Geo 101: What Are Micro-Experiences?
Every brand experience is an opportunity to build loyalty — regardless of channel or 'size.' But too many marketers are still thinking in silos.
With the goal of breaking down some of the most important concepts to provide a better understanding of the basics — and a jumping off point for exploring how far technology may take us — we introduce the next installment of our GeoMarketing 101 series: what marketers need to know about micro-experiences.
What Are Micro-Experiences?
Micro-experiences describe brand interactions that happen across all the digital channels at our disposal today — email, web, mobile web, push notifications, and more. It’s channel-agnostic: Every interaction with a brand, regardless of what digital means it happens through, is a meaningful branded experience.
Managing micro-experiences is a substantial part of a truly omnichannel, holistic marketing view. It’s about combining data and content from multiple sources in order to deliver truly consistent experiences across all of these digital channels.
“Omnichannel and multichannel marketing have been around as terms for a while. Micro-experiences refocuses the point of our marketing activities around the customer’s experiences with each of the things we consider channels,” said Erin Jaeger, director of product marketing at Yext [full disclosure: Yext owns GeoMarketing. More details on that relationship here]. “We may consider email and web and social and customer support different channels with their own processes and goals, but from the customer’s perspective, every one of these interactions constitutes a brand experience.”
Why Do Micro-Experiences Matter To Marketers?
By default, marketers need to meet customers where they are; it is the only way to communicate in a way that resonates — and is truly helpful. And if every interaction, regardless of where it takes place, has the potential to influence what a customer thinks of a brand, then it clearly behooves marketers to manage them to be as consistent and positive as possible.
Think about it: While these efforts may be coordinated by completely different teams in house, an email from a retailer and a social media post or notification from a retailer are both important brand communications; why wouldn’t they both influence how a customer perceives a brand overall?
“Each micro experience provides an opportunity to engage with the customer, stay top of mind, and foster long-term brand loyalty and lifetime value,” Jaeger said. “On the flip side, they’re all also opportunities to erode brand loyalty if any of those micro experiences are annoying, or cause friction, or otherwise not great.”
For example, a brand might not think a push notification that comes from its app matters as much as, say, its social media presence or its overall ad campaigns. But if those notifications are so frequent as to be annoying — or if they make a suggestion that isn’t relevant, or isn’t representing the brand in its best light — that risks offending that customer and causing them to shut down a communication channel. The whole idea is that micro-experiences are brand experiences — and today, more than ever, it is important for marketers to think holistically.
This means having a strategy for managing every single channel and touchpoint that constitutes a brand experience. That can take the form of developing an integrated approach in-house, or working with an outside provider that can assist with data and relationship management across channels — but thinking in silos when it comes to micro-experiences means that opportunities to build loyalty have already been lost.
“Remember that no matter how you work with these channels inside the office, to a customer, they all represent your brand,” Jaeger said. “So taking an integrated approach to how you manage these channels is imperative, because it looks at the experience from the customer’s point of view.”
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