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What’s the difference between CX and Marketing Technology?

"Marketing is about using the customer to solve business problems, while CX is using the business to solve customer problems."

While this statement grossly oversimplifies the respective disciplines, it serves to highlight a fundamental difference in the practical perspectives of both practitioners and platforms from these two fields.

For Australian retailers, the CX function often sits as a sub-service of one of many existing departments like marketing, retail operations, customer service or even IT.

It rarely gets its own seat at the executive table, even though many a CEO will tout the "customer-centricity" of their organisation.

As far as technology platforms go, it's easy to spot the difference between marketing versus CX offerings by assessing how many features of the platform serve internal stakeholders as opposed to the customer or their representatives in service and store.

Look out for trigger phrases like: drive behaviour, segmentation, personas, and acquisition, as these all indicate that the tool is focused primarily on marketing outcomes over customer experience ones.

A CX platform should create utility, convenience and long term value for the brand’s known customers.

This is done through the collection of information about individual behaviours and preferences over time, ensuring that the result of that shared information is available to the customer and the people that serve them, at the most appropriate time and via the right channel, to facilitate an even better experience next time by simply picking up where you left off.

Good CX platforms disproportionately focus on features that will be valued by the top 20% of these known customers, recognising that this small group of customers usually equate to more than half of a brand’s revenue.

Marketing technology can be amazing at moving the needle when fuelled with accurate data, wielded by an experienced practitioner, and fed with an appropriate budget to buy or rent the attention of your desired market to solve for today’s opportunity - but it's very much a pay-to-play game and most of the ‘value’ spent in this arena is not retained within the customer-brand realm.

You only have to look at the profits of the digital ad monoliths to see where that value is going.

As marketplaces continue to eat up more of the retail pie each year, those brands that have chosen to continue their ‘direct to consumer’ endeavours, this ability to pick up where you left off with those few remaining customers that have decided, for whatever strange reason, to have a direct and consensual information sharing arrangement with you is vital.

If they are treated like just another vanity KPI in an email database, they will quickly revert to the marketplace giants that do a better job of that kind of thing.

Here are a few of the cornerstone CX initiatives that customer-centric brands should have in market already (or it least well already well underway).

Loyalty Programs: Whether you call it a loyalty program, customer incentives, or a membership, having a reason for your customers to identify themselves at every touchpoint is a must.

It means regardless of the channel they choose to browse or purchase through, you can capture their information for their benefit and yours.

Clienteling: Arm your retail team with the information they need to provide an exceptional and personalised customer experience, including purchase history, size and style preferences, and multi channel wishlists.

Staff can record what the customer browsed or tried in store for later reference, as well as access customer service history, receipts for exchanges, and rewards/credits available.

Customer apps: Deliver additional value to your customers unique to the app experience to make it worth using and create interactions between themselves and your brand.

While your brand website is all about you, an app is all about them - and their relationship with you.

eReceipts: Electronic receipts bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds.

When linked to a profile, they also act as a purchase history proving valuable for both the brand to see what the customer has previously purchased and when, as well as the customer for fast future reference and access.

Consider issuing receipts for all experiences where value is created, for example after a changeroom session showing all the things your customers tried and liked but didn’t buy.

CSAT and NPS: An ‘always-on’ approach to capturing customer satisfaction and Net Promoter scores for your actual known customers can easily be achieved alongside the other strategies supplied above.

Never pay for mystery shoppers or anonymous NPS survey tools again, as your own customers would relish the chance to provide you with feedback when it mattered to them the most - which is when it should matter to you.


The Omneo CX Suite is a platform built over the last decade to help modern retailers deliver exceptional experiences to their best customers. The article above names just a few of the scenarios where Omneo can be used to push your CX strategies forward quickly and effectively.

Contact Danny Phillips at Omneo 0412258334 or hello@omneo.io if you’d like to know more.

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