Last updated: Integrated experience: When marketing silos fall, business soars

Integrated experience: When marketing silos fall, business soars


Is your brand underperforming?  The solution may be rethinking marketing to deliver an integrated experience that makes the connection between customers, employees and the brand.

In order for brands to truly thrive today, their brand experience, customer experience and employee experience all must be aligned and integrated.

It takes work to pull off, but the end result is vastly increased business performance.

The trio of business processes helps any team quickly surface an opportunity or solve a brand, product, customer, or workplace culture challenge.

No more walls: The shift to integrated experience

For years, the biggest global brands took a decentralized approach to marketing, spreading their budgets around to numerous agencies with different specialties. One agency was for social, another handled big national broadcast launches, one reached out to Gen Z/millennials, and yet another managed employee communications.

Brand experience was defined primarily by a company’s latest TV ad campaign. The internet and social media changed much of that, leading to the broader concept of customer experience. This involved a pivot from customer interactions designed to drive sales to a more nuanced understanding that looks beyond what brands customers are buying, to why they buy a brand.

The last piece, employee experience, has taken center stage, with the effects of the Great Resignation still challenging companies to find new ways to engage and support their employees.

But the siloed approach to marketing is changing, particularly with the largest global brands. Forrester recently noted that seven major agency reviews in 2021 — including Coca-Cola, Facebook, Mercedes, Philips, and Walmart — all went to integrated, centralized global marketing teams.

Removing these silos is good news for brands because that type of thinking creates artificial walls between the branding experience, CX, and the employee experience.

These barriers thwart the complete brand synergy that all but a chosen few seem to have found — think brands you love that are known as great places to work (i.e., Apple, Starbucks, Google).

The power of integration and alignment

All brands today are experiential. Consumers are engaging with brands through apps and services, brick-and-mortar and all sorts of omnichannel experiences. Because of that, marketers have to think about a brand much differently than we have in the past — not just for customers, but also for employees.

Think about it: in many ways brands are belief systems — they stand for something to those customers who choose it over others. They essentially become “meaning-making engines” that companies can harness to create lasting connections.

When you align brand, consumer, and employee experience, it creates a circuit of authenticity between what a company is and what they actually do in the world. The result is a powerful connection and relationship between your customers and employees.

So how do you do it? It means rethinking your marketing approach with a greater focus on data and less on “gut instincts” about what consumers want from a brand, or how you think your employees feel about who they work for.

The good news is companies that make the investment see, on average, revenue growth two times those that don’t. Also, profit-per-employee goes up four times, which is simply amazing.

How to align brand, customer and employee experience

Ready to better align your brand, customer, and employee experience? Here’s some practical advice:
  1. Measure your brand’s strength, with both employees and customers. Having no measurement is like flying a plane without instruments. Your gut instinct about what works must be fueled by data.
  2. Ask yourself honestly: Does your brand help you attract new employees or does it scare them off?
  3. Remember companies have relationships with both employees and customers. These are separate relationships, with brand driving the connection.
  4. Think beyond segmenting customers based on their unique needs and personas. These personas only show you demographic and goal-based characteristics. They don’t give you a psychographic understanding of what motivates your customers to choose your brand.

Companies that make an intentional connection between brand, employees, and customers are best positioned for long-term growth.

With a workplace culture acting as a purpose-led accelerator powering the business forward – and a customer experience designed to build customer relationships rather than transactions – you quickly see the extraordinary power brands actually possess.

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