Friday, July 7, 2017

Your Brand’s Unique Future In Customer Experience

Source: Iker Urteaga,
read a lot of articles every day about the future of customer experience (CX) and how cutting-edge technology is about to change the world for every marketer. A lot of folks are eager to tell you what your brand should—no, must—do to prepare for the future.

The future of CX is artificial intelligence. Or it’s chatbots. Or augmented reality. Or voice-operated devices. Or wearables. Or virtual personal assistants. Or the Internet of Things. Or blockchain. Or personalization. Or visual search. Or VR.

In fact, the future of CX for your brand may be all of these things. Or not. No blogger or tech journalist can answer that question for you, because the answer lies not in the tech but in your brand’s ability to ascertain the unique needs of your unique customers.

Brands overly focused on the potential of hot, new technologies rather than on the needs of their customers fall into a trap I call “Lego marketing,” where CX solutions seem to be preconfigured blocks that can simply be snapped into place to create success. Snap—we launched a Facebook page because consumers will engage with our marketing content for free. Snap—we’ve launched a corporate blog because consumers crave branded content. Snap—we have a Google+ page because our agency said it was the thing that will topple Facebook. Snap—come check out our new Periscope channel because live video is the new black, and our brand is not about to be left behind!

Snap, snap, snap. All the pieces click into place and the result is—a marketing program that looks pretty much like everyone else’s. Sure, the colors of your bricks are different from your competitors’, but the strategies and tactics are virtually indistinguishable. Unfortunately, so are the results. Marketing budgets have risen to 12% of revenue according to Gartner's 2016-2017 CMO Spend Survey, and despite this, top CPG brands are losing market share and value, Americans find brands and companies less truthful, and ad blocking is on the rise (and will soon come native to Chrome and Safari).

Meanwhile, companies that lead with unique and differentiated CX are eating the world. Apple, Starbucks, USAA, and the other brands you love didn’t achieve that special relationship with you by chasing new technology and snapping it into place like everyone else. To learn more about differentiated brands are developed with differentiated CX and how the road to success doesn't start with technology but ends with it, please read my complete blog post on

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