Something is wrong with digital experiences: they are key in marketing but consumers say they are useless

Experiences are the cornerstone of marketing this decade. They are offline, in the retail and tangible universe, where companies create immersive experiences that work as something highly memorable. But they are also so in the offline universe, where digital marketing experts try to create experiences that go beyond the screen, at least on an emotional and engagement level.

Experience marketing is thus one of the great stars of the activity, one of the recurring concerns of companies. The big question is whether companies are doing things right and whether marketers are managing to hit the keys to connecting with consumers. The latter assure that they are not succeeding. So something is wrong with digital experiences.

The data comes from a Gartner study, which concludes that CMOs must rethink how they are executing those digital experiences if they do not want to lose the race in differentiation or consumer impact.

“The last year has seen an acceleration of new digital experiences, as brands tried to build more connected and frictionless consumer journeys,” explains Gartner analyst Kristina LaRocca-Cerrone.

But, although they have worked in this field and launched actions, the results are not as expected. The expert makes it clear: “our research shows that consumers perceive these experiences as undifferentiated and, more importantly, that these digital experiences rarely impact their buying behavior.”

Most do not distinguish some experiences from others

Thus, although 89% of brands have prioritized digital experiences during 2021, most consumers believe that they are not serving much. 58% of those surveyed say that these digital experiences do not have much impact on their purchase decisions. The power they have to push them in one direction or the other is thus very limited.

In fact, almost half of consumers are unable to differentiate the digital experience of one brand from that of another. Not only that: even fewer consumers believe that companies are actually doing different things.

Therefore, the problem does not seem to be that the brands have understood the importance of the experience. They know that lesson. The problem is in how they design and how they execute that experience. What they do is more or less always the same and too much the same as what other companies are doing.

For the consumer, it is neither special nor relevant. The experience is blurred among the many things he does online and does not achieve results up to expectations.

And that if things are done well, the return is very positive. According to Gartner, a truly impactful digital experience increases brand preference by 37% and advocacy by 54%.

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