NEW YORK: Brands may benefit from focusing on their "share of experience" – a strategy employed by Delta Air Lines to gain a more holistic picture of how it is performing with consumers.

Fiona Blades, founder/president of research agency MESH, worked with Delta on this effort, and discussed details at the Advertising Research Foundation's (ARF) Audience Measurement 2015 event.

And she suggested that, in many cases, marketing directors are asking the wrong questions when seeking to determine their success.

"We know how much is going into TV and how much is going into the internet," she said. (For more, including further tips for diversifying measurement, read Warc's exclusive report: How "experience" aligns (or doesn't) with media spend.)

"But if you asked the question, 'How do people experience your brand?' ... the result won't just include paid media."

More specifically, Blades recommended establishing the full context in which consumers experience a brand.

That will include whether they experience it with family or other people, if this event occurs at home or elsewhere, if they are doing something else at the moment of exposure, and so on.

Such an approach does address the paid/owned/earned media mix, but also incorporates a wider group of "environmental" factors, too.

For an airline like Delta, these drivers will extend to the physical spaces in which individuals experience its brand, right down to the airport and the aircraft itself.

Attempting to "harness" this fuller slate of touchpoints, Blades asserted, enables companies to more deeply understand the customer experience.

"Positive experience can have many times the impact of neutral experience. In some instances, we've actually found that neutral experiences have a negative impact on brand consideration," she added.

"So it's important to have not just 'quantity' but 'quality' experiences."

Data sourced from Warc