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09.12.2011

The Way of Marketing in an Experience Economy

Estonian Tourism Conference

We are currently living in an experience economy.

This means after the period of the agrarian economy the industrial revolution took place, which was followed by the service economy. This means experiences of consumers became more and more important to manage a companies‘ brand.

What drives the development in an experience economy?

The reasons for development are various. They are caused by a rapid development in information and communications technologies as well as the rising importance of design, culture and origin of products and services nowadays. But what is the drive of success in an experience economy for companies like yours or mine? It is the focus on people instead of projects; it is the orientation on gaining value and utility instead of selling products or services. It is the realization that the offline and online world comes together very closely – perfectly summarized in the term SOCIAL CURATION. This means that people organise data and information the people and the organisation of content is based on social relationships and networks.

What does this mean for branding and marketing?

This means CHANGE. We have to relearn the way how to manage and communicate brands, marketing products and services. We will find more orientation in the field of design thinking which means designing forms and functions of products and services than continue using advertising and marketing-spam-broadcasting to attract customers attention. So …

CHANGE your BRAND strategy.

This means think about the vision of your brand. What is the key message you want people to talk about your brand in 3 or 5 years. Write it down in one sentence or better in 140 letters like a tweet. However more is not necessary because people will not remember more than this … After that write down the strategic path you want to go. There should not be more than 3 to 5 „main missions“ to achieve your vision. And than – write again. What is different? Which new experience for travellers will you offer then?

CHANGE your TACTICS to achieve your vision and brand strategy.

Innovation will happen if you start focusing on the whole traveller’s journey – before, during and after the travel. There are 1000 brand and service touchpoints, which can improve customer satisfaction and the value of your products and services. Good shaped touchpoints will increase demand and conversation about your offers. Focus on improving what already performs and get rid of what is not really necessary. You will give orientation in the jungle of information. Finally – go deep. Say what you can serve best and put this into the „shopping window“ of your communication.

CHANGE your MARKETING. Just relearn how to market.

Instead of broadcasting boring „buy me“-messages and pictures with beautiful people in a perfect scenery just show the things how they really are. Tell stories. But how will it be recognized if your content is a story? You know it if people tell it to others. Focusing on storytelling is a real innovation in content strategy! By the way: Do you have a content strategy?

To move on means changing marketing tactic from campaigns to provide valuable information at the right time and with high quality. BMW currently does it with the integration of the user-generated-content Platform QYPE in every preinstalled navigation system in their cars. Instead of throwing money out of the window for expensive ads you could surprise your customers with creating shopping experiences. Nike currently does it with it’s augmented reality virtual stores in Los Angeles and New York. So start to interact with your customers and forget continuing on way communication. Let them be your brand ambassador No1 and motivate them to share their experiences. This is called SOCIAL COMMERCE.

CHANGE your PRODUCT. Surprise and Support.

Product Development is always the combination of the touristic core product combined with complementary services or products and the ambiance. The experience pyramid developed by LEO Finland is a fantastic approach to improve customer experiences with meaningful designed touristic products and services.

Completely confused about proposals by CHANGING all the things we know about marketing and branding? So, what to do now?

  • Optimize brand touchpoints on every step of our visitors.
  • Explore the customer journey of our travellers out of their point of view to improve experiences.
  • And market value instead of messages.

Yes. This approach is new. But INNOVATIVE.

Here is a link to the full presentation I had at the 6. International Tourism Day organized by Estonia Tourism:

http://turismikonverents2011.mind.ee/

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