Traditional Marketing Vs. Digital Experience? The Difference in Experiential Value.

Often the question is brought up about the brand and the difference between traditional marketing vs. digital experience?

The answer lies in the outcome and consequences. Primarily the difference is in the customers experiential value and the protection of that by the channel.

A simple example is a current campaign that is based upon advertising communications strategy. The case example is the advertising and communications of bike stores in Auckland, New Zealand. Here we compare radio advertising vs. the digital experience of Google Adwords.

Lets start of with the bad news.

Radio advertising on lets say, Radio Hauraki of the Bike Barn. This is an actual case. I did try and find a sound bite of the Ad but it is something like this (IMAGINE ME SHOUTING AT THE TOP OF MY VOICE IN A CRAZY SOUNDING VOICE):

“Its the Bike Barns biggest ever sale with bikes and accessories with up to 50% off. Everything including mountain bikes and road bikes with 10 to 50% off. The biggest ever big sale. Terms and Conditions Apply” etc etc.

I don’t have the words exactly but it is something very similar.

The same campaign has been running on this station and I presume others for the last 5 months. At some times the advertisement is run twice every minute and then constantly throughout the day. I would estimate some days the advertisement is played what feels like over 100 times per day. It is a bombardment of the senses, intrusion and to put it politely, an absolute disruption of the experience of the Radio Hauraki brand. The Ad has received complaints to the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority. I have read the rulings which were not upheld but I can see the point of the complainant as I have actually been into the store. The ‘sale’ and Ad is a bit misleading because the Bike Barn have had this sale running for a long time.  Well over 6 months. It kind of conflicts with the principles of a special sale.Often sales are normally run for a shorter period with clear time frames. This appears to be a pricing strategy rather than an actual special sale of goods at a discounted price. Anecdotally, I have also heard through word of mouth from other customers their belief that the sale is misleading.

Apart from all this, the key point I want to make is that this Ad significantly erodes the customers experience of the Radio Hauraki brand. It is literally shouting at the customer. This type of approach also erodes all the good work the Radio Hauraki brand is doing building their social media brand using many of the 5-Sources of Value. The channel is not protected and the customers experiential value is eroded.

The Google (Good) News.

Lets look at an alternative strategy. The digital experience of Google Adwords. It is pretty simplistic. So, when I type in the words ‘bike’ into Google, assuming I am wanting to buy a bike, the below comes up. What is cool is that it recognizes my location and gives me a map for immediate attention. This would be even more powerful if I was on my smartphone in a ubiquitous context. Moving around. The communications is absolutely and totally linked to my goal directed user experience. This paper helps to explain a bit more about what I am talking about by Hoffman, Novak and Duhachek (2003). One important finding from this paper is that they found that consumers experienced the state of ‘flow’ or psychology of happiness when engaging in goal directed experiential behaviors. Flow is defined as (p 4): “the state occurring during network navigation which is: (a) characterized by a seamless sequence of responses facilitated by machine interactivity, (b) intrinsically enjoyable,(c) accompanied by a loss of self-consciousness, and (d) self-reinforcing”.

No shouting. Nothing misleading or repetitive. Importantly the Ad is related to my state of user experience and finally there is no erosion, but possible cross channel contribution to my interactivity and engagement with the social media brand using many of the 5-Sources of Value. It also has to be recognized that a big part of this strategy arises from the fact that Google protects the user experience and the experience of their brand. They, like their customers are in this for infinity.


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