The #1 trait of companies that succeed in delivering a superior customer experience is the ability to develop and deliver a clear, consistent message. (McKinsey)
Today, prospects and customers expect continuity and consistency throughout the buyer journey. One way CEOs and C‑suite executives can ensure this happens is to implement a disciplined process for developing and delivering a consistent story throughout the customer experience.
Here are five questions every CEO should answer to determine if their corporate story is maximizing engagement and growth throughout the customer experience.
1. Is your corporate message clear, compelling and consistent?
73% of CMOs indicate that their teams are not on message. (CMO Council)
Most executives think if they have a snappy corporate tagline and value proposition, the corporate story is complete. But the reality is, that will only go so far with respect to engaging and converting prospects to customers. There has to be more to the story. That’s why executive teams need to ensure there is a comprehensive Corporate Messaging Platform in place and embraced across the organization. This complete version of your story serves as the foundation for clear, compelling and consistent communication throughout the customer experience. A Corporate Messaging Platform goes well beyond a simple, one-page messaging document for the marketing department. It includes a broad range of actionable messaging content and tools for every customer-facing area of your business and drives messaging continuity throughout the customer journey.
2. Are your employees able to bring your story to life?
70% of brand perception is driven by employees. (Enterprise IG)
To bring your corporate story to life and cultivate lasting change in the customer experience, every employee must buy into and be armed with the key messages that can be delivered consistently across critical touchpoints in the customer journey. From casual conversations over the phone to customer-facing presentations, your employees must be able to deliver clear, compelling elements of the story with every connection they make. For this to happen, executives must ensure formal processes are in place that enable employees to internalize, personalize and activate the corporate story in daily work activities.
3. Are you capitalizing on every customer conversation?
53% of sales executives say that consistent messaging in the sales process is a significant challenge. (SAVO Group)
In this self-service age of the customer, buyers consume a large percentage of your corporate story before ever speaking with a salesperson. That’s why messaging continuity and connectivity is essential between the self-service and sales phases of the customer journey. Executive teams must ensure clear, compelling and consistent corporate messaging is infused into sales tools and selling situations if they want to ignite trusted conversations with buyers and improve sales results.
4. Is your thought leadership strategy aligned with your corporate story?
56% of companies do not have a documented thought leadership strategy. (Content Marketing Institute)
According to the Pedowitz Group, “Content is not a nice to have. It’s your voice and direct link to customers and prospects … companies must make sure it aligns with their marketing message.” So, needless to say, thought leadership is critical when it comes to engaging today’s buyer. To maximize engagement throughout the buyer journey, your company’s content strategy must be intentionally designed to extend and amplify critical elements of your corporate story. This will ensure that the story buyers consume from one phase of the customer journey to the next is clear, compelling and connected.
5. Do your story and visual brand align?
While your corporate story is the foundation of business success, it must be wrapped in memorable creative to achieve maximum audience engagement. That’s why brand integration — creative execution that is aligned with your messaging strategy — is so important. Your visual brand (colors, images, photography, etc.) must be intentionally designed to bring the corporate story to life if you want maximum engagement throughout the customer experience.
So, are you maximizing the return on every connection you make?
The days of marketing owning the voice of your company are over. Today, every employee and touchpoint a buyer interacts with can make or break the customer connection. That’s why your organization’s ability to deliver a clear, compelling and consistent message is so important.
Remember, consistency and connectivity in your story won’t happen by chance. As a CEO or C-suite executive, you have to play an active role in the process. More specifically, you must ensure your organization has…
- A Corporate Messaging Platform in place and your story is fully embraced across your organization.
- Intentional processes that are used to deliver a clear, consistent and connected story across customer-facing parts of your business and critical technology-enabled touchpoints.
Only then will your corporate story become a competitive advantage and your business be well positioned to succeed in the customer experience economy you operate in today.