May 9, 2010

A milestone of “Experiential Marketing” in Pakistan!

Experiential Marketing is actually what customers’ experience and perceive about a brand. And what customer experience is as “the internal and subjective response customers have to any direct or indirect contact with a company”. Direct contact generally occurs in the course of purchase, use, and service and is usually initiated by the customer. Indirect contact most often involves unplanned encounters with representations of a company’s products, services, or brands and takes the form of word-of-mouth recommendations or criticisms, advertising, news reports, reviews, and so forth. Unfortunately, In Pakistan customers have often proceeded as if managing experiences simply meant providing entertainment or being attractively artistic. The issue is far more complex than that.
Here in Pakistan many restaurants that put photographs of movie stars on their walls think of that they are creating wonderful experience in his customer’s diary but in fact it’s not working actually in such a competitive situation. Brands are ignoring their duties of understanding customers’ needs.
Now-a-days its time of making customers’ experiences unforgettable in term of everything from product or service to the outlet location, smell and entire internal environment of the store, and even in term of voice tone of customers’ service line operators. Mean that through adopting both ways “Mechanics-related with machinery” and “Humanics-related with humans”.
Customers always have an experience -- good, bad or indifferent -- whenever they purchase a product or service from a company. The key is how effectively the company manages the experience. Organizations that simply touch design elements or focus on the customer experience in isolated pockets of their business by providing a quick hit of entertainment will be disappointed in the results.
Companies compete best when they combine functional and emotional benefits in their offerings. Emotional bonds between companies and customers are difficult for competitors to sever. To compete successfully in this field, a growing number of organizations are systematically applying the principles and tools of customer-experience management to strengthen customer loyalty. Unlike many product or service enhancements, the holistic nature of these experiential designs makes them very difficult for competitors to copy.
Customer experience does not improve until it becomes a top priority and a company’s work processes, systems, and structure change to reflect that. In Pakistan there is a need to work on some parameters to improve the customers’ experience diary and elements that play crucial role for a brand to stand out from others are as:
  1. Marketing has to capture the tastes and standards of every one of its targeted market segments, circulate that knowledge within the company, and then tailor all consumer communications accordingly.
  2. Product development should do more than specify needed features. It should also design experiences after observing how customers use products and services. Ideally, product developers will identify customer behavior that runs a company’s expectations and uncover needs that haven’t been identified on customers’ behalf.
  3. Human resources should put together a communications and training strategy that conveys the economic grounds for “Customer Experience Management” and paints a picture of how it will alter work and decision making processes. Since the front line determines the bulk of customer experience, it would be a good idea to study those employees’ individual capabilities, work processes, and attitudes. As for performance management, of course customer experience results should affect compensation. But as we have learned in recent years, incentives that are too powerful are more likely to deform behavior than direct it fruitfully.

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