Good medicine can taste bitter. However, organizations can do some introspection, preparation and planning to sweeten the final digitalization outcome

Amid inflationary pressures and the global economic downturn, business leaders are more inclined to cut costs and hold back on spending that they deem risky.

This mindset, though common and understandable, can hinder firms’ abilities to harness new growth opportunities.

While cutting costs in technology and marketing investments may be seen as sound financial decisions, today’s ‘experiential economy’ dictates the imperative of investing in customer-centric measures, including customer data platforms and omnichannel management platforms.

Rather than downsizing their marketing and data investments to withstand inflationary and recessionary threats, organizations should look to optimize their marketing and customer experience (CX) offerings to retain existing customers and gain new ones.

Data at the heart of customer centricity
Tracking and optimizing the customer journey to meet their unique preferences requires organizations to adopt a customer-centric mentality.

Brands and agencies may have a good sense of the messaging and content that resonates with target audiences, but they do not always fully grasp how their campaigns impact customers and potential customers at a granular level.

With a customer-centric approach, organizations equipped with the right technologies and digitalization will be intimately familiar with the buying process throughout the funnel—from the awareness phase to purchase. A robust customer data management platform can equip brands to achieve this while mapping out their customer journey and planning out customer experience strategies.

At the same time, it is imperative that organizations earn the of their customers who entrust personally identifiable information to them.

Types of customer journey maps 
Ensuring customer experiences meet demands for personalization requires organizations to leverage individual customer journey data.

Using current-state mapping, organizations can gain insights into each customer’s progress in their journey. By outlining how customers are interacting with the organization, leaders can then plan and effectively execute customer-centricity.

Some examples of different types of customer journey maps include:

    • Day-in-the-life navigations
      After purchasing a product, the actual experience of using it on a regular (assumed daily) basis lets customers experience many of its characteristics. This phase of mapping shows how customers use a product on a day-to-day basis; any joys and struggles faced in usage, and what inspires them to buy more (or less) of the product. but they take a broader look at the customer’s life outside of making purchases.
    • Future-state mapping
      The mapping strategy provides customer insights on how a producer should modify its strategy (from the customer’s point of view) for improving the customer experience in terms of utility, touchpoints, target client, and so on.
    • Service blueprints
      This mapping approach focuses on how an organization’s people work to offer the final product experience to customers. Employees are shadowed as they go about their daily work, encounter feedback about the products and how they manage the information to create a better experience.

There are differences between these three approaches, and it is important for firms to investigate which will work best for their goals and how far they are at implementing their customer experience measures. 

The ultimate objective is to create the most relevant message and experience that will reach out to the largest audience possible.

The good news is that organizations can harness best-in-class tools that empower the implementation of strategies at scale and with minimal cost. With the right data and infrastructure in place, brands can optimize their marketing and CX delivery to provide the best return on investment (ROI). This is where cost cutting in acquiring suitable technologies can actually hinder organizations.

To reduce the possibility of low ROI and to gain buy-in for budget allocations for tech investments to boost CX, organizations should evaluate their tech stacks to determine their purpose and business value. Knowing their infrastructure better can guide leaders in balancing the need to reign costs in with the need to invest for future-proofing and resilience.

Of course, when markets are relatively unstable, technology investments can feel like luxuries: however, there are solutions that—provided an organization has the right planning, strategies and level of digitalization in place—offer immediate returns on investment.

Once an organization has the best mix of customer-centric technologies in place, it will be able to achieve growth no matter the industry or economic conditions.