“Every customer experience is a brand moment of truth.”

Distance between creative and customer experience

The reason why I like Google’s term “ZMOT” — the Zero Moment of Truth — is because I really do visualize that the distance of most prospect’s initial moment-of-truth with a company has collapsed to effectively zero. It’s the distance someone’s finger needs to travel to click (or tap) on a link that holds forth a promise, explicitly or implicitly.

Does your brand live up to that promise? In all channels, digital and physical?

The report on CMO struggles by the Economist Intelligence Unit that I discussed earlier this week — noting that technical expertise is more important than agency experience for CMOs today — had a sidebar on “rebooting around customer experience” that eloquently speaks to this renewed focus on the customer with an interview with Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.

“It is all marketing, all the time,” said Steve. “Every single customer experience is a brand moment of truth. If we create an aspiration through our advertising, and a customer walks into a store that does not deliver on that promise, that reflects on marketing.”

“The customer experience is first and foremost,” he continued to emphasize. “We are focusing more resources than we ever have before on the customer experience.”

Steve served as the company’s CMO for five years before being promoted to the role of CEO in January. He’s since formed a dedicated customer experience team, and they’re doing things like equipping dealers with iPads loaded with custom apps and videos. “By putting those interactive tools into the hands of our dealers’ sales staffs,” he said, “They can do a better job articulating the product and brand promise.”

“It’s not about the new technology,” he sagely insists. “It is about the impact of the technology on the customer experience.”

That last quote should be the motto of every marketing technologist everywhere.

It’s definitely worth reading the full report.

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3 thoughts on ““Every customer experience is a brand moment of truth.””

  1. Scott this is a terrific post
    Technology is clearly changing the way that consumers engage with brands and there is a clear convergence now between creative and the experience that is delivered. It is no longer enough to identify and deliver the right message to the right consumer at the right time there is also now a need to make sure it is delivered in the right way.
    Looking forward to future updates.

  2. It used to be that customer service defined the customer experience. Now, thanks to technology, we can do so much more to enhance the customer experience. Every interaction, regardless of online, in person, over the phone, etc. is an opportunity for the customer to create an impression. That’s what Jan Carlzon was thinking back in the early 1980’s when he came up with the Moment of Truth concept. It is just as relevant, if not more so, today.

  3. Agree with Steve Cannon’s comment (CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA). It’s a pity he isn’t also reposnsible for Mercedes Benz UK. Based on my experiences here I will NEVER buy Mercedes Benz agin.

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