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Graphic for Adobe Webinar

Selling an Experience vs. Products

I attended a webinar prepared for Adobe by James L. McQuivey, Ph.D. who is VP, Principal Analyst for Forrester. Forrester is an American market research company that provides advice on existing and potential impact of technology, to its clients and the public. Long story short the presentation was trying to point out why Web Designers should only use Adobe products. Since I didn’t sign up for that, I’d like to put our Digital Marketing department in the shoes of Adobe for the time being. The whole point of this blog post is to share what I took away from this webinar with retailers. Try not to focus so much on selling products, but instead focus on selling an experience.

This webinar was more about how companies are changing. I realize James was talking about big companies like Tesla, and Amazon who own lots of smaller companies. I’d like to point out a similarity to a Grocery Retailer though. Both Amazon and Grocery Stores want you to opt into more than one product. Both want to provide a convenient experience.

This webinar made a couple of good points:

  1. People are consuming more media than ever before – more songs, more information, more video.
  2. They’re turning to nontraditional sources to get most of that additional content.

Whoever provides the most engaging experience wins! For example, in the past, Garmin, who is known for GPS location tracking, noticed a lack of health aid trackers for the general public. Garmin moved ahead in this area because it didn’t seem like the health industry was going to jump in anytime soon. Garmin noticed a “category disruption” which is the thing that will take everyone by surprise. They could see that connected devices and sensors that worked anytime and anywhere was going to create a data explosion.

As a result, the data explosion changes the kind of experiences companies can build for customers. Data is showing that getting a customer’s attention isn’t only with TV, weekly print ads and radio. A retailer can also get a customers attention with email, websites, texting and social media.

Another point was how the Amazon Echo is not only a product, but a relationship that delivers connected experiences. I think a shopping bag; basket or cart might someday be a comparable device. Here’s why listed below.

Some of the things you can ask Alexa to do:

  1. Play your favorite song via Spotify.
  2. Tell me a joke.
  3. Order me a grande latte from Starbucks.
  4. Order me a pizza from Dominos.
  5. Get me out of here, call Uber.
  6. What’s the weather?

What if you could ask your shopping cart to:

  1. Show me where the bread aisle is.
  2. What else goes with Salmon?
  3. How long will these vegetables stay good in my car?
  4. Tell me what’s on my shopping list.
  5. What can I get that doesn’t involve turning on my oven?
  6. Was that thunder I just heard?
  7. Can you repeat the special I heard on the intercom?

Companies are now using devices and services – and the data they generate – to understand what customers need beyond current products. More data will be used in the future to anticipate customer service; not just answer questions.


Why do I work at AWG? “It’s hard to find a native Kansan who doesn’t have family living in a small town community... and I am no exception. My family tree is full of farmers who have helped put food on our tables for over 100 years. So when I hear of a small town’s only grocery store closing down it hits home. Even though I now live in a big city, I like to know through my work I can help keep small independent grocery stores stay open for future generations to enjoy.” -Sharlyn