How to Match Digital Experience Tactics to User Scenarios


Experience is not a one size fits all solution. Though today most conversations are around a generic bucket of experience tactics being delivered to a universe of prospects, customers, partners and employees. The reality though is that this universe is made up of many different sets of experience expectations. If we want more satisfied customers, increased loyalty, a lower cost to serve, more engaged employees and ultimately an increase in net promoter score, then we need to think differently.


What is needed are different iterations of experience based on user scenarios. I use the term scenario instead of segment because experiences are dynamic, ever changing like scenes of life. Segments are static slivers in time.

Here are some vastly different user scenarios. A 38 year old "technology social" woman who likes to shop high-end brands is traveling alone to work by train, using her tablet to discuss the latest style of dress shoes with her community. A 23 year old "technology always" man who loves his phone is sitting at lunch with his friends to watch the latest mountain bike performance videos. A 50 year old "technology transactional" man is at work checking mutual fund performance on his desktop. Each of these scenarios have different sets of experience expectations.

Here are categories of input which can be used to define scenarios.
  • Consumer Characteristics - Demographics, Psychographics and Lifestyles
  • Categories & Brands - What product or brand are you interacting with?
  • Locations - Where are you; home, work and or traveling?
  • With Whom - Are you alone with your kids, friends, spouse, etc?
  • Channel Exposure - What is your interface; mobile, tablet, desktop, brick and mortar?
  • Life Activities - eating, socializing, vacationing, using technology, etc

The woman on the train will expect an experience based on her current scenario. The man at lunch will expect something different, as will the man at work. In fact, the experience expectation will change throughout the day for each of these users.

Just like there are multiple scenarios, an expected or exceptional experience is not a single solution, but a composite of three experience categories. I define these core categories as the communication experience - is what you are saying to me relevant, the operational experience - does the channel work, and the value experience - what's in it for me. Each has its own set of strategies and tactics. What changes for the solution is the weighting of each experience category by each scenario. So in one particular scenario there might be more weighting given to the operational experience and less to value.

This approach provides a framework for identifying a customized approach to delivering experience expectations. It supports more innovation around particular scenario experience because it exposes gaps or focus that might not have been apparent before.

Here are a some tactics aligned to the experience categories:

  • Communication experience; personalized content both text and imagery, relevant products, relevant timely marketing, appropriate instructions, chat, social integration, tools, knowledge libraries and more
  • Operational experience; intuitive navigation, seamless workflow, life-stage/business stage support, purchase cycle support, accessibility, up-time/load time performance, SEO management, availability of customer service, seamless channel handoff, collaboration and more
  • Value experience: appropriate pricing, relevant transactional and shipping fees, relevant products, appropriate features/benefits, coupons, offers and more
The weighting of each of these experience categories and tactics will be driven by the scenario(s) of the user. For example, the women on the train using community/social platforms will want the ability to access appropriate content and a platform that is quick. The man checking mutual fund performance would want accurate data and the ability to transact quickly and seamlessly.

Traditionally, the solution has been to deliver all experience features to everyone but there is a cost to deliver and maintain. Why invest into personalization if an end user wants a high performing platform to deliver video? Focus on tactics that have the highest impact on experience across the most scenarios.

The reason we want to provide expected user experiences, and exceed them at the right price, is to ultimately generate more and lower cost revenue. This will come from initial transactions, repeat purchases, advocating and referring new business. This in turn would/should increase net promoter score (NPS). But remember this is a journey, which means an ongoing process of measuring and adjusting for optimization.

Here is how to match digital experience tactics to user scenarios:
  1. Dig deep into the target audiences you care about and develop multiple scenarios for each. These will be much more robust than segments and personas. Think of it as creating a 5 five scene movie taking place over 24 hours. A day in the life.
  2. Match up similar scenarios across all target audiences in your universe. See where there are common denominators. The bigger the need the higher the focus.
  3. Categorize existing and potential user experience tactics into communication, operational and value. Look for gaps, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvements. You might find one category is non-existent and the other robust.
  4. Tag experience category tactics to scenarios, weighting the tactics based on the scenario needs. Survey end users on their experience expectations by scenario and use these results to assign and weight tactics.
  5. Determine the ROI of tactics by scenario then prioritize, roadmap, build and deploy experience tactics in order to meet experience expectations. Measure scenario user experiences ongoing to ensure impact of tactics on the bottom-line. Adjust, deploy and measure again.

These are some new concepts, but I believe using scenarios instead of segments will provide a more realistic view of your target audiences. Breaking experience down into communication, operational and value categories will provide a more detailed view into tactical inventory to identify gaps, weaknesses and opportunities versus scenario needs.

Popular posts from this blog

Digital Marketing Stack: Half or Full?

Digital Delivery: Closing the Business-IT Gap

The Value of "Earned"​ in the Digital Media Engine