Suddenly, everyone is talking about customer experience. A seamless, cohesive journey through the funnel and across all touchpoints along the way. This isn’t actually a new idea. What’s new is that most big financial services organisations are beginning to accept that what they have been doing up until now is creating friction, not immersive brand experiences.
Customer experience is where content, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) meet. But what it really signals is a return of the brand. For only a well-considered, cohesive and consistently delivered brand strategy can provide the glue to hold all of this together.
Your brand is there to build the bigger whole. To be the reason why your customers form a relationship with you. Yes, they may engage with your tactical content, and you may move them down the funnel, and you may convert them. But will you keep them? Have they bought into one message or your whole reason for being? Do you even care?
Your brand is there to build the bigger whole. To be the reason why your customers form a relationship with you.
Here’s what needs to change. Comms teams, digital teams and brand teams must work together more closely. Hell, maybe they could even have one reporting line.
No longer should we hear references to the ‘brand police’ or brand guidelines as just that: ‘guidelines’. But brand teams don’t always help matters. How many brand guidelines actually go into the detail of what infographics, motion graphics or even video should look like, beyond a few cursory visuals based on ‘made up’ stats that are easy to bring to life? Not many. Content agencies end up spending disproportionately large amounts of time trying to make them work in practice.
And don’t get me started on the SLAs (service level agreement) that stifle any attempt to improve UX. We need to encourage digital teams to look outwards, beyond maintaining control and towards creating the best experience for the customer and meaningfully building the brand.
So, get ready. We’re going to have to integrate in order to progress. It’s going to take some gutsy decision-making high up in marketing departments. In the meantime, you should be able to rely on your agencies to help join the dots.
We’ll be discussing this issue, along with the other inconvenient truths coming between you and effective content marketing, in our Financial Services Forum webinar on Wednesday 27 June. Please join us at 10am for what will be an insightful and entertaining event.