Why Transforming the Brand Experience Is the Key to the Future of Marketing
Customer wants and needs are always evolving. You've heard this before. So what does this mean for your business? When customers are getting savvier by the minute, businesses today are continuously rethinking and retooling their marketing plans to reach and engage with their audience, often relying on performance marketing for short-term gains. Why invest in a slow-burning brand campaign when a digital marketing strategy driven solely by quick, tangible results will suffice?
But the dichotomy between brand and performance marketing is a false one. Brand awareness, perception and advocacy make customer acquisition campaigns work more effectively. For example, at the beginning of 2021, Airbnb noticed that cutting its performance marketing spend had no impact on traffic. They shifted all that investment into a brand-focused campaign, which resulted in traffic growth of 15% compared to 2019.
Think of digital brand experience marketing as a sandwich. Traditional brand building represents the bread and performance marketing represents the filling. They work fine separately, but the real magic happens only when they come together – when the brand drives performance and performance marketing promotes brand perception.
Hungry for more? Read on.
What exactly is brand experience marketing?
Brand experience marketing is all about designing a customer journey that can bring customers into a meaningful and lasting relationship with your brand – turning them into long-term advocates. A brand experience is not just about what you see; it's also how your customers feel. In the digital world, the possibilities are endless thanks to innovative and far-reaching tools that can be used to spread the message of your brand. This includes websites, apps, social media platforms, and digital activations.
While traditional brand marketing is the historical domain of the largest players in any given vertical, digital brand experience marketing can help you punch above your weight, making it an effective strategy for both small and large companies alike.
Digital marketing is the new salesperson
More than 50% of B2B purchase decisions are made before speaking to a salesperson*
Clients can educate themselves, track market trends, assess production options, and shortlist suppliers – all before sitting down with a single salesperson. If you're not empowering the self-directed journey by investing in digital brand experience marketing, are you even part of the conversation?
Getting your brand in front of customers
You can have the best product or service in the world, but if you're not delivering a positive digital brand experience, customers will go elsewhere. This means building a consistent and ubiquitous presence in your customers' digital lives by delivering relevant, educational, and informative content that influence decision makers along their journey.
Sarah Travis, Industry Director at Google stated, "Digital branding unlocks opportunities for marketers that traditional media hasn’t been able to; creating an authentic, human connection through personal touch and immersive experience. It goes beyond mass reach and allows for a more targeted approach."
A targeted approach results in more focused and personalised impact that enables digital brand experience to nudge those exposed to traditional brand building efforts further down the funnel. The results? Qualified, ready-to-buy customers journeying down the funnel, increasing ROI across the board. In short, you'll become an influential part of the journey and a credible resource beyond simply the value of your product or service. At Construct Digital, we call this B2Human thinking.
Is digital marketing simply "cheap reach?"
Sceptics might see digital marketing merely as a way of blasting digital ads just to get in front of more eyeballs. The reality is, digital experience marketing presents an opportunity for increased personalisation in advertising through interactive methods like email newsletters that allow you directly communicate with your customer base on their terms. Compared to traditional methods, it is also far more interactive and targeted, helping B2B buyers get into and stay in the consideration set.
The next maturity frontier
While we often like to think that B2B buyers operate differently from B2C buyers, they still respond to the same stimuli. They reward brands they trust, and they trust brands they perceive as relevant and helpful.
Trust is achieved by developing content that is specifically tailored to the customer – including their industry, geographic differences, regulatory context, and location in the sales funnel. This presents a challenge for local country marketing managers working with centrally produced propositions and materials that fail to meet the needs of their regions. Working with the right transformation agency can help you balance the synergies offered by central production functions with the demands of local teams for propositions, content, campaigns and collaterals adapted to specific local needs.
The next maturity frontier for B2B marketers is to transform their brand experience to reflect the complexity of the international markets they serve.
Creating a brand experience strategy
Assess whether or not you're meeting customer expectations
We often think about what our customers want, but it is just as important to consider how they behave. By paying attention in social media interactions and service calls for example, you may spot potential problems that will help frame the foundation of your brand experience transformation.
Identify areas for improvement
While you may have more than one aspect of the overall brand experience that could use some work, spreading strategy efforts too thin will only deliver less-than ideal results. For example, if the eventual goal is to make a larger social impact to drive conversion, aim to increase positive social mentions across your company's channels as a starting point.
Measure your results
By measuring the success of your brand experience efforts, you can identify which strategies are resonating with customers and adjust their frequency or content accordingly. Using the social media example above, this means tracking user views, reactions, and sentiment. This will help ensure that every marketing effort is delivering on its promise for maximum impact.
Own the next era of growth
For some companies, a great customer experience is defined by delivering frictionless experiences. Other companies stand out by delivering memorable customer journeys. A good transformation agency can help you embrace your brand's characteristics and plot the best course of action for improving brand experience (and financial outcomes) according to your brand DNA.
As an end-to-end service agency with a track record for experience transformation, Construct Digital takes a holistic view of your business – from customer acquisition to retention and everything in between. We help organisations harness the best of tech, data, creativity and innovation to reimagine brand experience. The goal is to ensure that every touchpoint is an opportunity to deepen the relationship with your brand.
Want a bite of the digital brand experience marketing sandwich? We promise the results are tasty. Talk to us today.