Customer experience (CX) and digital marketing are becoming inextricably linked. We believe that all digital marketing initiatives should be seen through the lens and palette of the customer experience spectrum.
The term ‘customer experience’ encompasses everything from understanding what you are asking your customers to do, to the moment they hear about your service or product to when they receive and experience your product or service, to what experience they have from their peers after their brand interaction.
The CX value pyramid
‘‘customer experience is made up of five key elements: visual, tactile, olfactory, aural, and reputation.”
If we look at it from a structural perspective, customer experience is made up of five key elements: visual, tactile, olfactory, aural, and reputation. These are the things that your customers knowingly or unknowingly consider while engaging with your brand. Big corporations like Apple, Maserati, Mercedes, etc. pay great attention to elevating user experience by focusing on each area. One simple example can be unboxing Apple products. There is always a distinct tactile feel to the box (the touch), the sound the box makes when you open it (aural), the fragrance when you unbox any Apple product, and it’s deliberately put there to make a connection with customers.
Now how does this transform into the user experience on digital platforms? Similar to the cornerstones of user experience for traditional businesses, we can also categorise all the key elements of user experience on digital platforms. Right at the base of it all is a website’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Then comes user flow and customer journey, visual identity guide (VIG), and at the top of it all is any digital platform’s speed of use or load time.
Unboxing videos, giving users the look and feel of a product are one such example of incorporating tactile and aural CX in 2D digital marketing, making it almost a 3D CX. Brands must consider all these factors and keep CX at the base of all digital marketing strategies. The time and money spent on digital marketing won’t be as effective as if your plan does not take into account the user experience perspective.
To achieve flawless CX and UX, you must start examining the full customer life cycle, identify key touch points and create campaigns that address those touch points.
Function vs design: the UX vs UI conundrum
Too many businesses make the mistake of categorising themselves according to function, whether it is branding, demand-generation, sales or customer care, and then restrict the kinds of customer experiences they may offer through those functions.
It is not enough to just collect data and feed it back into automated marketing platforms to generate impressions with ad campaigns. What matters most is understanding the value of your customers and what they need from the brand – what interactions give them greater value. It requires that you start with the customer experience first, and then work backwards to build your digital marketing strategy around it.
The key is to identify and incorporate the necessary steps to centre your digital marketing strategy around user experience. There are plenty of opportunities to mix up the kinds of experiences we are creating at every part of the customer’s journey. Marketers just need to look deeper.
Innovation is the key to staying relevant. For example, incorporating augmented reality or virtual reality into your retail (brick and mortar) digital marketing efforts will help you deliver your customers a distinct user experience. This is just not the end of it and newer technologies get launched every other day. Brands need to stay alert and continuously analyse the kind of experience they offer their clients, find out limitations in their systems and innovate in order to cope with ever-changing customer behaviours.