Why Marketers Need to Focus on Creating Experiences to Thrive in the New Economy

Welcome to the Experience Economy

We live in the New Economy or the Digital Economy where consumers no longer consume products and services not only for the intrinsic value that they get from consumption but also as a way of “experiencing” value-driven processes.

In other words, when consumers buy a brand or invest money in a service, they are not only looking for the benefits that they get from consumption of the brand or service but are also looking for ways to experience the process of consumption.

This means that when riders order an Uber cab, they are not only doing so for the convenience of being driven around, but are also looking for ways and means to experience the ride starting with the app-driven ordering, the actual ride itself, and the post-ride billing and closure aspects.

While some might argue that marketing was always about creating experiences, what is different now is that the act of consumption is being driven more by intangible and unquantifiable aspects such as the notion of relative value, the process of experiencing consumption, and the overall perceptions.

The Wheel has Turned Full Circle

Indeed, in earlier eras before the advent of the New Digital Economy, this was done through personal touch and familiarity between the consumers and the marketers.

For instance, we all can relate to the feeling of familiarity that older consumers had with say the neighborhood store or the grocers wherein each knew everything about the other and the process of consumption was driven as much by price and quality as it was about the feeling of comfort that our grandparents and parents felt when they chatted with the store owner or the grocer who would suggest and recommend products apart from inquiring about them.

Thus, marketing in some form or the other was indeed about creating experiences which got diluted along the way when the era of impersonal selling and mass production and consumption of goods and services took root.

We can say that the wheel is turning full circle wherein we are now returning to the original intent of marketing which was about creating experiences that complement and supplement consumption.

Technology and the Art of Creating Experiences

In these times when anonymous selling and mass marketing is driven by Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, it is difficult for marketers to create experiences in the same manner in which they were done earlier.

However, this has not deterred the marketers in the contemporary times that are making up such deficiencies by employing chatbots and other tools to reach out to consumers.

Indeed, most eCommerce and mCommerce websites have such provisions wherein automated and robot driven apps and widgets provide consumers with the feeling of experiences that go beyond the intrinsic worth that consumers derive from consumption.

As mentioned earlier, marketing in the present times is driven by notions of both absolute value and relative value wherein consumers perceive something as valuable on the basis of the absolute worth that they derive from consumption as well as the relative worth when compared to other brands as well as the intangible feeling of experiencing value.

In addition, marketing in the New Digital Economy is also driven by perceptions wherein consumers perceive that they are getting a better experience from consumption of a particular good or service relative to the other brands and hence when they experience the difference, they tend to return to such brands or be loyal to such brands.

Thus, marketing now is as much about the price and quality of the goods and services as it is about the experiences that consumers derive from the consumption of such goods and services.

The Transformation and Mutation of Product Marketing Resembles Services Marketing

Apart from this, once consumers place more emphasis on experiences, it follows from that marketing of products resembles the marketing of services which were anyway about creating experiences.

For instance, when consumers decide to fly instead of taking a train or a bus, they are paying for the end to end value chain of experiences rather than only on the convenience of flying which means that marketers have to ensure that flyers are treated well right from the time of entering the airport at the place from where they are flying to the destination when they finally reach the same.

This can be extended to products and goods as well when the end to end value chain of consumption has to be tweaked and marketed in such a manner that consumers feel that they are getting their money’s worth.

This can take the form of making the customer feel welcome from the time he or she logs into the eCommerce or the mCommerce website or app or portal and ensuring that the impersonal nature of such interactions is made personal as much as possible.

Exciting Times for Marketers and Consumers Alike

In other words, while this can signify that we are now returning to the first principles of marketing wherein any marketing textbook teaches that marketers should focus on creating experiences, it is also the case that with the advent of technology, the personal touch was lost.

Hence, the best way to describe the resurgence in the present times about creating experiences is about the challenges of providing personal experiences in an impersonal age.

To conclude, technology can indeed rise to the challenge that marketers face when they need to create experiences and hence, the renaissance or the revival of the older methods of creating experiences in highly technology-driven times points to exciting times for both marketers and consumers alike.

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