OK, marketers. We’ll spare you the ICYMI.

To be honest, the acronym for “In Case You Missed It” leaves me anxious. How is it possible to not miss things? Isn’t it normal for busy professionals to miss things on a daily basis, what with the demands of that insidious time suck called life?

As Elizabeth Minkel once wrote, “ICYMI makes staying connected feel like a constant game of catch-up, like finding things at a slower pace warrants some kind of disclaimer.”

So we’ll skip the acronymn and, for the sake of clarity and brevity, this tangential banter as well. Let’s just get to the point.

We have work to do … and who knows what we’ll miss if we dawdle.

Skip Delight: Just Meet My Expectations

Pick a day, any day, and see which brand just imploded under the pressure to simply do what customers expect. But wait, wait, wait. Isn’t it the Age of the Customer?

  • If everything revolves around the customer, then why are so many customer interactions unpleasant, unproductive, and likely to provoke a rise in blood pressure?
  • Why is every purchase, potential purchase, use of a purchase, return of a purchase, or attempt to resolve a problem with a purchase so infinitely complicated?

In You’ll Never ‘Delight’ Your Customers (Unless You Do This) you’ll learn few organizations have a coherent strategy that aligns customer experience with business strategy and then extends that strategy across departments.

Data, Instinct and Shades of Gray

Within the past decade, data-driven everything has become the holy grail of business operations. Now even people who still value their instincts are likely to pretend otherwise. But hold on.

“While data marketing might be the best thing since sliced bread, the human factor still remains one of the most critical parts,” according to Elissa Fink, chief marketing officer at Tableau.

The key is balance. Rather than argue the merits of data over instinct, channel your inner zebra — and remember things are rarely black or white. That’s the premise of In an Era of Data-Driven Everything, Embrace Your Inner Zebra.

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Smart Marketers Have AI in Their Future

How can you address the demands of connected customers who expect personalized and consistent experiences across every channel?

According to the fourth annual Salesforce State of Marketing report, creating customer journeys augmented by artificial intelligence (AI) is a good option.

Customers expect consistent, personalized experiences — and their loyalty is on the line. Read more about the Salesforce report in Salesforce: Marketers Should Use AI, More MarTech to Reach Customers.

Coffee, Tea or a Kick in the Knee

I’ve often wondered if US airlines quietly adopted a quote from philosopher and mystic J.G. Bennett as their mission statements. ”If you have an unpleasant nature and dislike people, this is no obstacle to Work.” That pretty well sums up the state of air travel, right?

Why Airlines Should Care About Customer Experience (Even If They Dislike People) acknowledges airlines have less than desirable reputations about the service they offer. But “airlines that subject travelers to cramped seating, hidden fees, overbooked flights, unfriendly staff, excessive 800-line hold times, and excruciatingly restrictive mileage award redemption policies are on a dangerous path,” new research suggests.

Airlines actually get “a lift from a great customer experience,” according to Watermark Consulting, a customer experience consultancy.

Location, Location, Location

Location-based marketing can deepen your relationships with your customers by offering them personalized, relevant experiences. It can also drive revenue and increase your operational efficiency. But many marketers remain wary about embracing the potential of location-based marketing, according to recent research from Forrester (registration required).

Many marketers believe getting accurate location data is too complicated. Even so, they acknowledge it increases ad relevancy and drives consumers in-store. Read more in Location Data Elevates Brand Experience – for Marketers Brave Enough to Use It.

Noreen Seebacher is the content evangelist at Arke, where she researches, writes and continues her long career in news reporting as a brand journalist. Noreen lives in Beaufort, South Carolina with her husband, her dog and four formerly homeless cats.