Marketers and CX professionals need to be nimble in today’s environment. They can have strategies that they fully expect to work based on their research as well as their background and experience in the business.

But sometimes those strategies don't work. Perhaps the most infamous example was the “New Coke” attempt at rebranding Coca-Cola in 1985. But there have been several others, ranging from ads or campaigns that were biased against one or more demographic groups to strategies that focused on the company, not the customer.

Marketing and CX mistakes are bound to occur, but just as the Coca-Cola Company went back to “old” Coke relatively quickly, the key to minimizing any failures is to recognize any issues quickly and reacting to correct them, as in the following three examples:

Increasing Customer Conversions

Many companies can generate initial interest in a product or service, but final sales lag. Sometimes that conversion failure is due to friction on the website, the buyer just simply changing his or her mind or it could indicate a change is needed in the marketing approach.

“Our core product, online workers’ compensation insurance, has always appealed to small businesses that need to get covered quickly,” said Matt Hovis, Employers Insurance CMO. “We noticed that our product was especially attractive to those in the light construction and janitorial services industries who often needed to get proof of coverage before bidding on bigger projects.”

But those prospects would need customized Certificates of Insurance (COIs), which weren’t initially offered via the Employers Insurance ecommerce portal, resulting in the delay in obtaining these certificates via human agents. The company noticed a significant decline in click-throughs and follow-ups via other channels when it came to this step in the process.

“We built a tool in the customer portal that allows policyholders to generate their own certificates of insurance and download them on the fly any time they want,” Hovis said. “This had the added benefit of reducing our inbound calls and emails from customer requests. The self-generating certificates of insurance have been such an unexpected benefit to our customer base that we now market it as a primary offering.”

Related Article: Is Marketing Missing the Customer Experience Revenue Opportunity?

Marketing Automation Free Trial: Support Beyond Free Trials

Keap executives initially thought “leaving people alone” to “get to value” would be the ideal way to drive conversions from free trials.

“Our customers are self-directed and want to experience the [sales and marketing automation] software before committing to it,” explained Keap CMO Kirsten Markson. “Offering a free trial is the right way to get them excited to get into the software and try it out. However, what we were doing was dropping them into the experience without a guide. It wasn’t working — we were not providing a CX for them.”

Most customers didn’t explore many of the software’s features during the trial, so many left when the trial was over, according to Markson. “We realized we weren’t creating a good customer experience for those users of the free trial and people need more curated advice to understand what to do and the right questions to ask. Our free trial journey was too focused on just getting them into the trial, but what we found was that they needed a real guide.”

Learning Opportunities

So, Keap started layering in more education and guidance in the form of email and in-app communications to educate about the power of automation and what to build. Additionally, “success advisers” reached out to the free trial customers to answer questions, while Keap added online events to provide one-on-one coaching and advice.

“Now our sales and marketing teams are working together to ensure that communications are more relevant, and people have both meaningful digital tools and humans to reach out to,” Markson said. “We had thought people wanted to be left alone in experiencing a free trial. But this was incorrect — they want a guide. We had to learn (the hard way) and pivot to create the best CX from the start.”

Reorganize Websites to Improve CX

Similar to Employers Insurance, Wiley found that its website was poor in terms of CX, with a significant percentage of website visitors unable to find what they needed, including not being able to purchase the desired products, said Shari Hofer, the company’s CMO. “So we sought to better understand and update their onsite experience.”

Wiley analyzed visitor behavior and conducted satisfaction surveys to better understand what customers wanted.

“First, we changed the navigation to better match their intended activities and the associated journeys,” Hofer said. “Then we reorganized the content and navigation, updating the visual identity and tone of voice as part of our recent rebranding. We knew the website would be critical to help us showcase who we are, how we deliver on our brand promise and enhance our customer experience."

The percentage of visitors who find what they need has risen, according to Hofer, and brand affinity increased by 6% since the team implemented these changes. "We are still on a journey to improve overall satisfaction and will continue to update our site to better meet the needs of our customers over the next few months," Hofer added.

Related Article: 4 Ways Brands Go Wrong With Digital Marketing Metrics

Final Thoughts on Making Marketing, CX Pivots

Sometimes a marketing or CX effort is so far off base, it needs to be scrapped entirely, but other times by making some changes, the effort can prove to be successful. The key to either is to carefully track results throughout the customer journeys and to interact with customers via surveys or some other outreach to learn why the campaign or strategy isn’t producing the expected results.