The Disconnect: Advertising to Experience
I saw an ad the other day about a luxury SUV. I rarely watch TV (I’m a cord cutter that usually spends the big screen time on Netflix or HBO Now). But I was watching my Los Angeles Chargers play against my hometown team Kansas City Chiefs on live TV, so I had to weather through the onslaught of commercials. But one did catch my eye. It was a beautiful, cinematic story that showcased the beauty, power and appeal of the vehicle in a way that really got me thinking and made me take notice. And having worked in Auto, I understand the challenges in auto advertising, so kudos to the agency that got me to take notice.
While having spent the past 7 years working with auto clients, I have had the great opportunity to fully understand a consumer’s journey; really get to know what the typical holistic experience is for a consumer when they see an ad, shop for a vehicle and go into a showroom to buy it. And as much as I was drawn to the sleek car being shown in a lifestyle that appealed to me, I knew that the experience that comes after the ad is a far cry from the promise it was selling me. Sure the product may be great, but everything else around the advertising and product would fail to fulfill the expectation I now have based on promise they were selling me.
And that is the biggest challenge that we face with our legacy organizations. There is a promise and there is the fulfillment of that promise. And the legacy infrastructure, distribution channels, websites and other consumer touchpoints, rarely have the ability to fulfill the promise advertising is making for a brand. I know that if I go to the website or to the dealership of brand whose advertising got me to take notice, I would be let down on the expectations of that brand, and would probably defect from the shopping experience.
We talk a lot about brand as a platform and this is what we’re trying to solve; that disconnect. That time between interest and fulfillment. I, as others in the industry, firmly believe that this is where the future of brands will be built. In the platform. In the experience of a brand. Something that fulfills a brand promise rather than just communicating it and hoping they can overlook the poor experience they will have to go through to purchase the lifestyle you’re selling.
Not only is this good for the consumer, but it’s good for business:
Customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.
A member who rates as having the poorest experience has only a 43% chance of being a member a year later. Compare this to a member who gives one of the top two experience scores — they would have a 74% chance of remaining a member for at least another year.
According to Forrester, “customers who have a better experience with a company say they’re less likely to stop doing business with the company and more likely to recommend it.”
...delivering great experiences actually reduces the cost to serve customers from what it was previously. Unhappy customers are expensive — being, for example, more likely to return products or more likely to require support. Systematically solve the source of dissatisfaction, you don’t just make them more likely to return — you reduce the amount they cost you to serve. For example, Sprint has gone on record as suggesting that as part of their focus on improving the customer experience, they’ve managed to reduce their customer care costs by as much as 33%.
How are you solving for this disconnect?