Today’s consumers have different expectations for their customer experiences, meaning that companies need to rethink the role of chief creative officer (CCO).
Focus on Social Media
Generation Z and millennials, who comprise an ever-larger percentage of a company’s sales as their earning power increases and Baby Boomers’ earnings power declines due to retirement, rely more on social media for their buying decisions. Nearly one third (30.4%) of 5,000 U.K. shoppers GlobalData surveyed said that their clothing choices were influenced by social media.
But all social media isn’t the same. Facebook is by far the most popular, thanks in large part to its ability to help a customer navigate through his or her own purchase journey. YouTube was a distant second. But the popularity of social media platforms shifted quite a bit based on the age of the consumer.
Today’s CCO needs not only to recognize the currents and undercurrents (shifts by age) of social media, but also need to understand that the transformation of the digital consumer also means a transformation in the capabilities of the CCO, according to a CMO.com blog post.
Deep analytical capabilities to understand the shifts in social media, consumer trends and customer experience expectations, among other trends are paramount. So the CCO needs to be able to dig beyond top-line performance indicators like website or advertisement clicks all the way through to actual sales and be able to determine where in the sales funnel loss of conversion occurs and why.
Beyond that, today’s CCO needs to work with other company executives to provide customers with the brand experiences that they expect – underperforming these expectations will drive customers to competitors. And since customer expectations as well as their loyalty to different social media platforms and other tastes are in a constant state of flux, CCOs need to be adaptable enough to shift the brand’s marketing efforts to stay in step with those changes.
But even with changing technologies, customer tastes and attitudes, CCOs still need to understand how to effectively communicate the brand message in the context of providing the customer with the experience that meets or exceeds his or her expectations.
CX Efforts Lacking: Forrester
Yet most U.S. brands continue to be stagnant in their customer experience offerings, according to the Forrester Customer Experience Index ratings, which say that national brands lag behind their international counterparts.
While some gained in the rankings, others fell, leading to a net wash, according to Forrester.
"Though brands are catching on to the fact that high quality customer experience correlates with business growth, it's alarming that progress on improving CX has stalled for the third year in a row," Forrester Chief Research and Product Officer Cliff Condon said, in a prepared statement. "It proves that many companies don't fully understand what matters most to their customers, but to achieve CX success, they must discover and focus on those drivers first. Forrester knows that positive emotions are instrumental in boosting customer loyalty – for example, among digital retail customers who feel valued, 92% plan to stay with the brand and 88% will increase their spending. Firms that focus on improving the aspects that matter to customers – and in turn drive revenue – will close the CX leadership gap."
It's up to CCOs to drive that shift in CX focus.
Phil Britt is a reporter for The Wise Marketer.