This Week In Marketing: The Importance of Understanding Your Customers

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This week, we look at three discussions about a common theme – understanding consumers. We learn about importance of researching your audience, defining customer experience, and knowing the elements affecting each user experience.

The Creativity Post Busts Myths About Millennials

Much has been said about millennials and the attributes they can be characterized by: entitled, consumed by digital devices, hedonistic, and so forth. This article breaks through these stereotypes, hypothesizing that the differences between millennials and boomers may be attributed instead to a logical error, or a hasty generalization. These attributes may be accurate for some millennials, but they don’t necessarily apply to all. Author Justin Brady notes, “For example, while it’s true white millennials use tech more than older generations, hispanic millennials use tech less than White Generation X.”

The takeaway here? Don’t rely on sweeping generalizations to understand your audience. Get to know your audience on a much more targeted level. This simply supports the huge importance of investing in personas. If you go with these broad generalizations to guide your marketing, it’s likely you’re missing out on opportunities to really understand the attitudes, habits, and values of your target audience.

Defining Customer Experience

In an article for CMO.com, author Michael Hinshaw tackles the ubiquity of the phrase “customer experience,” and the lack of a common definition. “Everyone knows they need to do it–and that they need to do it well,” Hinshaw says. However, the term gets muddled in with a huge variety of activities, departments, and disciplines. Hinshaw argues “customer experience, on the other hand, is by its nature an “outside-in” view of an organization–looking at the process of interacting with your firm and the relationship it has with you from the perspective of the customer.” Customers own it, and the company’s job is to make sure they have the right people, processes, information, and technology in place to better deliver on customer expectations. Customers define the customer experience, and it’s the company’s job to understand it, manage it, and optimize it.

What do you need to do in order to understand customer experience? Know your audience! If you’re not studying how your users are interacting with your product and marketing, then you don’t really know how it’s being perceived or whether or not it’s effective. If you spend a bunch of time and money on something that you think will make customers super happy, it’s only effective if you find out they actually are happy. Evaluate whether or not your company has the proper procedures in place to collect consumer feedback.

How Virtual Reality Will Affect UX

This article from web designer magazine explores what UX considerations will have to be made when designing for virtual reality (VR). This includes interfaces breaking out of the two-dimensional screen, depth and scale, spatial organization of UI components, immersion, sound, scale, and visuals. The user experience is catapulted from a one angle view, to coming from all angles and depths, forcing the designer to be even more detailed.

It’s hard to design for a platform where the sky’s the limit. Developing metrics about user’s perceptions before designing the UX is key. Focusing on measurable elements when creating UX for virtual reality is the difference between a casual experience and one that is memorable.

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