Using digital superpowers to create great digital experiences

Kristin Wilson, Senior Account Director

We need to be thinking holistically about digital. Some Barclaycard research shows that over half of consumers (52%) would choose to tell their friends and peers about an enjoyable brand experience rather than a purchase they’ve made, whether it’s a nice touch or something surprising.

With smartphones outcompeting TV for UK consumers’ attention, the digital world is the perfect place to engage consumers, to deliver surprising and amazing experiences.

Digital enables brands to be when and where consumers need them. But we’re missing something if that’s where we stop with our thinking. Now we live in a digital world, the marketing conversation needs to change. We need to think about how brands engage with consumers, about how we create experiences that open up brands to wider audiences – growing the brand for long-term value beyond short-term numbers and statistics.

Seeing the fruit of home-grown channels

As around only 30% of experiences are through paid media, share of voice is a poor measure for long-term growth. Owned and earned touchpoints now have more influence on people’s brand experiences.

After years of investment in digital, a lot of brands do have their own highly used and rated channels. For example, the award-winning Barclays app doesn’t just give customers control of their finances – it’s created an important communication channel, allowing them to share special offers and launch campaigns. This creates a hybrid of service and messaging that delivers a positive, holistic experience for their customers.

Experiences must be positive

Positive experiences drive significantly higher brand consideration than neutral ones, whether across paid, owned or earned media. And as every experience contributes to your brand story, it’s important to not only be distinctive, but also consider what will resonate most with the audience.

Sometimes, time and resources are against us. But we have to be aware that neutral experiences erode already pressured marketing budgets and brand equity. Worse, a negative experience can be expensive and time-consuming to reverse, which is why developing a positive experience is vital in digital. It’s far easier to click away elsewhere than to walk out of a shop empty-handed, and there’s less for consumers to lose.

Google’s Page Experience Update due to be released next year is a clear indication of the importance of great digital experiences. Our digital team leaders Sam and Dave wrote a bit more about it here. Ultimately, brands who don’t deliver great online experiences will soon start to lose out.

Creating a great experience

We can now connect to more customers, more often – and in more places that we have ever been able to before. But to use these powers to create positive experiences effectively, we have to know how and when to deploy them.