PWC’s John Maxwell, who leads the company’s Global Consumer Marketing industry sector, wrote an article that discusses the importance of brand experiences. “To keep up with accelerating changes in consumer habits and to acknowledge customer importance, companies need to focus on — and measure — people’s experiences with their products and brands.”

Consumer habits are constantly changing, and technology is evolving at high-speed rates; “a revolution in technology has created the devices and interfaces that allow people to interact with companies anywhere and anytime and has enabled customers to influence a global audience with their comments or “likes.”

Person Holding Midnight Black Samsung Galaxy S8 Turn on Near Macbook Pro

Meaning that traditional ROI metrics are no longer enough to determine the success of a company and their marketing initiatives. “Evaluating whether your value proposition, capabilities, and portfolio of products and services will create shareholder value requires laser focus on how well you’re meeting higher expectations around the customer experience.”

With new technologies and services being added daily, company’s need to thoroughly understand the consumers’ purchase journey and determine what the key touch points and factors are that drive experience. Upon doing so, a brand can determine where in the company they need to invest more. 

Brands need to move the needle on those interactions during the consumers purchase journey and yield measurable results, or return on experience (ROX).

“ROX also needs to address whether the company is driving the behaviors in the organization that are key to designing and delivering better online and physical experiences.”

Inside the Restaurant With Pendant Lamps and Flowers

Now of course that doesn’t mean that traditional ROI metrics are to be thrown out the window, however companies need to focus on both ROI and ROX. For example, in PWCs Global Consumer Insights Survey, they asked more than 21,000 consumers in 27 territories around the world what type of advertising they thought was the most influential.

“About 35% said traditional TV advertising, the highest percentage among all the choices. This might seem like good news for the world’s biggest companies, because that’s where they still spend the bulk of their advertising dollars. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll see the desire for experience staring us right in the face.”

When looking at the millennials who have responded to the survey, it’s no surprise that they preferred social media advertisements that allowed them to have some type of interaction with the brand. “Although many companies partner with athletes and entertainers to market their products and services, respondents said that testimonials from real people who have authentic experience with a brand are more influential. Just 17% of survey respondents bought a product because of a celebrity endorsement, but 32 percent did so because of positive reviews on social media.”

Understanding these statistics, it is evident that they are clear indicators of ROX and that, “investment into traditional advertising campaigns needs to be supplemented by enhancements to customer experiences along the purchasing journey.”  

 “Word of mouth has always been more valuable than advertising, but now there are billions of opportunities for word of mouth — through social reviews and sentiment — to make an impact.” – Matt Egol

Man and Woman Eating Ice Creams

When PWC asked their sample of global consumers which attributes would improve their in-store shopping experience, the most common answer was, “ability to quickly and conveniently navigate the store.” Furthermore, 25% of respondents are making “micro-trips” — defined as lasting five minutes or less — to grocery stores or supermarkets. Thus, this demonstrates that there are other ways to increase your company’s focus on ROX, including making adjustments to your physical retail space. In today’s saturated market, there is so much product research being done online by consumers, “creating the best customer experience is often more about getting consumers in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Based on PWC’s findings, “retailers should be asking if they are actually investing in and delivering the experience their customers want: speed and convenience. By contrast, a traditional ROI focus may lead a retailer to position “fill-in” products at the back of the store, so shoppers seeing those high-demand items would have greater exposure to more products to potentially fill their basket. An ROX approach, on the other hand, would suggest including a selection of popular items in the front of the store to improve customer experience and loyalty.”

Brown shopping bags

“The reality today is that while the economics of prices and convenience are still important, consumers are enabled by technology to curate their own experience, balancing additional factors such as quality, social approval of friends, environmental impact, and any number of features important to them — whatever dimension they see as providing value to their experience.” That’s why brands are quickly moving to experiential marketing campaigns that are integrated with digital-focused tactics.

Maxwell ends off with this, “Consumers are focused more than ever on the attributes that make up the totality of their experience, it’s time for all types of companies to lose the ROI blinders and begin focusing more on ROX.”

Find out how Lash Vision Media can bring you a greater ROX and read John Maxwell’s full article here.