The Age Of Experience In Marketing And Sales
We’re living in an age where organisations need to look beyond the aesthetics of a product or the practicalities of services, and where audience engagement and fidelity count more than benefits or features alone.
Nowadays, consumers expect greater interaction, and the capability to influence suppliers as opposed to solely being sold products. Why? Because consumers value experience over all else, the main component in today’s economy lies in delivering true differentiation that matters.
Daunting? It is, but not exactly. It’s easier, today than ever to influence, and drive audience connection through experiences. The key to making it the true focus of innovation is to capture insights and expertise from across an entire organisation’s ecosystem. Crafting the right consumer experience requires collaboration between all departments within a business and modern technology, namely intelligent automation. Connecting people, data, and ideas is essential to driving loyalty, value, and engagement from a company’s audience.
What’s an experience?
It starts with promises and the anticipation of something to happen with the purpose to leave an impression.
A great example is Eastman Kodak which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012 and sold off its patents before reappearing in 2013 as a digital imaging company. It doubled its production of still films between the years 2015 and 2019 due to an increasing demand from its audience particularly driven by a generation of young photographers, whose parents grew up with films, wanting to revive Eastman Kodak’s legacy due to the fascination the brand represented. What is behind that fascination? The experience it provided and the melancholy it left on its trail.
A brand’s consumers enjoy the process of feeling included and more often than not, strive to provide feedback, feel the absolute need to share opinions, and be part of a community. This unique type of affection stems from the desire to control experiences, outcomes, and the need to personalise the journeys they are led to go through.
Making experiences effortless
Creating compelling experiences for the audience, while striking the right balance between values, and capitalising on exponential growth, are all essential to a company’s success, the crucial factor being the ability to put together memorable encounters between a brand and its consumers.
Another great example is Push for Pizza, launched in 2014, which is a one-touch pizza delivery application that allows users to order cheese or pepperoni pizzas (only) with a few taps. Named the “laziest food delivery app” by some, and the “easiest way to order pizza” by others, the business capitalises on velocity, and momentum since most people carry neither coins or notes, and would rather use a button to order, receive their order within 30 minutes, and wave the delivery man goodbye seconds later. Hence, creating a convenient experience for their users.
Combining human touch and Intelligent Automation
Innovation happens when technology and human subtleties are brought together. “Humans should focus on things that machines can’t do,” said Jack Ma, Ali Baba founder.
Most people overestimate the ability of Intelligent Automation to emulate human behavior and underestimate the intricacy and sophistication of human interactions. Human beings add the value of emotions, empathy, surprise, and creativity while data and technology spur the value, however, it is people who keep audiences oriented. As such, replacing the human touch with Intelligent Automation will render customer experiences hollow.
A typical example of a harmonious human-robot interaction would be:
Customer calls > Robot picks up the phone > Human does the interaction
Most developers and engineers’ dream is to humanise technology, however, the answer is to simply create tools, software, and interfaces that can be used by anyone with the view to assist their daily lives at the workplace, outdoor, or at home.
The sooner we understand, and accept this fact, the better we will be able to digest a new revolution without undermining the different technological progresses our societies have already made and keep the human at the heart of our work as we head towards a radically different era.
Digitalisation has paved the way for sensory experiences, which means that we have entered a phase of post-digitalisation where tasks involve treating technology as a companion only, instead of giving it the role of a master decided to ruin our lives.