Minding the gap: The future of CX

Deliver brand success.

By Michael Bartley, Executive Creative Director

Two men sit on a couch while enthusiastically looking at the screen of a laptop. The man to the right is pointing towards the screen.

What brings customers closer to your brand?

Technology? Design? Transformation? Storytelling?

No.

Success = Value.

Landing this value in a sincere way—be it useful, inspirational, entertaining or educational—shows, not tells, your brand's value to your customers.

Your challenge: Be worth their time.

Mind the gap

The gap is real, and it represents the classic chasm between you and your customer. Like our lives, the market, and the latest memes, it evolves over time, and we have to find new, engaging, and insightful ways to cross it.

Often, we fall back on our first instinct: to speak of our passions, our interests. This can result in talking about your product, the features, the details. Or it can make your solution appear overly complex and self-centered.

The truth is, we need empathy in this world. As marketers, we need to find what makes our customers tick, discover how we can help them, and demonstrate how we can fix that pain.

So, what?

Here’s the big reason why you should care: Because your brand can be a profit center. And a design process that’s powered by insights and expertise can drive everything from customer loyalty to increased conversion.

The global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company published a study in October 2018 called The Business Value of Design, highlighting some interesting statistics about how disconnected data and design can result in missed opportunities:

  1. Of 300 leading companies, 50 percent have no way to measure or set targets for the output of their design teams.

  2. Based on McKinsey Design Index (MDI) scores—four metrics measuring analytical leadership, cross-functional talent, continuous iteration, and user experience—companies with top-quartile MDI scores had typically two-to-one growth over competitors.

  3. Over 40 percent of the companies surveyed still aren’t talking to their end users during development.

Roll up your sleeves

The now famous book on B2B marketing, The Challenger Sale, centers around this idea of the marketer as a challenger, one that has a different view of the world, loves to debate and pushes boundaries, while ultimately having a strong understanding of their client and their business.

As we look to build technology-fueled brand experiences while thoughtfully bridging the worlds of CIOs and CMOs, technologies, and end-user experiences, here are a few of the questions we ask ourselves every day to help keep us real:

  • What is the point of technology if it doesn’t drive value?

  • How can we pace our message? (Hook customers and drive them through the story. Tailor the conversation based on role and buyer journey.)

  • How can we better measure the creative process and tell a meta-driven narrative?

  • How can we surprise and delight?

  • Are we putting all our eggs in one tactical basket? (Make sure we have the journey base layer in before innovating on key conversion points.)

  • How can we make it easier for clients and customers to enjoy truly integrated, measurable experiential marketing?

Most of us, by now, have probably had some sort of “wow, cool” moment with AR or VR, but did it add any value to your experience? Did that interactive kiosk engage you, save you time, or help you make a purchase? Or did you scan a code on a package from your smartphone only to have a random motion graphic pop up and say, “Have a great day”? The potential of what technology can do is awesome, but setting a clear objective for your end result is paramount.

Crossing the gap

You will need a unique blend of skills and expertise to make sure your marketing and design delight. Classic creative won’t cut it. You need to bring together representatives from Business, Marketing, Technology, and Creative to create breakthrough moments with the customer in the way they need to experience it.

Let’s make something great together!

Whether creating VR training, scaling a website, or figuring out how to reduce customer churn, Indigo Slate can help your company solve its experiential marketing puzzle. We speak in numbers and codes and words and pictures. From understanding the most technical needs, to mapping the most complex customer journeys, to creating the most exciting customer experiences, we bring the million moving parts together. We address areas of friction and deficiency, opportunity and integration—not only minding the gap, but always minimizing it and, sometimes, erasing it altogether.

Let's talk about bringing your customers closer to your brand.

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