Customer-Centric Experiences Through Performance Design
Customer-Centric Experiences Through Performance Design

From June 20–23, PathIQ was in attendance at Collision Conference in Toronto for three days of talks, networking and all-round good times! With more than 900 speakers across 20 tracks from which to choose, we share our notes from the floor of our favourite talks—all viewed through the lens of performance marketing, of course.

At PathIQ, our work on landing-page optimization and customer journey mapping exposes us to the nuances and power of all the data that indicates a prospects’ level of interest in a particular product or service online. That includes web searches, the pages they visit and the content they consume. It’s an incredible amount of actionable data.

At its best, a well-designed campaign pretty much ensures that by the time a user arrives on a landing page, marketers should understand  a user’s behaviours, interests and motivations, allowing them to prioritize the content that most closely matches their user’s intent. Taken altogether, the search, display and content served can offer a personalized experience to the user that is differentiating and memorable.

The danger with such an approach, of course, is that performance marketers tend to use tools to distill users down to a manageable number of user types, in order to communicate and anticipate their goals and needs. Sometimes, this can be reductive.

It’s a tendency toward which Amy Thibodeau, Gusto’s Chief Design Officer, seems keenly aware. “Who are we not designing for when we distill users into an average?” she asked earlier this month during her session at Collision, which saw over 35,000 attendees, start-ups and influencers from more than 130 countries come to Toronto. At Gusto, Thibodeau collaborates with cross-functional partners in product, engineering and data to craft robust experiences to satisfy customer needs.

Oddly, hers was the only talk amidst an eclectic schedule that focused specifically on customer experience. 

Whether you’re a performance marketer who works with performance designers or you’re a designer working in performance marketing yourself, Thibodeau offered up a few threads to tie performance marketing, design and customer centricity together — and I’ve pulled at a few within the bounds of this post. 

The hallmark of a successful content experience is that it moves an online user forward in a way that seems natural rather than pushy or overt.  “There are humans at the end of every transaction.”, Thibodeau reminded her audience. Performance marketers walk a fine line here, encouraging their visitors to satisfy marketing KPIs and objectives while nevertheless making them feel that they haven’t relinquished control of the decision-making process.

Performance marketers have learned that one way to accomplish this is to become much more attentive to mundane moments. There is a richness to be had when you take notice of the usual customer experience—and do something different. “Turn mundane moments into milestones” recommended Thibodeau. Delight isn’t a category of experience, but a quality of experience, which means you can embed meaningful or magical micro moments anywhere in your customer’s journey.  To delight and be useful, we need to deliver fast, relevant, and assistive experiences.

A  better understanding of consumers, coupled with smart automation, will enable personalization at scale—provided we don’t ignore Thibodeau’s reminder that, at the end of every transaction, there remains a human! And that insight, along with our collective ability to connect it to the content experience, will be foundational to performance—and success.

To learn more about PathIQ, and how we can scale our proven, leading-edge approach alongside your marketing efforts, contact us here.


About Author

Daniel Sendecki

For over 15 years, Daniel Sendecki has been a noteworthy leader in the content marketing space, and an experienced writer, strategist, and brand marketer. As VP of Content for PathIQ, Daniel plays a fundamental role in piecing together the consumer’s increasingly fragmented path to purchase. In this role, he holds content accountable to performance goals in order to better attribute direct, bottom-line ROI. In short, he does let the facts get in the way of a good story! Daniel has been invited to speak by organizations such as the Canadian Marketing Association, sharing insights, frameworks, and real-life examples of how marketers can deliver greater personalization and memorable content experiences—at scale.


Want to get on the path to better marketing ROI?

Customer paths determine conversion outcomes. We help you optimize every stage of their journey, so they get the best customer experience, and you get the best return on your marketing investment.

Contact Us