Most Marketers Fail To Deliver Brand Promises

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 24, 2014

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Customer experience is something apparently every company swears by in order to live up to its brand image. However, findings of a recent study seem to be startling.  The CMO Council, in partnership with SAP reveals that only 26% of marketers across Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) believe are equipped to live up to brand promises and marketing claims, backed by a strong IT infrastructure and strategy.

Lack of synergy

The study conducted on 245 senior marketers in 16 Asia-Pacific countries shows that only 10% of respondents felt there was strong alignment and synergy among functional heads when it comes to ensuring a seamless experience across all customer touch points and operational areas of the business. Researchers therefore conclude with the proliferation of mobile-connected, socially-active brand conscious consumers mounting in this region, there is an urgent need for marketers to step up their efforts to deliver brand promises at an operational, after-market support and back-office-systems level.

“There is no point in wasting marketing resources on seducing customers with offers, incentives and captivating branding if there is a big disconnect on the product, business policy or service experience side,” noted Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council. “You’ll just see churn, disaffection and bad word-of-mouth, which can be quite damaging in a socially connected region like Asia.”

The CMO Council notes that just 23% of marketers surveyed in APJ have calculated how the customer experience has directly impacted business performance through lost or gained revenue, retention, defection, detraction or advocacy. Marketers believe customer-centricism require CEO mandates, management commitments and employee empowerment that is driven by real-time market insights, personalized engagements, actionable information and analytics delivered across the organization.

Who’s to be blamed?

Ownership of the customer experience is seen by survey participants to be fragmented and distributed across multiple titles and areas of operational responsibility, including the CMO (31%), head of service and support (10%), vice president or director of customer sales and service (9%), chief operations officer (8%), chief sales officer (6%), and chief experience officer (6%). Only 39% of marketers feel these individuals have the authority and budget to really influence and impact customer experience management.

“It is easy for marketers to get caught in a conversation about who owns the customer experience. In reality, everyone across the enterprise bears a responsibility to deliver consistent, relevant and delightful customer experiences,” notes Grace Ho, Managing Director of Marketing for SAP Asia-Pacific/Japan.

Other findings of the study include:

-  Just 25% of companies have conducted a customer experience management (CXM) audit across all touch points, life stages and operational areas.

-  Only 36% of marketers report having a formal CXM strategy or program in their organization.

-  Only 24% have a comprehensive view of engagements and interactions across all stages of the customer lifecycle.

- Only 8% say they have well developed and fully evolved systems for understanding and meeting the needs of customers.

- Just 11% are highly satisfied with their ability to listen and respond to the needs of the customer.

“Today’s marketer is in a position to empower the organization with deep knowledge of the customer’s wants, needs and expectations. Social listening is an excellent way to glean customer sentiment about a product or service. Customer sentiment can be captured in real time and then shared across the organization to help adapt and shift customer experiences to maximize business outcomes. Insights from predictive analytics can foster understanding of the level of loyalty and attachment a customer has for your brand and helps shape and unify the customer experience strategy for the entire organization,” says Ho.