will be paramount to creating personalized customer experiences. Laggards will struggle to unite their disparate technology ecosystem, further siloing important business knowledge and meta- data. In 2016, B2B marketers will pursue the need to create a centralized content repository that connects to the tools and teams that serve up content to prospects throughout the customer journey. Start Here FindoutwhyB2B marketersmustownthe customerjourney. of marketers say that customer satisfaction is one of their top metrics 75% 82% 75% 75% of marketers say CRM technologies are absolutely critical/very important to creating a cohesive customer journey. 82% of marketers say marketing analytics technologies are absolutely critical/very important to creating a cohesive customer journey. 75% of marketers say content marketing technologies are absolutely critical/very important to creating a cohesive customer journey.

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