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Live from IMW: Forget CRM – Create Shareable Customer Journeys


Post Date: June 12, 2013
By: Stephanie Miller

CRM is dead.  What lives is “CJM” – or customer journey management.  So says Brian Solis, principal of Altimer Group, in his keynote on the future of marketing at Integrated Marketing Week this afternoon.  “The new customer is part of ‘Generation C’ – or the connected customer,” he said.  “These people are born digital and have a different way of interacting with brands and each other.  Don’t try to react to them – aim to create unique and share-able experiences that will enhance their digital lifestyle.

“These are people who never had an analog life,” he said.  “None of the advanced technology or automation matters if you neglect the human element, and create experiences that matter and fit your unique business and brand.”

As the old maxim goes, no one likes to be sold.  Solis says that instead, everyone wants to be carried away by a good story.  “It’s what I call the ‘human algorithm’ and represents the intersection of digital technology and digital anthropology.”

Solis urges marketers to design shared experiences that guide people through the sales or brand journey.  “Marketers must consider the moments of truth in an integrated and cross channel way, because that ultimate experience for one person gets shared and becomes the first moment of truth for the next person.”

This is good news for brands in competitive markets, as people will seek out and pay more for extraordinary or meaningful experiences, Solis said.  “The experience gap is the separation between the brand promise and the desired outcomes.”

Solis recommends all marketers take a hard look at the experiences they are creating and ask themselves a few key questions:

  • What is the experience we are creating?  (Use data!)
  • Is that the experience that we want them to have?
  • How can we use data and media to create memorable and share-able experiences?
  • Who else can help us create and reinforce the experience you want to deliver? (Note, these could be colleagues in other departments or outside partners or your customers themselves.)

In all things, start with intention and purpose, he says, and use the data to see what is truly happening so that you can fix that experience gap between what you say and what they do.”

Think of it as an opportunity to modernize your marketing and meet customers where they want to be met: In a memorable experience-filled journey. 

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