The digital ecosystem has evolved to such a level, where our everyday customer journeys are just that - everyday. We expect our online shopping experience to be seamless. If it is anything less, then it becomes a bad user experience, frustrating and annoying to the consumer.
Users are moving away from tolerance and more and more towards proneness. This shift is seen in the unsurprising stat that since January 2013, ad-blocking software has grown by 400% with currently 200 million users worldwide. More often than not, someone downloads AdBlocker not because of ads, but because of a bad ad experience.
This means that now more than ever, the customer is always right. They hold so much power over brands today, who are often scrambling to show an ad to as many people as possible whilst keeping returning customers loyal.
Ultimately, we don’t know all the reasons behind someone’s purchasing behaviour. This is why it's important to know each touch point the customer has during their journey. From this, brands can get a better understanding of which stages influenced conversion.
However, despite the increasing capability of data collection and processing, we are still struggling to deliver ads to individuals that they deem to be relevant. According to an Adobe study 78% of consumers like personalised ads, however, only 28% think they're tailored correctly.
While there are many factors that are inhibiting us from actualising the delivery of relevant and personalised ads to every user on the internet, one of the overarching barriers is the silos in which we have structured our industry. For instance, if our creative development team isn’t talking to our media team and our media team isn’t sharing their campaign performance, its no wonder user’s aren’t finding ads relevant to them.
With users expecting a seamless journey, not only do we need to start integrating better but it is essential that brands eliminate the confusing mixed messages being circulated across different channels and at different times.
Ultimately, those who do not take steps to ensure a seamless journey, will be at risk of losing customers. The power they hold has never been more influential, and unfortunately, it has never been so easy for a customer to switch.
Wealth of choice
Firstly, consumers have a wealth of choice. There is a massive and seemingly infinite (but somehow still increasing) list of competitors, that can perk the interest of your customer. If brands aren’t offering the experience customers are looking for, they’ll jump ship; just think of all the introductory offers out there incentivising that very thing you dread.
Customers now also have an even greater power to influence our business, whether for good or for bad. One trending social media post can work wonders or terminate a brands marketing campaign.
So, listen to your consumers, and feedback to them. It’s not about serving your customers a good ad experience - because they expect this. It’s about serving them the right ad experience.
It’s all very well and good having new, creative, relevant & personalised ads, but in order to take these ads and turn them into the right experience, they need to be served to the right person, at the right time.
To reach maximum performance potential, campaigns need to be granular. To do this, we need to underpin our strategy with analytics. Granularity in each channel needs to be layered with granular audience targeting to get the most out of your ads.
On top of this, we need to ensure our channels are working effectively in harmony and not grinding against one another. For this, channels need to be optimised towards a common goal. Too often we see channels over attributing to their own success, leading to overall campaign failure.
Campaign success depends on user experience; are you serving the right ads, to the right people, at the right time?
User experience depends on engagement; are your touch points tailored to the user to increase direct response?
User engagement depends on performance; are you finding the right customers, those most likely to convert, all within your budget?
Performance depends on analytics; are you utilising all the tools and data at your disposal to serve the right ad experience for the right user?
At the end of the day, think about your consumer’s needs and what is relevant to them. Be personal and tailored to your messaging and creative. It is up to brands to ensure that they provide an exceptional and seamless experience.