The rise of the experience marketer

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Cat Mules

Experience marketing is on the rise. Do we have what it takes to do it well?

There’s a powerful trend towards experience marketing. It can be seen in gadgets that talk to us, and impact our moods and lifestyles. It can be seen with the power of 5G, enabling professionals to power up their offerings with more instant, data led opportunities, and consumers to select product and service pathways to minute detail. All of this change begs a question: What is important about experience marketing?

Customer experience at the centre

The evidence stacks up that modern consumers want more connected experiences. They want seamless engagement, to understand products and services, to be treated authentically, and to be challenged with new innovations. They want businesses to help them do it.

Momentum Worldwide’s 2019 global ‘We Know Experiences’ research found 86% of respondents want businesses to take action and help lift their mood, and 83% believe it’s important that businesses work to take away stress or anxiety. This is a marked difference from findings seven years earlier, when just a fragment of consumers believed their mood could even be altered by a business.

However, impactful experience marketing will not be about escapism. Today, the study found 80% of people desire to discover new opportunities with help from business, and 85% want to be challenged by business to explore new things. What’s clear is that it is not enough that businesses watch from the sidelines; to satisfy people’s demands for immersive experiences, participation and co-creation are essential.

Alongside this shift of mindset, it’s clear that the global ‘experience economy’ is growing, equipped with business people, creatives and onsellers, often in partnership, working to grow and innovate faster than ever.

Some New Zealand companies are already clearly tuned into customers’ demands, including data partnership of the NZ Transport Agency with councils to optimise the transport experience, and Z Energy with its pre-purchase and petrol purchase by numberplate capabilities.

It’s a trend that’s long been in motion. In 2015, Gartner predicted customer experience would be the new market battlefield, with three internaitonal trendsetters.  Lyft‘s encouragement their drivers and passengers share their stories on social media, to help them feel like they’re part of one big team. Netflix autoplaying next episodes, starting after the opening credits. Zappos‘s going to three competitors’ sites to help customers locate what they want to buy if they don’t have it.

Experience marketing is not a simple case of brands just providing an escape. After all, people usually are aware what they want to gain from engaging with a product or service. It will ideally provide positive customer experiences which will promote loyalty, and at the same time help you retain customers and encourage brand advocacy.

The privacy paradox 

Even though consumers want privacy, they also want efficiency and positive experiences. We’re uploading pictures of our personal lives to social media, having our faces scanned for instant password entry, and making automatic payments.

Alongside customers requests for more immersive experiences, they also require trusting experiences with brands. Consumers want to know their data is in the right hands.

Questions of privacy can produce totally different results depending on demographics and country, but the biggest factor by far is the phrasing of the question. The only thing that jilts us more than irrelevant advertising is the idea that we’re being surveilled without our consent.

Privacy is the big question for people this year. Who owns my data? How can I trust them? How can I opt in or out? What do I get in return?

Even more important, big picture, are for our world. What data is really important to keep the market moving? How much and what kinds of targeting are beneficial?

Tech tools to live by

Experience marketing refers to how a business engages with customers along all parts of their buying journey – it’s the sum total of the interactions a customer has with your brand. There are important decisions to make at each touchpoint, which influence how successful your business will be a result.

All of this becomes possible that innovators fulfil consumers’ desire to take control of their experiences with the right tools at hand. The modern technology marketplace, fuelled by its technology innovators, is providing those experiences. It’s fast becoming key to the sustained growth of any business.

Yet another finding is that businesses are worried about keeping up. Bold redesigns are needed to meet new needs of convenience and delight. Companies are recommended to break away from incremental feature-driven innovation, toward delivering innovative transformational customer experiences.

The trend towards experience marketing is not limited to specific features or even industries. It’s a culture-wide phenomenon that will have growing relevance to us all.

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Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.

Data, AI, BI & ML

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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the terms of computer science. Artificial Intelligence : The word Artificial Intelligence comprises of two words “Artificial” and “Intelligence”. Artificial refers to something which is made by human or non natural thing and Intelligence means ability to understand or think. There is a misconception that Artificial Intelligence is a system, but it is not a system. AI is implemented in the system. There can be so many definition of AI, one definition can be “It is the study of how to train the computers so that computers can do things which at present human can do better.” Therefore it is an intelligence where we want to add all the capabilities to machine that human contain. Machine Learning : Machine Learning is the learning in which machine can learn by its own without being explicitly programmed. It is an application of AI that provide system the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience. Here we can generate a program by integrating input and output of that program. One of the simple definition of the Machine Learning is “Machine Learning is said to learn from experience E w.r.t some class of task T and a performance measure P if learners performance at the task in the class as measured by P improves with experiences.”

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