The Information Age is giving way to the Experience Era.
So much occurs online for a business, but it’s not enough for a brand simply to provide information or maintain a social media presence. Your brand needs to stand for something, evoke emotion, and take your customer on a journey. Enter the Experience Era!
You can learn all about it when Amber Swenor presents “How to Adapt Your Marketing for the Experience Era” on December 18 at AMA Madison’s Craft Marketing. Join us at Vintage Brewing on Whitney Way for the event – sign up here!
Amber Swenor is the founder of Strategic Partners Marketing, a marketing firm that’s fulfilling their mission to empower businesses in their marketing, by providing both brand strategy and marketing plan development, and implementation services including media strategy, digital marketing and PR. (Sign up here!)
We talked with Amber about her upcoming presentation.
Why does customer experience matter?
“Youth don’t care what you know, until they know how much you care,” this quote hung on the wall of one of the most inspirational people in my life, my ag teacher (more like a second dad), Mr. A. He lived this message. This was his authentic personal brand, long before a personal brand was even a thing, or authentic was the word of the year.
This quote also captures the essence of Marketing in the Experience Era.
You may be thinking, huh? What does a teacher have to do with a customer experience?
Just like youth being more receptive to teachers who show they care, customers want an authentic experience with your company; and not just some one-time thing because it made your company look good, or a discount deal. That’s not an authentic experience. Customers want to FEEL good about buying from you. That’s the positive experience they desire. Making that experience a reality might sound a bit exhausting, huh?
It doesn’t have to be. Not when your brand is clearly rooted in values (any values, you choose), and that comes through in genuine customer experiences. It’s no longer about show and tell. It’s about feeling. Mr. A. was on to something far before his time…
Why is the Experience Era different than any other time?
To understand the Experience Era and how different things are now, it’s necessary to look back and understand how we formerly interacted with brands, to understand just how much has changed.
Adults today aged 54-72 make up the baby boomer generation. Born between 1946-1964, they grew up in the era that gave rise to the television. The TV was invented in 1927 and by 1960 90% of households in America had a TV. Families sat together, consuming news and programming from one of three major networks at the time.
For years, people were provided information from a one-way channel: news providers and advertisers telling and showing the customer what they wanted to show and tell the customer; controlling the customer experience through a one-way marketing and communication channel.
Following the boomers came Generation X, born between 1965 – 1980; currently between 39-53 years old. This generation grew up in the Information Technology Era, and saw the rise of the computer, and then the internet. Until recently, we’ve been living in the Information Technology Era where consumers seek out information online.
The marketing landscape has really shifted with the rise of the millennial generation, born between 1981-1996, currently 22-37 years old.
Millennials have grown up in the era of digital proliferation growing up with computers, tablets, mobile devices in hand. The average millennial owns 7.7 connected devices and uses the internet an average of 7 ½ hours a day. This is vastly different from the generations before.
What has changed that has caused customer experience to become so important?
Years ago, growing up in the boomer and Gen X eras, if a company provided poor service or a customer was dissatisfied with a product, there wasn’t a feedback loop for customers to publicly voice those concerns. The most one could do was stop shopping there or complain to Nancy down the street.
Today, customers have the power to hold brands accountable, with social media platforms and forums to voice opinions online and in the mainstream media. Today, customers can even find data about companies, how much they pay their leadership, if they follow or break laws or invest back in their staff and the community.
All of this evolution in technology, and change in customer expectations has impacted how businesses need to adapt their marketing for the Experience Era.
What is the big takeaway marketers can expect from the presentation?
It’s one thing to say we understand what customers desire, but it’s an entirely different thing to live this, from the inside out, in business.
In this talk, we’re going to examine what it truly requires for your business to adapt for the Experience Era. It requires more than shifting your marketing. It requires adaptation at every level in business. That’s what makes it both difficult, and fun, and why those who adapt will reap the biggest rewards.
Youth don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And customers don’t care how great you say you are, until they feel that it’s truth.
Click here to sign up for AMA Madison’s December Craft Marketing event!
Greg Mischio is the Owner and Strategic Director of Winbound. Winbound is a content marketing firm that provides an all-in-one content marketing and conversion optimization package specifically designed for small marketing departments. Read his post on how to start content marketing. Twitter: @gregmischio