User experience and engagement

User experience and engagement

Engagement is not an on/off switch. It’s an experience. Marketers, PR pros, SEO gurus and the humble digital strategist are enterprising the face, voice and touch of brands and campaigns today.

Today isn’t just digital and mobile.  It is a seamless transition through online, offline and everything in between.  Brands need a steward, a navigator – to guide them through something we in the web business were fond of “user experience”.

Everyone knows the marketing landscape has changed, far fewer understand what to do as a result of that change. What holds true is that the customer is at the heart of it all: and their experience is how a brand may be remembered.

Whether is mobile, social or digital: the geeks of yesterday find themselves counted amongst the marketers.  And the best marketers are realizing it’s adapt and live, or stagnate and fade to the background.

This unique combination of skills across communications, digital development, design, customer relationship management and oh yeah, the four P’s of marketing are forcing teams to grow more collaborative.  But collaboration is hard, not necessarily complex, but certainly hard.

When we’re recruiting for digital or for client servicing today, everyone is talking about strategy.  And user experience is a wonderful way to see if they can walk the walk.  It’s not all big picture: it’s about smaller nuances between digital channels, their audiences and the multiple platforms for desktops, tablets and smart-phones.

User experience and user interface designers look at the whole picture and know each piece intimately.  Better still, they understand the human reactions of many audiences – young, old, male or female.

I believe user experience designers will be a pillar for future marketing teams. Even future C-level management.

Look at Apple, Pintrest, Weibo and Nespresso– all designed to be seamless experiences for the user. From a web sign-up right through to content syndication to the four screens.

Furthermore, search engine data, web analytics and the emergence social CRM all provide a plethora of smart data to build intelligent ideas – creative ideas – for those who are nimble enough to change and adapt.

From management to the intern, brands are stewarded by a number of different skill sets that were once deeply divided: digital has connected them together.


Jye Smith is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Operations, Asia Pacific at Weber Shandwick. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, Jye a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital and social media strategist.