"One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men," Elbert Hubbard said. A similar analogy can be made about experience marketing: You are, in effect, building a customer-centric marketing machine that will multiply the results of your efforts.

But what ingredients will enable you to make a measurable contribution to sales while optimizing your marketing spend?

As digital has evolved across many channels, most organizations have introduced different technologies for email, social, websites, analytics, and so on. A scattered technology landscape means siloed data at each point of interaction, creating a disconnected customer experience. Unless the points of interaction and data become integrated, we "forget" all data about our customers from past interactions.

For example, when I bought the iPhone 6 Plus, I used my iPhone 5 to visit Apple.com. After 20 minutes of zooming and shrinking—the website wasn't optimized for mobile—I managed to order it. When I went back to the homepage, I saw a promotion to buy an iPhone 6 Plus. When I received my order email, I clicked to find more promotions for the iPhone 6 Plus. Five days later, I received yet another email promoting the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

That experience could have been made much more relevant if Apple had sent me emails about getting the most out of the new iPhone and suggested certain accessories to consider. Instead, it was a disconnected experience and a missed opportunity for Apple to build a better relationship and sell me more merchandise.

As consumers, we find such experiences frustrating. We don't want to be marketed or sold to; we want relevant information from companies we trust. However, most of us have disconnected experiences when we interact with a brand.

So, what can we do as marketers to create more connected experiences for our customers?

We need to go from inside-out digital marketing to outside-in, cross-channel experience marketing, which focuses on the customer's needs and intent. (For more on this topic, check out the Marketing Smarts podcast with Lars Petersen.)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Lars Birkholm Petersen

Lars Birkholm Petersen is VP of business optimization services at Sitecore, a customer experience management platform provider.

LinkedIn: Lars Birkholm Petersen

Twitter: @larsbirkholm