I came across FEED this morning, which is the annual report of the study Razorfish conducts on customer behaviors. The report this year focuses on understanding how digital is changing the way that consumers interact with brands. This is what they found out:
[Digital] Experience matters. A lot. So much so that experiences are becoming the new advertising or marketing. And these experiences are having an inordinate amount of impact on how consumers perceive a brand and ultimately purchase products. Moreover, we also found that consumers are actively engaged with brands across the entire digital spectrum. Consumers may be in control but so are brands which are so deeply embedded in the culture that consumers can’t imagine not making them a part of their world — on Facebook, Twitter or even their own blogs.
Although this is a marketing report, it’s an interesting read, a good example of a report design, and valuable information for UX professionals to know as well. I was impressed by how connected consumers are online and how much they are willing to follow a product/brand in their own social networking spaces (e.g. follow a product on Twitter and friend a product on Facebook). As UX Designers, we know the product experience matters. As the definition of “product experience” gets broader, part of the experience is how the product is perceived. It starts long before users use your products. For example, users want to interact with your brand through rich media and listen to what others are saying about your products especially from the people they trust. It’s a great opportunity where we can work with marketers to understand consumers’ behaviors (i.e. patterns, motivations, etc.), create digital experiences that engage them and get the best Return on Experience (ROE).