During our Tweet Jam this week we asked panelists “who owns the customer experience?” We learned that the customer experience is a holistic entity that can neither be owned nor borrowed. Instead, it’s like a garden, which can be tended to and cultivated by consumers, marketers, brands and really anyone who comes in contact with the consumer. While seeds can be planted, watered and weeds can be pulled -- the only way that the customer experience can truly flourish is if everyone comes together.

Teleco Marketers Want to Own the Customer Experience

If everyone and no one owns the customer experience, you can imagine my surprise when I read that a new study sponsored by HP and conducted by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council found that “Marketers Are Enthusiastic About Owning Customer Experience.”

The report, Profitability From Subscriber Acuity, focuses on telecommunications industry marketers and investigates where and how new thinking around data, analytics and the utilization of actionable customer intelligence can further monetize mobile subscribers.

According to the study, 44 percent of telco marketers are actively exploring the top partnerships (with Google, Skype and Facebook, for example) and revenue-sharing opportunities, while 31 percent are identifying potential revenue streams from new products or services that can be offered to OTT players, including subscriber analytics and behavioral insights.

Furthermore, all the marketers surveyed indicated that they have oversight across the majority of customer touch points that impact customer experience.

Because these stats represent an evolution of the marketer's role leading the charge for new market and revenue opportunities, the authors of the study conclude that marketing has been tasked with owning the customer experience and driving bottom-line revenue improvements.

What Does CXM Ownership Look Like?

If this is true, what does ownership of the customer experience look like?

The study shows that the areas of functional and strategic oversight that are within the purview of the marketing department of the CMO included:

  • Product Marketing (90%)
  • Branding (87%)
  • Market Research (83%)

Yet, it’s clear that digital marketers do not own the tools needed. Thirty-eight percent said that they provide input and influence decision, but are not final decision makers when it comes to the assessment, investment and application of new technologies, platforms or technology solutions, while 24 percent said although they are the key decision maker, the budget is held by IT.


Additionally, the marketers surveyed said that even though they have oversight across the majority of customer touch points, they still don’t have access to the following intelligence:

  • Overview of subscriber experience (53%)
  • Customer lifetime value (53%)
  • Customer’s future plans (when and where they will travel, new jobs, etc.) (48%)

Co-Exist With the Customer Experience

While this might indicate that telco marketers are becoming more involved in managing the customer experience, in no way does it suggest that they are “owning it.” Furthermore, based on the discussions from Wednesday’s Tweet Jam, it may behoove telco marketers to evolve their role away from ownership and towards cultivating a culture that shares the customer experience across all touch points and not just those within the jurisdiction of the marketing department.

It’s great to see that marketers, in all types of industries, are becoming more aware of how they influence the customer experience. However, they are setting themselves up for failure by assuming that they can own it.