Is Your Corporate Story Fragmented and Inconsistent?

To extract business value from all three phases of the customer experience — self-service, sales, post-purchase — CMOs must address the enterprise-wide messaging development and delivery problem that exists across the business. What problem is that? Well, have you ever really looked at how your corporate story plays out in the customer experience? The fact is, most companies discover that their story is highly fragmented from one phase of the customer journey to the other. Even worse, it is inconsistent within the self-service, sales and post-purchase phases themselves.

An inconsistent corporate story negatively impacts business performance. It creates customer confusion, uncertainty and doubt. To solve this problem CMOs, CEOs and customer experience leaders must get in a room and devise a plan for delivering a consistent story in the complex experience economy they operate in today.

This starts with the CEO making the corporate story a strategic priority across the organization. The CEO must fundamentally buy in to the fact that your corporate story directly impacts the customer experience and financial performance. With this buy-in secured, the CEO and CMO must then agree on what the story actually is. To develop a compelling and authentic message, the corporate story should be rooted in the company’s go-to-market strategy, and the competitive intelligence and insights gained from voices that matter. These voices include prospects, customers, employees and partners.

Then the CMO must invest the time and energy to build a holistic Corporate Messaging Platform that will serve as the foundation for customer communication across the enterprise. This Platform must include specific, intentional words and phrases that tell the complete corporate story. This story must capture the essence of the company, including:

  • Purpose
  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Values
  • Positioning statement
  • Who we are
  • What we do
  • The value we deliver
  • Promise to customers
  • What makes us different in the market

With strategically aligned corporate messaging in place, the CMO must then work with customer experience professionals and functional leaders across the business to activate the story. The goal is to drive deep understanding and buy-in of the story and ensure processes are in place to activate consistent messages across critical touchpoints throughout all three phases of the customer experience. You might be saying to yourself, “yeah, we already do that” or “that sounds easy.”

Really? Take a minute and visualize how your corporate story plays out in the customer experience, specifically in the self-service, sales and post-purchase phases of the customer journey. What you will see is a great deal of complexity.

  • Highly distributed ownership of messaging development and delivery internally and externally.
  • Functional silos across the business that interact with customers on a consistent basis.
  • Limited connectivity between a wide range of communication channels used in each phase of the customer experience.

If you want to differentiate your business based on customer experience, you have to start developing and delivering a consistent story. In fact, a recent McKinsey study revealed the number one trait of companies that succeed in delivering a superior customer experience is the ability to develop and deliver a clear, consistent corporate message.

So it’s time to apply the discipline, time or resources required to truly break
down these barriers and put intentional processes in place to ensure that a consistent story is told throughout the customer experience. CMOs and CEOs that make this a priority will reap significant rewards.

By | 2016-12-12T13:58:00+00:00 August 24, 2016|Categories: Customer Experience|

About the Author:

With more than 25 years experience building collaborative relationships with executive teams, Jim brings a wealth of knowledge to every client engagement. O’Gara has spent thousands of hours formulating winning go-to-market strategies and stories for dozens of Fortune 100 companies and hundreds of high-growth businesses. O’Gara’s expertise in go-to-market strategy development, customer research, corporate messaging and positioning, customer experience management as well as customer-centric culture development has earned him the respect of executives around the world. Over the years, his ability to breakdown business, marketing and customer experience challenges in complex industries (such as healthcare, technology and professional services) has been invaluable to CEOs and CMOs at a number of leading companies. Jim is an active member of the Forbes Communications Council and his thought leadership often appears on Forbes.com.