This year's Adobe Summit conference was a huge success, enlightening and inspiring people from every corner of the marketing universe. While it's difficult to summarize the wide range of material discussed at the conference, there is one takeaway that should resonate: "We're no longer in the business of selling products; we're in the business of selling experiences."
Brad Rencher, EVP and GM of digital for Adobe, took this position during the opening day keynote session, setting the tone for the entire conference.
In this post, I'm going to explore what is meant by an ‘experience business’, and share a few ways in which today's brands can shift gears into this arena with techniques and technologies that make real impacts.
It's hard to wrap one's mind around such a fundamental change in the value proposition of a brand. For so long, products and services did the selling, but times are changing. Now, customers want to be known on a personal level and given a consistent experience across channels, from outreach to research, sales and support.
"We hear and use experience all the time, but do we really know what it means? People will describe it differently." said Brian Solis, a principal analyst at Altimeter Group. "It's about helping people get to a place they can't get to without you. As a marketer, experience is your renaissance."
Rencher during his keynote presentation also fleshed out this concept of experience by listing four of the main features of an experience brand:
- Know me, the customer, and respect me—and my privacy
- Speak to me in one voice, always in context; that means disparate functions such as marketing, sales, and service will speak to me in with consistency and relevance
- Make the technology transparent to me; it's about the experience, not the technology that powers it
- Delight me at every turn; this means a brand will continue to disrupt itself, because today's five-star wow experience is tomorrow's one-star expected experience
Today, the bar is set high, but many marketers see this shift as an opportunity to thrive. Now, it's just a matter of mapping out the game plan and selecting the right path.
Creating the right experiences
As Adobe conference speakers attested, it is through in-the-moment interactions that a brand can piece together an authentic vision of what the customer is looking for, no matter where an individual may be on the journey.
But how do you take these in-the-moment interactions to create the experiences that Rencher and much of the Adobe conference centered around?
It starts with understanding the intent of your visitors. For example, if you are to provide your visitors with an experience which is consistent and addresses their needs and expectations, you need to understand what the individual intentions of your visitors are. Also visitors will interact with your brand multiple times and will want different things from you at every visit. This means that targeting a user based on historical data and inferring intent from this will probably lead to mistakes being made and offering users the wrong experience.
One of the ways iperceptions is helping companies create engaging and consistent experiences beyond inferring is using our unique Voice of Customer (VoC) dataset. With over 16 years of experience collecting and understanding customers’ perceptions we are now leveraging this to create uniquely tailored experiences through our Active Recognition Technology.
With Active Recognition, you can now leverage your VoC data to recognize visitors who are likely to have a negative experience and collect feedback to prioritize UX improvements. You can improve the effectiveness of your live chat systems, by recognizing the difference between a visitor who is on your site to purchase and a visitor on your site for support. Also, you can improve brand perception and optimize retargeting campaigns by showing the right ads to the right person by recognizing their intent.
We are entering a new world of marketing where the experience is king and providing the right experience at the right time will be the ultimate competitive advantage.