Put experience at the heart of your marketing

Posted by Arne Hurty on Jun 27, 2015 10:26:03 PM

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How do you connect with your market? That's the question at the heart of marketing. There are many channels and methods to use, digital and otherwise. An explosion of digital devices and the arrival of IoT extends the opportunity to connect, expanding the digital realm. The so called traditional media of print, television, and radio continues to evolve, stubbornly refusing to accept obsolescence. Apps, websites, social media, events, commerce, all make for a complex landscape for a brand to participate in in a meaningful way.

Testing for results lets you navigate all this, of course. Test, measure, and throw your marketing spend at what works. It’s a defensible approach, it’s safe. But you might find yourself shortchanging inspiration and spontaneity if that's your only tactic. The “stuff” of engaging relationships is spontenaity, fun, challenge.

So here’s my case for a focus on user experience and why marketers need to pay close attention to it. Creating the experience, focusing on the experience, with the same heart and care to attention paid by performers, movie makers, or designers of amusement park rides, is how to really touch your market. Putting that exprience together, in a spirited and genuine way, the way a kid makes a greeting card for their mom, and creating your marketing from that perspective puts everything else into a better context. Now your marketing has solid feet to stand on you've dramatically reduced the risk of becoming mechanical and contrived, where decisions are guided soley by stats.

So how to go about this? Start by asking yourself ‘what can my customers feel?’ or ‘how excited can they get?’ or ‘what would make them happy and feel great for that matter?’ The answer isn’t going to come by looking at what banner pulled the best on an email campaign or what button color worked best on a landing page. That’s the fine tuning. That’s the second line of effort. Getting at the primary effort comes from thinking carefully about the people in your market and empathizing with them.

How good are you at getting into the head of your customer and understanding how they feel? Get real about that, get an understanding of them, and make sure those feelings are felt amongst your team. Then place this knowledge in the hands of a skilled user experience designer - the feelings of your customers combined with the experience you want them to have, that’s when the magic really happens. Design the experience and put yourself in it. Become your customer as wholeheartedly as an actor immerses themselves in their roles. Have fun!

Now you have a baseline to work with and a criteria by which to assess the marketing effort in any medium, on any device, in any environment. Your marketing has a sole.

Don’t hang your stats out to dry. Indeed, weigh everything against them. But now armed with the opportunity to, if even just in a test, to truly enhance the experience and take a genuine step in your relationship with your customers.

Topics: Branding, marketing strategies, customer experience, user experience


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