How to use search to enhance the customer experience

The role of the CMO is becoming ever more important in critical business decision making. In a recent article, The Drum urged today’s CMOs to become masters of the end-to-end customer experience journey.

But we’ve found that, worryingly, marketers are struggling to get the internal support they need to achieve this. In our Breathless Business 2017 survey, 62% of senior marketing and comms execs say their business doesn’t see marketing as strategic. Of the businesses that say they do, over half are investing in digital customer experiences as their number one priority.

The power of data

First and foremost, marketers want to be smarter at getting to know the customer. Which means strategic marketing departments are focusing their investments on analysis, forecasting and automation.

This explains the swing from creativity to technological skillsets in marketing. To better understand the customer, marketers have invested 25% more time than last year in enhancing their technology knowledge.

Crucial to this is search intelligence. The insights from search terms and behaviours can inform the entire buyer journey and improve the customer experience at every touchpoint with your brand.

We asked our Head of Digital, Matt Boakes, for some best practice tips to reap the rewards from your search strategy

  1. It’s not all about rankings

    “It’s remarkable how many brands still focus all their attention on improving their keyword rankings, which in turn increases the volume of traffic their site receives. While this is undeniably important, the second key factor is what the user gets when they do actually click through. It’s always worth remembering that, for every buyer persona and buying decision, there are key content types. Take time to review, audit and refresh content available online so that the consumer gets the answers to the questions they’re asking in the first place. This is just as important as getting up the search engine results page.”
  2. Crunch the numbers

    “With so many analytics and SEO tools out there, brands have a vast amount of data that, when combined with their own sales data, can provide invaluable insight into where they should focus their attention,” says Matt.

    “Let’s say, for example, that a company sells a 12-month contract subscription service (let’s call it Sub A) for £100 a month. They know from organic traffic that, for every 100 people that click through, they gain on average seven new customers. However, the company also sells another subscription service (Sub B) that is £250 a month. Based on their organic traffic data they know that, for every 100 people that click through, they gain four new customers. So, although Sub A is converting much better, the lifetime value for Sub B is much higher. With the above data in hand, before even looking at search engine optimisations, a key focus area has been identified that has a higher potential ROI to work around.”

Being creative just isn’t enough anymore in marketing – it’s becoming a numbers discipline too. Investing time in analysing data, from search right through to acquisition, is critical to better understanding the buyer journey and enhancing the overall customer experience.

Download our Breathless Business report to discover the pressing issues for marketing and comms execs in 2017.