Customer-First and Journey-Minded: The New Priorities for Leading Organizations

Customer-First and Journey-Minded: The New Priorities for Leading Organizations

I’m in Australia and New Zealand for the next two weeks to speak at Acquia’s regional Experience Acquia series of events.

Webinar: Customer Journey Orchestration

DescriptIon: David Aponovich and Stephen Skidmore discuss how to give customers the most amazing and personalized experiences, and how to become a customer-centric marketing organization.

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These half-day events allow CMOs, CIOs, digital marketers, customer experience, tech leaders and others to interact and to hear what it takes to be successful in an experience-driven era.

Prior to traveling from Boston, I interviewed a number of customers and agency partners in this region to gain insight into what’s on their minds and what’s being prioritized.

What’s clear is this: Experience-driven strategies are the priority; the customer - in all their needs and expectations- is the focus.

Which is all as it should be at this point. After a decade or more of filling up on marketing technology and related investments, leading organizations here, as elsewhere, are aligning quickly to personalize the customer experience and build connected customer journeys that meet customers in their context, in their moment of need or want.

Here are some comments from customer interviews and my synopsis.

“We focus on how our organization serves customers. It’s about reframing problems — and starting with their problems, rather than starting with the (technical) solution.”

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Companies like this are are reframing their work, taking an outside-in approach and abandoning the inside-out approach that has fallen short of meeting customers’ needs. Companies are fast discovering that inside-out thinking can be dangerous if you want to win and retain the loyalty of customers.

“We sell (financial services) products. But we’ve changed. Now, the digital experience is the product for anyone who interacts with our website, mobile, and back-end systems.”

Today, many brands are only as good, as memorable, or as worthy of customer loyalty as is the experience they provide to customers. This is causing the definition of “product” to continually evolve.

For a legacy company, in financial services and other industries like travel, commerce, and more, the experience across digital (and human) touchpoints and channels is the product, plain and simple.

“Our visitors expect a continuity of experience, across all the digital technology and touchpoints we operate. That’s where digital is going for us.”

There’s a lot to read into this statement, but I think one thing is clear: Despite lots of tech investment, if it’s not operating together in unison, in service of a great customer journey before, during, and after someone becomes a customer, organizations are falling short of what’s possible - and what’s expected by prospects and customers.

I’ll check in again from the road and share more insights over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

David Aponovich

David Aponovich

Sr. Director, Product MarketingAcquia, Inc.

David Aponovich is a senior director for product marketing at Acquia, where he helps articulate the business and technical value of Drupal and Acquia solutions. In his role, David champions how organizations, through the power of open source innovation, are creating new revenue streams, lowering costs, digitalizing their business, and engaging audiences more deeply through content, community and commerce. Prior to joining Acquia in 2014, David was a senior analyst at Forrester Research, where he researched web content management and digital experience platforms and consulted to Forrester’s global clients on their web CMS and digital transformation initiatives. Earlier, he spent six years as web content management consultant at Connective DX (formerly ISITE Design), a digital experience agency in Boston and Portland, Oregon, and before ISITE he was director of marketing at WCM vendor Ektron.