The days when consumers were happy to just watch television commercials, read print advertisements and hear radio messages are long gone. Some marketers miss this age and are scared by current developments. But instead of being scared of this challenge – I’d recommend anyone in this industry to embrace this great change – because this change brings great opportunities with it.
Looking at the speed in which technologies are advancing, I think that we are probably living in one of the most exciting and game changing decades in the history of our industry. If the last decade was the start of mobility and social – I believe that this current decade among other things will be characterized as the start of the great digitization of everything in marketing and business.
Now more than ever marketers need to innovate and pioneer into areas that are white spots for digital. Marketers need to seize the opportunity and create a digital footprint in a whole world that is not digital yet. Whoever is able to pioneer and innovate their traditional marketing & biz channel ecosystem, will have good chances to emerge stronger than ever out of this decade.
In order to make this digital footprint, let’s have a look at 3 low hanging fruit to start a 360 degree digitization of marketing and business…
Three low hanging fruit to start digitizing traditional communications & channels
1) Digitally empowered Interactive video storytelling
Digital allows for interactivity in content. Therefore with digital – video does not have do be linear anymore. We can simply create stories that have tweaks and twists, stories that put the viewer in control. Creating interactive stories is actually not as difficult as it sounds – it’s simply a matter of planning for multiple endings and leveraging the best channels to deliver the content.
A great example of innovative video storytelling is the recent “A hunter….a Bear” campaign by the european white-out brand – Tip-Ex..
This interactive experience puts the product in the spotlight & allows viewers to re-write a story. The Brand simply planned for a story and shot scenes for any word that would fit the blank of the “A hunter….a Bear” – thereby creating an immersive experience with which tens of millions of people interacted with multiple times.
2) Digitally empowered promoters
Digital is opening up enormous opportunities for brands to innovate their retail & promotion experiences. With the help of digital tools brands are able to empower on-the-ground promoters in retail stores, supermarkets or anywhere else. These tools are able to aid visual feature product demonstrations to consumers and allow promoters to capture & digitize consumer data in one go.
A good example of digitally empowered promoters tools was recently proactively developed by our Ogilvy Digital Lab as a concept prototype.
The working prototype mainly consisted of two layers. The first layer allows brands to push training modules and product education directly to the field promoters, test them on knowledge and make sure consistent marketing materials are presented in-store through the iPad.
The second layer focuses on the external consumer interactions between the promoter and consumers. It allows promoters to invite consumers through simple touch gestures to launch product feature demos and other creative content, while capturing consumer data & contacts.
3) Product trial experiences at retail
Another great opportunity to digitize the last mile is to re-invent product trial itself with the help of digital technology & creative content. Digital offers vast opportunities to improve the way consumers experience products at retail stores.
One such recent example of improving the product trial experience through digital is a project we did for an optician. Instead of the traditional way of trying on glasses and looking indifferently into the mirror we turned product trial into a fun and fashionable experience.
We deployed photo-equipped touch screens into retail stores. The digital product trial stations featured a virtual photographer who advises consumers how to try on glasses and how to pose wearing the product for the virtual fashion shoot.
When the virtual fashion shooting is completed, consumers can apply photo effects such as ‘Lomo’ to their fun product trial shots. Simply type your mobile number into the booth to send the fashion shoot directly from retail onto your mobile device.
The great digitization of digital is underway – the three low hanging fruit above are just a small beginning. There are other big opportunities to leverage digital technology and creative content in the next few years to innovate in the great digitization marketing and channels.
Some of the trends to watch out for are:
– Digital OOH – outdoor displays will allow for interactivity
– mCommerce – mobile as ticket, loyalty card & wallet
– Smart OOH display ads – ads that know who you are
– Gamification of CRM – bringing the social gaming & visualization to loyalty programs
– RFID with Retail & Social – enabling personalized product trial and social outdoor experiences
– Retail as Experience Store – B&M as product experience store that drives sales online & offline
– Digital at brand events – tools to enhance event experience with entertain or utility
– Mobile complementing TV broadcasts – mobile as remote control to live interactions & info
How to get started with your digitization
First, marketers need to identify what areas of their traditional communications and channels encounter problems and what is the cause of the problems
Second, marketers need to start identifying technologies and creative content concepts that might be able to fix the problems.
Lastly, marketers should adopt an agile beta approach. Marketers should just go ahead and prototype the experience to test it in practice. If it does not work, adjust it. If it’s successful scale it up to your mass market.
Now more than ever in a constant changing digital environment marketers need to be bold and pioneer digital to gain a competitive advantage for the future.