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This year is changing the way marketers approach the customer experience, and that includes evolving how it’s measured.In conversation with Adweek’s emerging tech reporter Patrick Kulp at our NexTech 2020 virtual summit, Jennifer Chase, svp of global marketing at analytics and artificial intelligence firm SAS, discussed how brands should go beyond attribution to modernize CX measurement by considering factors like data and AI-produced analytics.Here are Chase’s tips for analyzing customer data, measuring campaign success and approaching engagement metrics in the future.Editor’s note: SAS sponsored this panel.Customer data is three-dimensionalBrand marketers should analyze customer data from the perspectives of person, platform and device, Chase advised.“The challenge is how do you interpret the massive amount of information that’s coming in?” she said. “You need to rethink how you’re collecting, analyzing and acting on it.”Marketers need to consider is the impact of artificial intelligence and smart machines on customer decisions. Citing a research study SAS sponsored in 2019, Chase said by 2030, 69% of decisions made during real-time customer engagement will be completed by smart machines.“That’s so important when it comes to understanding agility and automation,” she said. “You have to be able to agilely collect that data, automate those processes and get the right insights out, so you can create that right customer experience.”Don’t measure success via independent data or cost per clickChase said marketers should avoid using independent data to validate campaigns or channels they oversee, and avoid overanalyzing CPC performance.“It’s really not great for articulating the overall value of marketing,” she said. “If you’re sitting down with your C-suite and talking about the value that marketing is bringing to the business, you really need to take a step back and look at a more unified customer experience and insight point of view.”Develop a holistic approach to CX measurementIn 2020 and beyond, Chase said marketers need to look across “brand, demand and customer engagement” metrics to measure success. She noted this mentality needs to extend from the C-suite to sales executives to the marketing team and other company departments.“Marketers are in such a unique spot right now. We have an opportunity to help our brands better connect with customers,” she said.Chase also explained that 2020 has presented an opportunity for marketers to build their skills. To improve skills at SAS, the company launched an internal “lifelong learning for marketing” program.“We recognize the role of marketing has changed more in the last two years than probably the last 10,” she said. “Add 2020 to the mix, and it’s even more significant.”Engage customers in an emotional wayThe pandemic has affected how all brands handle marketing efforts and customer experience. SAS was forced to pivot its annual user conference to a virtual gathering, and is thinking about physical-virtual hybrid events in a post-Covid-19 world.But when it comes to customer engagement, Chase said brands need to focus on connecting emotionally and personally.“I know as a brand, we need to engage with our customers in a more personal way and develop a relationship,” she said. “We cannot have a sales-first mentality.”

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