ORLANDO – Think of the last best experience you’ve had. According to Babs Rangaiah, executive partner of marketing solutions for the Interactive Experiences unit of IBM, this last-best becomes the minimum expectation for future experiences of a similar kind.
Rangaiah uses E-ZPass as an example of how quickly customers’ expectations can change.
“Once E-ZPass was put in place and consumers got conditioned to being able to seamlessly go through a toll, that impacts not just tolls, but other industries as well, whether it’s turnstiles or buses,” says Rangaiah in an interview with Beet.TV at the ANA CMO Global Council. “So you really have to start with creating experiences based on not just what your industry or category competitors are doing but really what people in life go through.”
Rangaiah explains that IBM, among others, are using these everyday processes to rethink ways to engage consumers, even if it’s not driven by other competitors in the industry.
An example that Rangaiah uses is a partnership with 1-800-FLOWERS in which IBM created a Watson-powered online experience. Instead of going to a website and seeing a chart of all of the different flowers, this site allows consumers to be in conversation with the service, and in answering a series of questions, the customer is presented with a customized arrangement based off of their own tastes.
Rangaiah sees experiences like these as evidence that expectations for marketers to look beyond the advertisement are evolving.
“It’s more about how you’re measuring,” says Rangaiah. “And getting more laser focused and having more data and having more ability to measure what’s having the greatest impact.”