Customer experience for the digital generation

Written by: Rachelle Huh, Sales and Marketing Intern, All Things Media

When a company is crafting a marketing approach, the target’s unique characteristics that may affect this approach should always be considered. The digital generation is an example of a pivotal and time-pertinent demographic. Their effective point is their connection to social media, a mobile community that powerfully formulates interest groups unrestricted by geographic location. Social media changes the conventional customer experience approach. The digital generation’s customer experience is not dependent on the experience itself, but the image that presents this experience.

Customer experience’s ultimate goal is increased revenue through free marketing and increased credibility by satisfied customers. Traditionally, this was achieved through positive customer interaction. However, with the digital generation, touchpoints are more valuable than journey. The takeaway from the experience is more important than the customer interaction throughout the process.

The digital generation’s customer incentive is coined as FOMO, or “fear of missing out” on an experience. Because they cannot physically reciprocate an experience to others, social platforms are often designed to have visual touchpoints, or visual culminations of that experience. This is coined as “instagrammable” content. Social media is a platform where the user’s incentive is to market themselves through their experiences, which is often an experience of indulging a company product. A customer chooses a company over its competitors based on greater service quality. In parallel, a millennial generation customer expects companies to provide a better visual experience in comparison to the customer’s social media “competitors”. Overall, the digital generation expects a customer experience defined by a sharable touchpoint, which is often achieved by a visual product.

For example, take the infamous Fyre Festival incident. Public figure Billy McFarland falsely advertised a luxury music festival experience, initially convincing the public with the use of social ambassadors. Despite the lack of information provided on the event, people indulged in the image of the social ambassadors in replacement of credibility of the experience. An example of a wildly popular company-type that relies on this visual take-away is the pop-up museum. Pop-up museums are temporary art installations that move locations or change exhibitions according to local customer engagement, which usually degrades over time. Instead of providing a valuable experience in time, pop-up museums provide a valuable stagnant image of that time. Customers attend pop-up museums to share an aesthetic picture that is uniquely achievable at that location on social media. Pop-up museums use their gift shop as the exhibition. Essentially, the take-away is the marketed experience itself.

This is not to say a company should falsely advertise their product. Just as the power of social media may exponentially help your business, social media heightens public discredit achieved by user accessibility. However, companies must create visual customer experiences to effectively appeal to the digital generation.