In a recent presentation at ANA’s Masters of Marketing conference, Blair Christie, SVP and CMO at Cisco told a crowd of more than 2,000 marketers, “There was a point in time when the customer journey was predictable. In B2B, it was like fishing in a barrel. There was a finite group of customers you were going after. But the customer journey has changed and is now filled with impromptu conversations.” She continued by explaining the various entry points of the customer journey, “People are entering the customer journey from all over the place. Sixty-seven percent of the customer journey is done digitally; 57 percent of the purchase decision is made before even reaching out to the company; 90 percent of customers initiate the first step in the buying cycle; and 85 percent of B2B users are using social media during the purchase process.”
The self-service nature of the customer journey inspired many businesses to transform their digital presence in 2014, and they will continue this transformation in 2015. This focus on digital inherently calls for more content, as Christie stated in her presentation: “The first part of our digital transformation was really making content king.” Content provides the opportunity for engagement, but messaging is what inspires it.
Developing a clear, compelling and consistent corporate message is paramount to delivering a compelling customer experience. As Christie pointed out, customers are entering the journey “from all over the place.” Companies that expect to engage, nurture, convert and retain customers in 2015 will have to shift their focus to the messaging embedded in the content, ensuring they are weaving a compelling and consistent message at every touchpoint. Technology will continue to evolve, digital platforms will continue to expand, content will continue to rule, but corporate messaging will always remain paramount to building your kingdom.