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08/05/2019

How to measure the success of customer experience marketing

Measuring the value of your marketing activities is important; marketing is an investment and you need to know that your efforts are having a positive impact on your business. The current focus of many brands when it comes to marketing is enhancing the user experience, which has changed a lot in recent years. So how do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns across the customer journey to see if your investments to improve user experience are truly valuable?

The shift towards digital in the customer journey process

There are multiple key touch points in a customer’s experience with your brand. These are important stages in your customer’s journey that need to be optimised so your prospects are more likely to be converted and your customers are more likely to return. Over recent years, the ways consumers access these touchpoints have changed.

Awareness

The first touch point is the way the consumer becomes aware of your brand. Previously, this may have been achieved by billboard posters, leaflets through letterboxes or TV advertising. Although these platforms still exist, they’re being usurped by digital marketing strategies such as website search-engine optimization, online banner adverts, email marketing and social media marketing. This shift of emphasis on both sides of the equation – brands and consumers – has allowed businesses to target customers much more granularly, improving overall user experience as well as the economic efficiency of marketing campaigns.  

Evaluation

Evaluation is the stage where the consumer first physically interacts with your brand and buys your product or service. The so-called ‘death of the high street’ exemplifies the change in this touch point. More and more consumers are now opting to buy online via e-commerce stores, downloading products such as video games instead of going out to buy them, and browsing through online catalogues rather than a printed one.

Acquisition

In physical shops, the evaluation and acquisition stages merge together as one. But in the digital age, these have become distinct touch-points. Digitally focussed brands must now place more care on the delivery and fulfilment of products or services, with a huge number of options available. For example, a mortgage adviser now has the option to consult with a client via Facetime or Skype rather than in person, a software company must now ensure that the products they offer are easily downloadable from the internet rather than being installed via CD-ROM, and e-commerce stores must ensure they choose a reliable delivery service to ship their goods.

Engagement

After a product or service has been paid for, many brands give consumers the option to get in touch with them via social media or through website live chat, in addition to the old-school options of telephone calls, emails and visiting in-store. This gives new opportunities for a brand to optimise this touchpoint and make a customer’s journey easier, without having to make the journey into the shop or wait in a call-answering queue for ages.

Advocacy

In the past, if you loved a product, the best way to advocate it would be to tell somebody face-to-face or over the phone how much you liked it. Nowadays, social media allows you to shout the news out to anybody you’re connected to. This has given rise to the influencer movement becoming a key strategy many brands utilise to advocate their brand and improve consumer awareness (creating a virtuous circle linking back to the first touch-point in the customer journey).

What this journey looks like in practise

You may not realise it, but your business probably has some system in place at each touch-point designed to enhance your customers’ experience. Not convinced?  We’re going to use the example of one of our customers, iMOWgi, who run a grass-cutting service:

  1. Awareness is generated through social media and leaflets
  2. Evaluation is conducted through the online booking system, which makes things simple for customers
  3. Acquisition is the service fulfilment, when the team go and cut the customer’s lawn
  4. Engagement: after fulfilment, customers are invited to follow the company on social media
  5. Advocacy: customers are encouraged to advocate the business through online ratings such as Google reviews.

Measuring effectiveness across the journey

Measuring the true value of these marketing activities across the customer journey can be a challenge; the success of your marketing efforts are not always tangible because some metrics don’t easily translate. For example, some of the key figures which have lost credit among marketers in recent years are so-called ‘vanity metrics’, such as likes and comments on social media posts. Vanity metrics don’t easily translate into true business value; they may show how many people looked at something you posted, but they say nothing about how many sales you’re making or the monetary value of the interactions. If you walked into a boardroom meeting of a large corporation, they wouldn’t be saying “This campaign generated X amount of likes, well done!”, they would be saying “The latest marketing campaign generated X amount of revenue and cost us Y.”

Valuable metrics

If you want to know the true value of your customer experience marketing activities, you should go through the systems in place at every touch point in the customer journey and take an in-depth look into the truly valuable metrics. Here are some metrics you can use for measuring the value of your awareness campaigns:

  • If you run social media campaigns, analytics tools make it easy to see how much traffic to your website is sourced from your social channels. Then, if you know your average conversion rate across your website, you can get a monetary value of your social media campaigns by multiplying your social traffic by conversion rate.
  • For a newspaper advertisement, you could consider including a unique discount code which you can easily track to monitor if your campaign is profitable.
  • You can also simply ask customers where they heard about you.

Customer experience metrics

With the above examples, it’s relatively simple to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, but for others – particularly strategies designed to improve your customer experience – it can be a challenge. For example, if you’ve recently implemented a new booking system that works through an app to make interactions with your business more streamlined for your customers, enhancing your evaluation, acquisition and engagement stage, how can you gauge the true business value?

Net promoter score

If you make investments enhancing your users’ customer experience, it isn’t easy to assign a monetary value to the changes you make, but there are other ways to measure the impacts of your efforts. One such method is to calculate your net promoter score. Net promoter score (NPS) is a metric that has recently gained popularity among Nordic companies and is growing globally as a valuable tool. Best of all, it’s incredibly simple to measure, allowing you easily to assess your customers’ experience with your brand.

NPS is measured by asking your customers two simple questions:

  • One a scale of one to ten, how likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend/colleague based on this visit?
  • Why did you give that score?

The next step is to define your customers who are likely to promote your brand (known as promoters), your customers who are unlikely to either promote or damage your brand (known as passives) and your customers who are likely to damage your brand (known as detractors):

  • Promoters = anyone who gave you a score of 9 or 10
  • Passives = anyone who gave you a score of 7 or 8
  • Detractors = anyone you gave you a score of 6 or less

Then, you figure out what percentage of your respondents were promotors and what percentage were detractors and do the following calculation: NPS = % promotors - % detractors.

This measurement is valuable because it is easy to compare the reactions of customers to your business before and after changes, allowing you to compare how effective your strategies are in terms of likelihood of customers returning.  

The digital age means that the customer user experience is changing. Measuring how well your business is adapting to the change can be a great way to evaluate your marketing strategies at each touch-point of the customer journey process.

To find out more about how Sharp Minds Communications can help with your marketing, email communications@sharpminds.agency 

 Based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Sharp Minds offers brand development, digital marketing, offline marketing and public relations to businesses across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Greater London. You can see what our customers say about us here.

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