Major agencies are ramping up customer experience (CX) offerings in what looks to be a wave of activity in the area designed to add another string to the bows of ad shops.
Two significant agencies have tied their colours to the CX mast this week, with Saatchi & Saatchi making the boldest move yet with the acquisition of CX specialist MercerBell.
Meanwhile, Starcom Mediavest followed its Media Futures report this week with a summit heavily pushing its CX agenda. It builds on the previous survey results that “to drive advertising growth, 51% of Australian businesses believe marketers will need to improve customer experience, but only a handful (6%) are currently implementing CX well”.
Both forays indicate a trend towards CX that is best reflected in the change to Suncorp’s lauded marketer Mark Reinke’s title this month. Appointed group executive of marketing in
December 2013, he now goes by the moniker chief customer experience officer. Reinke will lead Suncorp’s charge in developing its CX strategy.
Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Mike Rebelo says that CX has become critical to the way brands work in the modern media landscape.
“The experience that people have with brands these days is so critical to building a brand and building a business,” Rebelo told AdNews.
“You can’t just rely on acquisition and broadcast channels anymore. You have to be able to interact across all touch points.
“It’s a very interesting space which we didn’t have a capability in but now when it comes to our clients we can provide those experts in that space to work with us.”
It’s not the only agency to claim some ownership of the CX space.
M&C Saatchi-owned CRM agency LIDA launched last year, calling itself a customer engagement specialist. In addition, Lavender, which was known for its pedigree in digital and direct, repositioned itself as a ‘CX agency’ at the tail-end of 2015.
At the time, owner Will Lavender told AdNews CX was increasingly becoming the language of the C-suite.
“Customers don’t split up marketing from customer experience and I think even more so nowadays, people judge the experience of the brand, how intelligently they feel the brand treats them and the communication, all as one,” Lavender said.
“CX is a pervasive expression of where technology and marketing is heading and I think it’s just something that is going to become more and more important.”
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