New technology is helping customers to better engage with brands through experiential marketing. Every technological breakthrough offers companies an opportunity to create unique experiences tailored to their customers. But what are the emerging technologies, and how can they create meaningful real-life experiences? Here is a quick guide.
A past example of emerging technology that has really impacted experiential marketing is Projection Mapping. It has proved popular because it can immerse and surprise audiences en masse. Buildings and objects, usually irregularly shaped, become display surfaces for video projections. Examples include transforming the 02 Arena for the Wear the Rose campaign, to support the England team in the 2015 Rugby World Cup (unfortunately it did nothing to improve the result). Notably, Battersea Power Station also used projection mapping to promote its major redevelopment.
RFID + Wearables
The Apple Watch is an example of Wearable technology which provides advertisers’ access to consumers, their personal interests and activity. When this is used alongside RFID it can track users and trigger experiences at check points; mainly because of the introduction of Geo-fencing technology. This will enhance personalisation through exclusive messages pushed to the wearer - such as individual directions to the activation. Virgin Active is utilising wearable RFID technology by assisting customers’ workouts through tracking and measuring their progress and past workout history. This technology has the potential to simplify processes or speed up check in processes.
Augmented & Mixed Reality
The success of Pokémon Go demonstrated the marketing potential of Augmented Reality (AR), where animated objects are viewed in real life situations through a device such as a mobile phone. The Royal British Legion featured poppies on posters and newspaper mastheads, which used a mobile app to reveal a video, compelling stories and the opportunity to donate. Virtual Reality (VR) often involves wearing a headset to see content displayed in a 3D environment, such as Oculus Rift. VR is great for journey experiences, and the Star Wars franchise used this to send the wearer to a galaxy far far away. Mixed Reality is the evolution of this, where people will see a virtual object without using any digital device. Pioneering this technology is Magic Leap, who have kept things tightly under wrap. The full potential of this product is still under development, but the predicted benefit is greater integration between all elements of a marketing campaign.
There are many benefits to investing in new technology for creating personalised experiences, including:
- Increased interaction – leading to promotion by word of mouth and exposure
- Enhanced data capture – leading to increased consumer knowledge
- Seamless integration – between digital and live experience
- Personalisation – enhanced through enhanced data capture
Change always involves overcoming difficulty, and brands will have to address the following issues:
- Privacy and security concerns – consumers could reject brands who misuse or overuse customer data
- Speed of technological advances – technology could be obsolete before making a good return on investment
- Cost – some demographics could be excluded as the technology becomes unaffordable
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Brands can easily be seduced into believing that new technology is the solution to all their marketing problems. All technology is a tool, and the smart brands know which to select and when. New technology used effectively to create personalised experiences will help demonstrate a brand’s relevancy to consumers. Technological advances will enable more experiences to be developed. Brands need to understand these trends now so they can take advantage of future developments.