Why every CX strategy should start with a Commerce Alignment Workshop

Change is hard. In every business where we introduce business transformation there is simple yet significant reason why we succeed. 

The first thing we do is align key stakeholders around a common view of the customer, content, and measurement.


Here you see Marie Burns helping clients break down silos within the organization by sharing a clear alignment between cross functional teams,the customer mindset and how each stakeholder contributes equally to business objectives.  

So how is this accomplished?  


It all starts with our leading strategists like Nikki Jones who outlines the customer mindset in context of retailer calendars throughout the year.  

Each stakeholder takes ownership of their part of the map and Nikki leads them in through a workshop to gather consensus around business objectives, content and measurement.


The workshop starts with an overview of the customer landscape and open discussion to unlock free thinking about culturally relevant customer behaviors. 


Next Nikki guides each contributor to declare their customer focused mission and alignment to the brand’s common view of customer experience. 


Over the courses of the workshop, what unfolds is a inspiring and motivating evolution of teamwork where everyone begins to agree on a united approach to working together in new ways that transform the organization from a group of unique business leaders into a motivated team of customer centric gamechangers. 

It sounds simple.

Thats because it is! Yet many organizations fail to recognize the power of unified teamwork when it comes to rapid adaptation to a customer empowered economy.

 Take the first step.

Gather your team together and mutually agree on the desire of your customers and then unite as a group of transformative leaders who reimagine and create new and profitable experiences for both customers and your organization.  It can be done.

Agent of transformation : The CX leader’s most challenging role.

Most likely you’ve read your fair share of CX Marketing  whitepapers, attended several industry conferences and even run a few Human Centered Design, or Journey Mapping workshops, but all that knowledge and effort still doesn’t seem to accelerate change fast enough to keep up with annual sales projections - making it hard to keep justifying the investments of people and time into Agency or Enterprise Customer Experience programs.  This is when being an agent of transformation becomes a pivotal career choice.

 Making change happen means lots of teamwork.

Making change happen means lots of teamwork.

Steve Moon and I recently spoke at an annual, agencywide meeting about the role everyone plays in transformation of agency and client success. The message? “Transformation” isn’t the job of any single person or group. In fact, anyone and every should bring something unique and powerful to accelerate positive change.



CX Transformation means embracing game changers

As a leading agent of transformation, here you see Steve teaching class on a new Human Centered Design process. Steve likes to call it “Experience Design” and it’s an agency discipline that reimagines how cross functional teams work together in sprints, over the course of an advertising or marketing campaign. Each “Experience Design” sprint aligns customer desires with cultural relevance fueled by creative inspiration. This is where big ideas are born and in turn, make a financial difference to the bottom lines of our clients.

Moreover, our Experience Design practice, and process is the very glue that binds every campaign throughout the year into a holistic brand experience stitched together by data.

Essentially, Steve starts with integrated, annual CX planning informed by 1st, 2nd and 3rd party, aligned to corporate sales projections and departmentmental budgets. Then during each week of the year he focuses the creative team’s talent and effort on specific campaign/audience sprints, delivering relevant, personalized, content that accelerates transactions over the Living, Looking and Buying spectrums.

Each week, the campaign connects seamlessly with sales performance by delivering relevant and engaging experiences that address week over week / year over year comparable sales and content performance goals.

Easier said than done

Pioneering a entirely new way for creativity to be fueled by culture yet beholden to data is no easy feat in an industry where, for the last 100 years were all a bit more “art” than ”science”. Times have changed.

For you to be successful, you’ll need to find at least one visionary creative leader who can spark the right kind of inspiration across design, advertising and creative teams, and then, lead everyone toward a customer centric creative culture. 

Beyond that, CX transformation requires eager students and passionate teachers


Almost every day we teach CX methodologies like “Commerce Alignment” or “Customer Experience Accounting Practices” to groups of 1 to 250 agency, client or industry professionals who start to embrace change a culture using new customer centric perspectives. 

We encourage teams to collaborate, work in teams, break down silos and foster transparency Because at the end of the day, we all are agents of transformation, pioneering a way of doing business that finally connects creativity directly to revenue, profit and margin.

It truly is a brave new world and you're critical to to everyone's success. =)



What is a customer journey map anyway?

Developing a marketing strategy today is harder than ever now that everyone from your favorite blogger to fortune 500 companies using marketing automation and data as fuel for engagement. Adding to the confusion is that, almost overnight everyone started talking about something called “Journey Maps”. 


Let’s start with a quick peek into the confusion by looking at a Pinterest board I’ve been curating for the past few (click here for a library of journey maps)

As you can see, there are so many hypothetical journeys a customer can take, and yet none of them actually provide a customer feedback loop to tell you if “you’re doing it right.” 

Journey Mapping For Real

Using a tool like www.pointillist.com or www.thunderhead.com to complete your marketing strategy by providing a customer data feedback platform, delivers quantitative visualization of customer experiences and touchpoint attribution. 

 Quantitative Analysis of Customer Experience and Journey. 

Quantitative Analysis of Customer Experience and Journey. 

Marketplace Advantage and Operational Intelligence  

When you tackle customer journeys and experience paths after creating your content and creative work, (instead of prior)  the results are measurable, your insights valuable and business intelligence thrives. 

So what’s the answer? 

A Journey Map should/will quantify the experiences of every audience,, every person, and every touchpoint at scale. 

If you are drawing diagrams that are essentially “horizontal” renditions of old fashioned sales funnels then I suggest learning more about “Experience Design”,  “User Experience” and “Human Centered Design”.  All of these topics delve into emotional and physical connections to your customer and use diagrams to help facilitate developmental conversations.  These practices are also valuable to “Service Mapping” where the goal is to decrease friction between brands and customers.


Disclaimer: I am NOT compensated or sponsored by Pointillist or Thunderhead