What Is the Difference Between CX and PX?
by Lumavate | Last Updated: Nov 1, 2023
by Lumavate | Last Updated: Nov 1, 2023
Customer experience, also known as CX, comprises every interaction a consumer has with a company. Components of customer experience include in-store visits, customer service calls, sales transactions, online research, and much more. The elements of the customer experience inform how the consumer feels about the brand as a whole.
If customer experience speaks to the way a consumer interacts with a business, product experience (or PX) takes things one step further. Product experience deals with the way a customer feels about a particular product. Similarly to customer experience, the product experience includes every touch point a shopper has with a product, before and after the sale is made.
The two concepts are similar but have some significant differences. There are product experience examples where people like a given product, but aren’t enamored with the brand as a whole. For instance, people might not love the public persona of Elon Musk but still want to drive a Tesla. However, marketers are discovering that, while product experience and customer experience aren’t identical to each other, they often go hand in hand when it comes to consumer satisfaction.
There has been a massive shift in the past few years towards corporate social responsibility and ethical business. A great product sold by a soulless company won’t be universally loved in today’s world. Instead, shoppers -- particularly younger shoppers -- want to feel a connection with both the product and the brand that sells the product. And the best way to establish that connection is to support causes that matter to the customer.
More than 60 percent of customers aged 41 and younger would switch to a brand that is more aligned with the causes that matter to them. This figure might not tie directly to the tangible experience of using a product, but it surely influences the interactions leading up to the sale. Therefore, corporate social responsibility and supporting charitable endeavors aren’t just an element of the customer’s feelings about a brand. That brand identity is also a critical part of the product experience as well.
All of this is to say that, while the customer experience and the product experience are different, they’re more similar than it may seem. Negative brand perception will negatively influence the product experience, whereas a meaningful connection made through customer experience marketing will filter down to the product experience as well.
We now know that the customer experience and the product experience are, in most cases, intrinsically linked. However, that doesn’t mean that customer management and product management are similarly connected.
Customer management primarily deals with lead generation, conversion, and ongoing customer retention. The goal in customer management is to make each consumer a lifelong brand advocate. When a customer buys one item from a company, that organization will continue to cross-sell and promote other products in an attempt to build brand loyalty. In short, customer management is about attracting customers, and then trying to keep those customers happy over the long haul.
Product management does hit some similar notes, but it’s focused on a singular product. For instance, while Apple does everything possible to keep customers as engaged members of their ecosystem through their variety of offerings, product management deals solely with selling just one item, such as an iPhone or AirPods. Product management revolves around the lifecycle of a particular product, from launch and creating product awareness, to creating a buzz around the product, to onboarding purchasers and providing post-sale support.
In terms of customer experience vs product management, which is more important? Again, these concepts go hand in hand, though there is a bit more separation at the management level. Product management strategy doesn’t focus on brand advocacy or identifying causes that customers would be likely to support. Just the same, customer experience strategy doesn’t necessarily care which product a consumer buys, as long as the consumer buys one and deepens their relationship with the brand.
Just as product management and customer management are different, so too are customer marketing and product marketing. The differences here, though, go deeper.
Customer marketing has a focus that’s smaller than product marketing. That’s because customer marketing deals with active, current consumers of the brand’s products. The idea is to take current customers and keep them current by continuing to promote the brand and its best features. The smartest customer marketing companies use data-driven strategies that identify the best ways to appeal to each consumer. In other words, customer marketing isn’t a blanket approach -- it’s tailored to the needs of each customer based on their activity and their needs.
Product marketing is different for one major reason -- it’s not just focused on current customers. Instead, product marketing also aims to attract people who aren’t currently using the product, and in fact, might have never purchased from the company. Product marketing centers around advertising the product, promoting its features, and enticing both new and existing customers to buy the product. The goal is to get people to buy the product and then support those purchasers as they use the product.
It’s at this point where product marketing and customer marketing come together. Ideally, the product has done such a good job of selling the company that customer marketing can pitch those consumers on future purchases, whether it be that same product or a different product sold by the brand. In this way, customer marketing leverages the work done by product marketing, immersing the customer in that brand’s products and culture. The result is a consumer who’s truly loyal to the brand as a result of several successful purchases.