Chicken Little and Customer Experience

Summary: this post discusses the collision between expectations based on our customer-centric world and the failure of many business to address the need for an almost obsessive focus on Customer Experience (and measurement!) The CMO Council issued a stunning report on the need for better Customer Experiences but also the utter lack of alignment to make it happen. I am including all industries not just healthcare.

data crazy 10.7.14

Ok the sky is not falling, but the healthcare industry seems to be failing in the Customer Experience arena. Stepping back and looking at “Customer” as all consumers, we all know that because of consumerization, policy, technology, formulary, no-see policies and a highly conservative regulatory environment, you have a perfect storm of a demanding customer yet slow-moving organizations. Customers have high expectations, especially in health.

Here’s Google’s view of the multi-screen world and its impact:

Info.muilscreen world 10.25.14

Consider the true state of Doctors today…they are ALL Digital Docs!

Dr 3 screen world 10.26.13It is not that hard for a client to say: we need to have mobile responsive sites (less than 30% do!), an iPad eDetail, strong Search and maybe even consider using landing pages. All good. Now, let’s get out of the playground into the real arena. None of this digital work matters unless the Customer Experiences are meaningful and satisfying — and all connected with a smart measurement plan. Let’s focus on the trials and tribulations of great Customer Experience. Here is what the CMO Council gathered in  a Q2, 2014 Report:

eMktrMktng Execs Cust 10.26.14Sure looks like no one is really got a plan in place. Between “No” and “Strategy in Development” you account for nearly 70% of those senior marketing executives surveyed. That has got to have a lot of high-salary, high-responsibility executives worried.

eMktr Multiscreen 10.25.14

Yet these same folks — the one’s with budget authority, whose jobs are on-the-line, know (86%) that a multi-screen experience will be “Very Important.” That means that even those in the “No” strategy group know what is breathing down their neck. 2016 is not that far off.

So, what, according to this CMO Council Report is holding everyone back?

EMktr Cust Exp alignment 10.26.14

As always, it comes down to leadership. Over 40% state the highest barrier is “Aligning departments and priorities.” This astounds me because while the sky is not falling, as Chicken Little feared, these senior marketing executives know what is going on around them, know what it coming, know what needs to be done, and yet…not happening. Ok, maybe as of 2016 it is falling. Bury your head? Have more meetings?

Chkn little 10.26.14

I have a personal example from a recent project. A company was going from one billion-dollar brand to having to sell five different treatments — in one year! Yet no one in senior management was in-charge of how to do put this strategy in place to align Sales and Marketing. Not a VP in site! The reality of a portfolio of products had not become a company mission, but rather a disconnected scramble for each brand to have its own plan, tactics, different and uneven Customer Experiences. Same old Brand playbook. For the small group of specialists that covered these disease states, it could be utter confusion.

Though slightly tangential, many Pharma companies are moving to a more vertical disease state focus — oncology, immuno-therapies, neuroscience, orphan categories like PAH, gastro, diabetes. With customers starting to realize the identity of the companies behind their treatments, Payers wanting to negotiate at a more volume-basis, you now reach the tipping point for senior management: do we start taking a portfolio approach and move away from our brand-centric focus? Is is smarter to not compete with each other for the same customers, often stumbling over ourselves in competing for Search Terms, or site traffic or having multiple Db with different opt-ins? Or do we take a House of Brands approach?

Go back to the CMO Council Survey: if alignment is the greatest challenge, the only answer is senior management agreeing to a portfolio approach. A Chief Customer Officer.

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