The Recurring C-Suite Dilemma: To Spend on Customer Experience or Marketing?

Contributor: Michael Cutbill
Posted: 08/04/2015
C-Suite Customer Experience  Marketing Spending
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CX expert Michael Cutbill wonders why it often feels like companies are happier to spend on promoting what they do, rather than on improving what they do.

We are all used to companies talking up the need to improve the experience of their customers. Presentations from the C-suite are littered with commitments to improve what customers actually go through. Why then, does it often feel like companies are happier to spend on promoting what they do, rather than on improving what they do?

SEE ALSO: Winning Customer Advocacy at the C-Level

The argument to prioritise CX spend over marketing spend looks most powerful in sectors where product differentiation is low. Take, for example, the energy sector. Nobody can tell who has provided the power that fires up the lights in the room, and nobody expects a better product from changing provider – it’s all about price and service.

It would surely make sense for the big power companies to spend on the nuts and bolts of customer experience – online journeys, price plans, telephone handling and the like – rather than to spend on brand advertising, which, when it comes to having a stand-out product, has no story to tell.

That’s the theory. To test what happens in practice, I had a look at another ad-addicted sector, UK price comparison sites and their biggest and most competitive product, car insurance.

This article covers:

  • Comparing insurance prices
  • Customer experience in the price comparison world
  • Advertising spend and CX spend
  • The dilemma facing the C-suite and how to move forward

Michael Cutbill
Contributor: Michael Cutbill