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Build a Meaningful Connection with Consumers Thanks for reading DOCUMENT Strategy’s latest issue for Fall 2021. My name is Will Morgan, and I’m the newest member of the Editorial Advisory Board. While I started my career in the public sector working as a historian for the state of Mississippi, my time in the industry began at Keypoint Intelligence — InfoTrends where I served as an analyst in the Customer Communications and Business Development Advisory Service. In October of 2019, I joined Kaspar Roos as the Senior Research Analyst for Aspire and the first employee on this side of the Atlantic. What initially attracted me to Aspire was the way in which Kaspar codified the changes I had observed throughout my time studying the customer communications market. Over the last half century, we’ve seen customer communications gradually evolve from static messages toward bi-directional interactions. When discussing the market, I describe this dynamic as the evolution of CCM to CXM, or the practice of managing all interactions that a business conducts with its customers with the express goal of improving the perception that customers have about that business. Today, nearly two years of unprecedented market disruption have provided a unique opportunity for businesses to embrace the next generation of customer communications and achieve CXM maturity. To be sure, the recent surge in digital acceleration has captured a lot of headlines, but it has actually been in service of a more fundamental pivot from customer acquisition through market-



ing to customer retention through superior digital interaction. This effort to enhance customer retention is clearly reflected in the growing priority of omnichannel communications. As we reported in our research study entitled, Understanding the New Digital Reality, half of all enterprise respondents said they had cancelled, frozen or reduced marketing spend in response to COVID-19 compared to around one third who increased spending on customer communications. Nevertheless, while digital communications have become more prevalent, it would be a mistake to assume that consumers are satisfied with the status quo. Our survey found that even though the youngest consumers were the most likely to take steps toward digitization in the wake of the initial COVID-19 outbreak, they were the least pleased with their digital experience and the least likely to report that they plan to continue communicating with their providers this way in the future. Younger consumers’ desire for interaction and a seamless experience is at the root of their dissatisfaction with digital communications today. It’s for this reason I believe businesses looking for a way to differentiate themselves beyond digitization must work to leverage superior interactions to drive improvements in customer experience and build a meaningful connection with consumers. In other words, connecting with consumers will be the new normal.

president Chad Griepentrog publisher Ken Waddell managing editor Erin Eagan [ ] contributing editor Amanda Armendariz contributors HK Bain Scott Draeger Gautam Jit Kanwar Suyash Kaushik Patrick Kehoe Marty Pavlik Stephanie Pieruccini advertising Ken Waddell [ ] 608.235.2212 audience development manager Rachel Chapman [ ] creative director Kelli Cooke

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