In a survey of 228 global marketing heads by Deloitte and Salesforce, 38 per cent of CMOs said customer service was increasingly coming under their remit, but nearly a quarter (23 per cent) feel underprepared to deal with this greater role. However, the research suggests that digital marketing’s growth means CMOs are now expected to not just “blanket” customers with brand awareness and messaging but also follow through with service and respond to issues or complaints.
“Fast, personable customer service is a key element of the digital customer experience and it’s progressively merging into marketers’ online strategies. Real-time social media responses, how-to YouTube videos and Vines, and helpful content marketing all usher in an era where service is the new sales,” says the report.
The study states that inadequate customer service can impede revenue growth and marketing effectiveness, particularly as marketers are increasingly expected to respond in real time, using data and analytics to make brand messages more targeted. Half of those questioned say they plan to increase their use of web personalisation, aiming to use data and analytics experts to understand what customers want.
However, 32 per cent admit that the rising need for data and analytics personnel is the responsibility they feel least well prepared for. The study suggests a disconnect between external priorities and internal capabilities that brands need to fix in order to boost revenue growth.
“New digital capabilities play an essential role in defining the holistic customer experience that leads to true customer loyalty, profitable growth and increased shareholder value,” says Deloitte’s marketing cloud lead Mark Lush.
Customer experience is one of five areas of expanding expectations for marketers. Here’s the full list of five:
- Taking on topline growth – 53 per cent of CMOs feel an increased pressure to enable revenue growth.
- Digging into data-based insights – data acquisition is CMOs top internal priority this year but they must invest in tools that support those efforts.
- Operating in real time – web personalisation and marketing automation are marketers’ top two areas of focus for 2014.
- Mastering metrics – 53 per cent of CMOs still believe ROI is the right metric but they must prove the link between actions and results.
- Owning the customer experience – ownership of digital channels and therefore the entire customer experience is increasingly falling to marketing.