CMO Roundtable


October 24, 2018 8:30AM

Starfish hosted a CMO roundtable centered around the theme of “BX (Brand Experience) is the new CX.” At the event, over a dozen CMOs and senior-level marketers discussed a variety of topics summarized below.

BX is the new CX

In the last decade, customer satisfaction has become a table stake. With technology reaching unfathomable levels of precision and efficiency, consumers now expect high performance on top of an intuitive, user-friendly, and relatable experience. Many companies are asking themselves how they differentiate their customer experience from their competitors, most of whom have invested heavily in this area over the past 5 years. The answer is right in front of them, but they fail to see it for the following reasons:

Translating a brand into real tangible actions and behaviors is difficult

Understanding how a brand should express itself through tangible behaviors requires a different perspective from traditional brand marketing. This is not only about how the brand should speak in its marketing channels but also how it interacts with customers. More specifically, how it listens, understands and responds to customer’s stated and derived needs and desires. In essence, how a brand acts across its points of interaction.

Silos prevent uniformity

Anyone who has worked in a corporate environment knows the reality of silos. While separate operational units are needed to manage distinct workstreams, they are the enemy of seamless experiences. Break your company’s silos by forming cross-functional teams and opening up intradepartmental communication so that different departments behave in unison. Only through internal consistency can a company deliver an externally consistent experience for customers.

It’s a dialogue, not a monologue

Customer’s needs are changing – constantly. They increasingly expect personalized, relevant, and engaging experiences from brands, and demonstrate no patience or loyalty for those that can’t keep up. And they expect to be heard and be able to have a dialogue with a brand. Many companies fail to realize this and design their interactions as unidirectional.

Due to social media and other digital channels, marketers are emboldened by a new ability to constantly connect with customers. But in reality, digital marketing is lulling marketers into a false sense of security by making us think we’re connecting with customers even when we’re not truly engaging them.

Archetype is the connective tissue

The psychologist Carl Jung believed that we have a universal shared unconscious out of which archetypes emerge as forms or images that everyone recognizes. When designed intentionally and strategically, the brand archetype can take on a personality and identity that evokes the exact feeling you expect your customers to have at every brand touchpoint.

CX and company culture are inextricably linked

One of the areas that many companies tend to neglect is that of its own people. These folks are the lifeblood of the organization, who engage customers every single day, either directly or indirectly. When they understand the brand and how it applies to their area of responsibility, and when they are given the freedom to bring it to life in their own way, magical things start to happen. They connect with customers in more meaningful ways, create products or services that are more aligned with the brand’s purpose, and deliver the service in a less mechanical manner.

The only way for the chief marketer to hold the organization accountable is to get senior-level buy-in and agreement that this is a process that requires consistent and persistent pressure. Aligning a culture around a brand is a process, as cultural change has several stages, including the change of attitudes, the embrace of new beliefs, and, ultimately, the adoption of new behaviors.