Soundbites: Personal Experience Factor

Chris: Welcome to BrandingBlog SoundBites. I’m Chris Loghry along with Dave Young from and a Wizard of Ads Partner. We’ve talked about several things. We’ve included the Ad Budget Calculator in a couple of the podcasts. You can always go back to that and check that out online. There’s a link to that on the podcast. Today we want to touch on the topic of the power of personal experience. Hello Dave.

Dave: Hi Chris. Personal experience, it’s a big deal in any retail store.

Chris: Now are we talking about the customer? Are you talking about the retailer themselves? Which angle are we taking here?

Dave: Well, I’m talking about the customer, the experience that you get when you walk in the door of a business.

Chris: The basic experience of being a shopper going into a store and how they like it, how they don’t?

Dave: Most people don’t understand how that interplays with their ad budget and how their ads are working, whether they’re performing really well. Have you ever given that any thought?

Chris: I can’t say that I have. You mentioned that in a previous podcast that you consider the store, the location part of their ad budget, and that’s an interesting way to look at it.

Dave: One of these times we’re going to talk about the Advertising Performance Equation. The Personal Experience Factor is one of two big levers that can increase the performance of an ad budget. One of them, and we’ve mentioned it before, is the Impact Quotient. The Impact Quotient is the ad’s ability to convince or to get people to act, and the other one is the personal experience factor. The really key part of the Personal Experience Factor is that it feeds back into this performance equation as kind of a feedback loop in the form of word of mouth. If I go into Joe’s Paint Store and Joe’s Paint Store is exactly what I expected it to be, there’s row after row of cans of paint …

Chris: And brushes.

Dave: … and brushes and tarps and supplies. There’s Joe standing behind the counter, and he says, “Hey, how are you doing?” I say, “Great, looking for some paint.” I get exactly the experience that I was expecting, but it’s not any better and it’s not any worse than I was expecting. It’s just perfectly neutral. It really doesn’t have much effect at all on whether your ad budget and everything else is working well. Expectations were met. I wasn’t disappointed, but neither was I thrilled. It’s just neutral. It just passes right through.

Chris: Kind of a gray area.

Dave: It’s kind of like just filling your car up with regular gasoline. It runs. It runs just like you expected it to run. No better, no worse. Your experience is neutral. If you took the same car and dumped really bad gas in it, maybe you aren’t supposed to use E85 and you put that in your car.

Chris: Not a good idea.

Dave: Not a good idea. It’s not going to run very well is it?

Chris: Right.

Dave: Your experience is going to less than you expected. The performance of your car is not going to be up to par. The same thing if you put high octane and then somebody, while you weren’t looking, put a nitrous injector under the hood, your experience in driving that car is going to be way more than you expected.

Chris: You kind of go back to what we’ve talked about in previous podcasts. You figured your ad budget. You decided where to put those dollars to maximize your advertising, and then you get customers into the store and they’re terribly disappointed.

Dave: You’ve just wasted your ad budget.

Chris: I was trying to think of a way of saying that without saying it, but that’s the truth, all that work for naught.

Dave: Exactly. What’s amazing is people don’t put two and two together. They think that the ad budget’s job is to get people through the door period. Not all your traffic is coming from your ad budget. A lot of your traffic in any business is coming from referrals. It’s coming from whether you did a remarkable enough job or you had a remarkable enough store or remarkable enough food at your restaurant for your customers to actually recommend you to somebody else.

Chris: Do you find that business owners stop to think about that themselves, is what makes me go back to a particular store or a particular business? Why do I do that and how can I turn that into what people experience in my business?

Dave: Most of them are too busy putting out fires to stop and think about that.

Chris: That would’ve been my guess.

Dave: And that there are some actual ways to improve those things. All you have to do is be better than your competitors. You don’t have to be a whole lot better. You just have to be slightly better. One of the things I tell people to do is go into your competitors’ shops or have a spouse or a friend, if you’re worried about your competitor thinking that you’re in there spying on him, you’re going to spy on them anyway, you’re just not going to do it yourself, but go in and rate them.

A simple way to do it, and I have a little handout that I give people if they subscribe to my email list, and there’s a little form right on the side of Branding Blog, but I’ll send this to you. It’s five senses, basically a little survey. You go into a competitor’s store and rate the store based on your five senses. Does it smell okay? Does it smell good or bad or is it neutral?

What does it look like from the street? What does it look like inside? Is it painted well? Are the carpets worn? Those kinds of things. Look around with your eyes and decide does this have a pleasing look to it.

Chris: Dave Young from and Wizard of Ads Partner. Dave, thanks for joining us.

Dave: Thank you Chris.

You’ve been listening to BrandingBlog SoundBites with Wizard of Ads Partner Dave Young. For more information, visit Dave Young’s Please feel free to share this podcast by sending the link or the MP3 to someone who could benefit from the information. Thank you for listening to BrandingBlog SoundBites with Dave Young.

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