Marketing is becoming increasingly experiential and immersive. Consumers demand more than just a product or service from Brands, be that an added value experience or a promise that their action will ensure that the Brand does something to further communities, causes, society. As a result, marketing programs are looking to make every interaction more meaningful, more action-oriented. Technology is vehicle to accomplish these ambitions.
We can see marketing initiatives be a lot more “benefit and more” oriented, be that through simple material added value plays, experience added value plays, or by deepening the experience altogether. The interesting thing is that the solutions aren’t revolutionary, they are simply additive which has been facilitated through digital solutions be they mobile, social, tech, etc.
The most basic manifestation of this new experiential and immersive marketing world is the material added-value tactic. This means that you get more than the actual service or product that you buy. Fragrance and cosmetic brands have been using this method for ages with their GWP (gift with purchase) programs. The difference now is that GWP ideas are a lot more innovative and creative due to simplified production realities through technological innovation, and due to the constant pursuit of content and social currency. To illustrate this point, I have found a highly localized program by Coca-Cola in Denmark. A simple alteration to the vending machine and your purchase of a can of Coke takes on a whole new, more national pride-driven, meaning.
Another basic added-value play is by making purchases or deals less transactional and more meaningful, contributing to the emotional affinity of the Brand. While pushing deals is important to activate new consumers, re-activate existing consumers, or simply to push frequency, the risk of commoditization is ever-present. Through technology, these tactics can be infused with more than just the discount offering. A smart idea from the popcorn-maker Orville Redenbacher shows us how to turn the mundane coupon into an entertaining experience.
The next type of added-value play is to make the experience with marketing more valuable to your day-to-day life. The simple “ad” is often not enough. Instead, Brands need to demonstrate that they want to contribute to the betterment of the lives of their consumers. Pedigree did this very well with a program in Brussels that used simple outdoor posters as maps to help dog-owners find fun and interesting walk routes for their pets. The walks were then captured on social media to inform other dog-owners.
The hashtag is a huge tool in facilitating the added-value experience play because the technology allows marketers to easily push content to consumers. A whole industry has flourished around this exciting new reality. A company like Chirpifyprovide a whole realm of solutions to allow Brands quite a comprehensive selection of added-value benefits that they can serve up to their consumers. Starbucks quickly jumped onto this opportunity to allow its consumers to “share a cup of Starbucks” with their friends. In essence, Starbucks turned its lovers into sales people, yet these people viewed it more as a way that Starbucks allowed them to share their joy of consumption with those that they care about. Very cool.
A final way that marketing is becoming more added-value oriented is by making experiences a lot more immersive. The hunger for more immersive experiences is on the rise. The popularity of immersive theater propelled by groups such as PunchDrunk coupled with the rise in sports that really heighten your emotional experience demonstrates that people are craving more intense experiences. This makes a lot of sense when you think about the world that we all live in that surrounds us with entertainment and distractions at every moment in the day. We are constantly “activated” so we are getting used to this state of intensity. Our natural reaction is to want a lot more (or a lot less). Brands will want to cater to both of these new desired realities. Technology can help. The example below is not a marketing program that illustrates this point. Instead it is about a new screen technology that will allow Brands to think about being more immersive with their traditional advertising.