Customer Experience Could Kill Your Marketing Budget in Just a Few Years

Customer Experience Could Kill Your Marketing Budget in Just a Few Years

By Jessy SmulskiAug 13 /2019

Eighty-six percent of buyers will pay more for a product or service that delivers superior customer experience. As the people who engineer the buyer’s journey, marketers are using the growing prominence of CX strategy as a bargaining token for bigger budgets. The validity of their argument hasn’t fallen on deaf ears either.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen the C-suite soften around investments in marketing technologies and resources to analyze big data and improve the customer experience. However, just as quickly as the bounty came, it can be taken away. Recently, Gartner made three predictions that allude to a potential slip in marketing’s CX foothold.

  1. Profitability will replace CX as a CMO’s No. 1 strategic marketing priority by 2022.
  2. The C-suite’s investment in marketing-funded CX programs could see at least a 25% slash.
  3. By 2023, marketing analytics departments will see a dramatic 50% decrease in funding.

Marketing professionals have worked too hard to be reduced back down to an expendable business function. If we are to preserve the progress we’ve made in recent years, we need to fight for ownership of the customer experience and prove that we are fit to lead one of the most crucial initiatives in the organization.



What’s the problem?

Marketers continue to struggle with providing proof of value. Globe Newswire distributed a press release at the tail end of 2018 stating that, 96 percent of Fortune 1000 executives reportedly viewed their marketing and PR teams as “unwilling” or “unable” to prove ROI. What’s worse, marketers don’t necessarily disagree. Sixty-six percent ranked themselves as “intermediate” when it comes to marketing data and analytics, and 80 percent revealed that they aren’t getting the most from their Data Management Platform (DMP technology). In today's volatile, globally competitive economic climate, this isn’t going to cut it.

Ready to tighten your grip on the CX reins? Here are three things you can do right away:

1. Assess technology resources, make cuts, and invest in the right tools.

If the ship is sinking, get rid of anything that doesn't help keep you afloat. Marketers are spending way too much time integrating, formatting, and visualizing data and not enough time using data to improve processes or demonstrate business value. A technology audit will help you understand the scope of your dilemma. As you make strategic decisions about your marketing technology (martech) stack, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Know the exact purpose of every investment and use it as a guiding principle when shopping. If tools in your martech stack don’t serve a specific goal, consider removal or replacement.
  • Don’t fall for the “easy integration” line. There’s nothing easy about integrating new platforms into existing systems. Do your research, ask specific questions about compatibility with your legacy software, and ask for proof.
  • Don’t invest in all the shiny new tools. Every new tool will increase your workload and put a strain on IT, which means you need to keep it simple, make strategic decisions, and scale into new technologies.
  • Don’t mistake bigger and more powerful for better. IBM, Salesforce, Marketo: they’re all forces of nature, but that doesn’t mean smaller vendors can’t offer equally great products and support at a better price point.

2. Align marketing tools and strategies with the C-suite’s long-term business goals.

The C-suite is tired of the same old marketing rundown. They don’t care about vanity metrics like impressions and click-through rate. What they want to see is how your activities directly impact their top priorities for the company.

As this relates to CX, only 6 percent of marketers prioritize the right metrics to demonstrate value (Gartner). After we show you what those metrics are, check out this free guide to learn what C-suite’s current business priorities are and how to reposition marketing activities and technology investments to support their goals.

3. Build a quantifiable long-term CX strategy and use the right metrics to prove short-term business impact.

Below are the two most important metrics to track to prove the value of marketing’s involvement in customer experience strategy and execution.

Lifetime Value (LTV): A formula used to determine the total value a company will derive from a customer over the entire span of their relationship. To calculate LTV, you need the following formulas:

  • Average Order Value = Total Sales/Order Count
  • Purchase Frequency = Total Orders/Total Customers
  • Customer Value = Average Order Value x Purchase Frequency
  • CLV = Customer Value x Average Customer Life span
  • Customers who rate you 0-6 are considered “detractors.” A detractor is an unsatisfied customer who will seek alternative support.
  • Customers who rate you 7-8 are considered “passives.” A passive customer doesn’t feel one way or the other about their experience and is open to alternatives.
  • Customers who rate you 9-10 are considered “Promoters.” A promoter is a brand advocate who will purchase again from your brand and publicize their positive customer experience.

Net Promoter Score (NPS): A short, two-minute survey that uses three to five questions on a scale of 1-10 to gauge how loyal customers are to your brand.

 What is Good NPS Score graph

NPS surveys can be distributed quarterly to check the pulse of your ongoing customer relationships or transactionally after each purchase. Given the NPS range of -100 to +100, a “positive” score or NPS above 0 is considered “good,” +50 is “excellent,” and above 70 is considered “world class.”

To determine your NPS, subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

Ex. If 40 percent of respondents are promoters and 15 percent were detractors, your NPS score would be 25 percent.

The good news? This conversation is based on predictions that haven’t happened yet, which means there’s still time for marketing teams to turn their fate around. This insight also serves as a reminder to explore the possibility of a marketing partnership.

In many cases, internal marketing teams are stretched too thin to take swift action, especially concerning expensive technology investments and significant strategy changes. By assessing and leaning down your internal operations to a more manageable and proactive state, you can free up enough funds to partner with a marketing agency. Digital marketing partnerships come with all the marketing technology and expertise you need to reclaim control over the customer experience and wow the socks off the C-suite.

Ready to learn more? This free guide will show you how to use C-suite’s top business priorities to build a case for a bigger marketing budget. Hint: Owning the customer experience is half the battle.
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Jessy Smulski
The Author

Jessy Smulski

Jessy turns everyday industry talk into simple, insightful, humanized conversation. Often described as bold, empathetic and charmingly sarcastic; her writing style reflects her personality and reads like a friend telling stories over supper. When she isn’t writing, you can find Jessy backpacking the Midwest, snowboarding the Rockies, or capturing life through the lens of her camera.