A total of 71% of CEOs say that omnichannel fulfillment is a top priority, according to a PWC survey. Moreover, based on my recent conversations with more than 100 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, omnichannel is a priority beyond retail for both B2B and B2C businesses.

Most of those CEOs see omnichannel as a critical success factor for customer engagement. That's not to say the retail aspect doesn't matter but that those CEOs understand that looking beyond the transaction to the actual interaction is what will keep customers coming back to their product or service.

However, finding the right ways to engage with customers today is harder than ever. No longer do we try to get things done in our professional or personal lives using one path—it is far too high-paced and competitive out there to limit our options. And customers are choosing the path of least resistance to get what they need.

If your product or service happens to be on that path of least resistance, you will gain new business. If your product or service is not on that path, you risk falling behind your competitors.

But executive teams are challenged with finding that path of least resistance and achieving omnichannel engagement reality for several reasons, not the least of which is culture and structure. Many companies are built on a brand or product-centric structure. Employees are motivated to live and die by the brand.

So, how do executives think about resorting their marketing mix to put the client at the center? Here are tips and actual quotes from the C-suite.

1. Start with customer experience

"I asked my team to build a differentiated experience for the customers, and they spent weeks obsessed with the latest digital, social trend," one CEO said. "When we sat down to look at it, the experience didn't make any sense. Though it was cool, it was completely ineffective."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Jane Hiscock

Jane Hiscock is president and founder of Farland Group, a marketing consulting company that specializes in convening corporations and their most important stakeholders to transform their customer engagement strategies.

LinkedIn: Jane Hiscock