The Experience Needs to be Relevant and Differentiated

“Everything is about experience” tweeted Altimeter’s Brian Solis.

Indeed, the old order of marketing has been broken. We as consumers are evolving and undifferentiated experiences result in indifference or disregard.

“Every day the average American is exposed to countless thousands of commercial messages around the clock. To marketers’ chagrin, consumers have learned to tune out most of these messages. Over the last decade there has been a steady decline in all response rates,” says John Kottcamp, an executive for the marketing firm Tahzoo.

“The moral of the story is simple.  If the experience is not relevant and differentiated, people simply ignore it.”

In order to be relevant, a marketer must understand the individual — what are his interests and behaviors? Without this type of insight it would be difficult to be really relevant. Different types of customer data can gather such insights on various segments of consumers. For example, Target can pinpoint with great accuracy whether a woman is pregnant just by her shopping behavior (stored by her membership or credit card information). By sending relevant coupons and promotions to these women, Target can easily grab their attention. Of course, there are ethical questions to such tracking of individual information. Many women would not be happy knowing that a store has figured out that they are pregnant and therefore are sending targeted ads to her. Nonetheless, being relevant requires some sort of tracking and understanding of customer information.

The social data set offers very accurate insights to behavioral segments of consumers that doesn’t have to be at an individual level. Social data, if properly applied, can also give informative insights to how consumers are walking through the customer journey with a particularly product or brand. Therefore, proper usage of the social data set can be one of many ways to be more relevant.

As marketers are becoming more and more interested in selling products and building brand advocates globally, language is another really important element to relevance to consumers. Effective localization will become a more and more critical part of customer experience. In order to truly address global customer experience, marketers will need both the ability to gather personalized insights on consumer segments (or individuals) — as well as an understanding of how to strategize and execute properly on localization.

To provide a differentiated experience, marketers must be able to engage through an Omni-channel approach. Instead of siloed campaigns, marketers need to think of the experience as a connected series of touchpoints, that is not over until the customer has gotten what they want.

“Consumers are constantly engaging with brands, each other and the world, using multiple devices and increasingly doing so while mobile,” Kottcamp says.

“It is not enough to simply find the right person, you have to engage with them on their terms; when they are ready and when the context is right. It is the added dimensions of time and context that separate success from failure in a world with no off switch.”