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How Can a Unified Brand Experience Drive Value?

The fragmentation of B2B and B2C marketing communications, whether created intentionally or due to the lack of a brand’s ability to consistently tell its story across the full consumer journey, limits that brand’s performance in the marketplace. Driving this divergence is how marketers and operating partners aren’t always drawing a straight line between points on this journey –  delivering an inconsistent message or user experience to current or potential customers. 

No matter the organization—be it a start-up, middle-market direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand or SaaS B2B platform—it is critical  that these companies place the customer experience at the center of their business. Without this consistency, there’s a missed opportunity for these marketing investments to act as a media multiplier.  As demonstrated here, “It’s not just semantics; the customer experience is the interaction—and relationship—people have with a brand.”

“In fact, the customer experience doesn’t only reflect how your customers experience your product, but also how your company experiences your customers.”

Forrester’s 2021 Global Marketing Survey shows that more than one-third of CMOs see themselves as the owner of the customer experience, and fully 56% cited improving the experience of their customers as their primary focus over the next two years. This same report emphasizes how:

“CEOs are looking to CMOs and the marketing function to provide data and insights on customers and prospects, and to develop processes and approaches that meet their needs at every touchpoint.”

When considering D2C efforts, omnichannel is predicted to dominate  the upcoming holiday season: “Only 14% of U.S. shoppers say they won’t shop in stores this holiday season. But as in-store shopping resurges, digital’s role in shopping has been cemented, as more than 70% of surveyed participants reported that their shopping journey involved online touchpoints. Digital will be a critical part of their journey, whether it’s online or in-store.”

Inserting Performance Between the Brand and Consumers

As a full-service digital marketing communications consultancy, we focus on all touchpoints across the consumer journey by developing solutions that combine media, creative, digital and technology — around a single unifying idea. We leverage real time data to allow these solutions to be agile and optimized around the audience, goal and platform.

Unified Strategy Graphic

Modern marketers who undervalue a unified brand experience will find themselves and their organization at a brand and performance disadvantage, primarily by failing to harness the various entry points through which to engage with a brand—whether  physical, digital, experiential or word of mouth. It’s never been more true that there’s no longer a linear marketing path.

In fact, the traditional purchase funnel is history — as consumers enter the journey at many different points. — with brands choosing when and where they want to share their content with  their customer or the end consumer.

All Marketing Should Be Seen as Driving Performance

One example of this is a long-term engagement we’ve had with a client in the health and wellness space, where we are providing ways to improve the customer experience while expanding their geographic footprint as a D2C brand.

With only two physical locations, this client has been exploring how Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can expand their reach and drive incremental growth. Analytics have identified that a majority of web traffic is coming from all over the United States.

To optimally convert this traffic  into a sale, we’ve proposed serving up site-specific content based on the user’s IP address. Users within a 20-mile radius of each physical store location will view the general site, and all site visitors outside of this 20-mile radius will experience the D2C site with a specific line of wellness products.

In addition to tailoring the customer experience based on location, these functional improvements will pair data with experience based on audience segmentation, product and content—cementing the client’s omnichannel strategy with much greater relevance across digital media, email marketing and product hierarchy. A truly unified brand experience!

Modifying the Standard Marketing Funnel

Standard and Modified Marketing Funnel

Today’s omnichannel audience is proving how the standard marketing funnel needs to be reconsidered based on purpose and media. This article makes a persuasive case for this  “The standard funnel also doesn’t tend to emphasize the key role played by most digital marketing today.” The marketing funnel language of “upper” and “lower” can also reinforce the value-limiting division between “brand” and “performance.”

“Similarly, people think that “performance” only happens at the bottom, when all good marketing communication should be seen as driving performance.”

With so many points of brand engagement , it is even more critical for brands to meet their consumer or customer at each and every point in that journey, preferably with a personalized experience that not only converts sales, but drives loyalty and advocacy, further demonstrating that the customer experience starts from within the organization and then blossoms outward.

Questions? Email me here to discuss how your investment or brand can capture value from a unified brand experience.

Photo by Rodolfo Cuadros and Moren Hsu on Unsplash