An article by Jacob Baude in FastCo last week (read it here) got me thinking about how marketing has changed in the last few years.
Until recently, everyone seemed to be talking about engagement and how we needed to entertain our customers, especially on social media and br and platforms. Now it seems to be that customer experience, which of course includes the web, is what really matters. In my opinion, I think marketing hasn’t really changed at all, as it is still about giving the customer what he wants.
One of the basic rules of business success is to be available wherever and whenever your customer wants to buy, ideally at a price he can both afford and thinks provides him with great value for money. Simple. So what is all this talk about experience and engagement? Let me give you my perspective, but I would love to hear yours.
Ever since the web has fascinated us with the opportunity of connecting with potential customers worldwide, companies have tried to leverage it for their br ands. All major br ands now have their own website, if not several, with separate ones for each of their variants, promotions and events. I remember doing an analysis of a client’s websites and finding that 90% of them had less than 20 visitors a month! Think about it. Would a br and manager normally be able to advertise to only 20 customers? Of course not; advertising ROI is calculated in OTS (opportunities to see) and there are usually minimums set for the chosen media to be approved.
So how come organisations are spending thous ands if not millions on developing websites for 20 people? In most cases because they are answering to their egos and not to the customers’ need for engagement.
When developing a website, it therefore makes sense to underst and why you are doing it. What is your customer interested in learning, not what you want to tell him. What excites, fascinates or surprises your customer about your br and or segment? Is there something he would like to know or share with his fellow category users? Is he looking for information or entertainment, or both? Answers to these questions will help you to identify whether or not your br and needs a website and what should be included in it. Of course, it also assumes that you know your customer deeply, but that is another story. (see our posts on targeting for help on that topic!)
The article I mentioned earlier refers to the five major types of experience that form the basic building blocks of the experiential code set. They include “sensations” or poly-sensoriality, which Martin Lindstrom made famous with his book Br and Sense, which was published already more than 7 years ago! Apart from a few scratch stickers for smelling the perfume of some products and a h andful of food companies making a few r andom new product gestures to stimulate more of our senses, it’s a pity that it didn’t strike a chord with more marketers.
I think this is a real lost opportunity, if only from my own personal, single consumer perspective. Aren’t poly-sensual products more fun? Isn’t that what a great experience is all about? Being satisfied with the product or service purchased? Feeling that it was worth its price; that we get pleasure every time we use or consume it? Hopefully modern cognitive science has indeed given us the keys to the kingdom by revealing how our brains use physical experiences to make sense of everything, and hopefully marketers will now be ready to incorporate it into the way they satisfy people’s needs and desires.
After all, in the end, it is what we as marketers are basically selling, an engaging experience. One that delights, surprises (positively) and brings enjoyment. If all of these can be made bigger and better by adding more sensations or the other experience types Baude refers to in his post, then I for one will only be happier. Won’t you be too?
Find more ideas about innovation and how to better satisfy your customers on our website: https://www.c3centricity.com/home/vision/
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