What’ll happen if your two worlds merge?
When Pokémon Go app launched, everyone went bonkers over augmented reality. It was outa’ this world to hunt down the characters on PokéStops and Pokémon gyms with your smartphones on your home town streets via satellite imaging. Over 7 million people downloaded the app and it’s still counting. Hello people, this is hyper reality – a world that looks like this …
This is an opportunity innovative digital marketers must avail because it simply rocks!
Hyper Realistic Digital Marketing Trends For 2017
The book Digital Marketing: Global Strategies from the World’s Leading Experts explains “digital technology has opened new channels for selling products. It provides the consumer with a previously unimaginable quantity and quality of information in an easily accessible form.” So the key to success in 2017 is to value experiences – the ones you can create using digital media.
Augmented Reality Will Rule
Pokémon Go, Blippar and Snapchat filters are only a start to what’s coming ahead. Imagination has surely traveled from our minds into our lives, into the everyday things we do, into the things we wear and eat, and into our social interactions. If that’s not convincing enough to include this technology in your marketing strategy then the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that augmented reality hardware will grow almost 190% every year between 2016 and 2020.
The interactive properties of AR offer tremendous marketing possibilities for brands competing to engage a tech-savvy generation that survives on smartphones, smart watches, tablets and laptops. In its flagship store in Paris, Nike will debut its groundbreaking “sneaker customization” technology that can imprint digital graphical motions from a screen on to an object. With this system, developed by SmartPixels, the brand can give life to three of its shoe models. As customers approach the plinth, they can use a tablet to manipulate the appearance of the shoe just like visitors do on a retail website – only this time it is very real.
AI And Chatbots – Back To The Future
Does talking to a robot seem unrealistic to you? Think again. Digital marketing’s new buzzwords include conversational commerce and machine learning. S.O.S! Forget aliens, machines are taking over the world. After all Facebook messenger alone has over 30,000 bots.
It isn’t the only new thing brands will explore but it is one of them – an online activity, which doesn’t necessarily involve social media. Todays 2.0 version of artificial intelligence seems smart enough to communicate with customers on messaging apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, Google Allo, and Kik etc. So you need to be where your customers are! There are 2 billion smartphone users in the world and this figure will only escalate. Among these many use chat apps to communicate with friends, family and companies.
Daily Active Users On Chat Apps:
|Users||300 million||100 million||218 million||762 million||1 billion|
A recent survey of over 1,000 consumers aged 18 to 65 in the United States reveals 44% participants want to experience customer relationship management via chatbots. Companies are increasingly developing custom chatbots to understand, engage and provide solutions to customers.
The director of The Suspect (a 2014 interactive thriller), Guy Gadney said “The most fascinating use of machine learning is where the AI learns about us”. When the movie I, Robot starring Will Smith released, the idea of robotic beings living in our world was imaginable yet farfetched to become a mundane reality. But now we’re surrounded by robots and AI.
Google’s Rank Brain is a program that enhances the search company’s algorithms giving its users (many times) surprisingly accurate results to their queries. It also displays ads based on their preferences and search history. Psst, there’s a robot constantly recording and analyzing your activities just to engage you better online. This is perhaps a reason Google is a monopoly in the search engine industry.
The idea of machine learning should be embraced because part of a digital marketer’s job is to learn about target customers and offer befitting solutions.
Digital Board Games
Could this be a way to engage your customers – bringing back memories of board games with a twist?
World of Yoho describes its board game as a “gaming experience that combines the tangible and social pleasure of a board game with the interactive and adaptable mechanics of a video game.” Players plan their strategies with smartphones placed on the board.
Bloxels is another board game you play via an app on your tablet. The fun part is the character you make on the board comes to life on your screen. Perhaps by now you’re wondering what’s the point of this in digital marketing. Well, for game companies this is exciting and even for you. What if visiting cards, brochures, packaging and printed ads required a smart phone to reveal chunks of information? It happens via QR codes but that’s boring now.
Step Into Virtual Reality
American industrialist J. Paul Getty once said, “True innovation is coming up with a product that the customer didn’t even know they needed.” From Sony’s Walkman and Apple’s iPod, we’re now introduced to virtual reality headsets popularized by Google. The key to innovation today is to give customers magic moments i.e. surprise them, and create an experience worth cherishing.
An Arizona-based video production agency Point in Time Studios offers prospective real estate buyers a walk through a house they can interact with, like open the kitchen cabinet doors. The owner, Rami Kalla says “Anything is possible with VR. You can put yourself in any environment.” Digital marketers have another way to enrich the buyer’s journey.
Wireless VR headsets will enable people to experience the blend of the real and virtual world without being pulled back by a restricted cable. In fact, it’ll become more interesting with multisensory features like eye gaze and gesture controls. Moreover, information zettabytes will zoom around networks with 5G internet, making heavy data sharing a ‘piece of cake’.
Sound Technology Amplified
What is a story if it isn’t dramatized? One of the things we notice in storytelling is that expressions, surrounding and sound effects greatly influence the success of a story. In a world that’s social, responsive and experiential – digital marketers need techniques that amplify a customer’s journey from a stranger to a frequent buyer of the product.
If you convey a story in monotone, everyone will yawn but if you add punctuation to your sound things look up. And if you enhance the quality of sounds with let’s say ASMR then you entertain your customers just like Ritz Crackers did in South Korea.
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response accentuates euphoric experience – a technique marketers can use in 2017 to bring video production and virtual reality to life. It’s a sound that feels good and it definitely doesn’t include the screeching sound of nails on black board. Binaural microphones let you record high definition hyper-realistic sound effects. In fact, there’s an entire Reddit page dedicated to it. Think of the sounds you can intensify with ASMR and share them with me.
The Holographic Learning
Simply put, holograms are 3D images produced by light beams to reflect off physical objects. Mark Christian of Pearson finds that HoloLens headset will enable students to practice surgical procedures. The Duluth-based agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO Corp. aims to use holograms to guide their workers about the chemical spraying process. It’ll be highly entertaining and educational for customers to learn about brands via 3D simulations. Marketers are more than advertisers, they educate and engage. Hologram is the way to do this in 2017 – the new way of learning. But Microsoft is looking into something even more amazing.
Looks like we might start living a science fiction story, as cool as Star Wars for instance. Earlier this year, Microsoft introduced us to holoportation – a technology that allows a person to be in two places in one time. 3D depth cameras can broadcast a life-size version of you. If your customer owns a HoloLens, she can see you in three-dimensional in the space you’re in. But who’s ready to pay $3000 for the headset that can make this happen? Plus you need at least 30-50 mbps internet speed for this to work well. Nevertheless, if this becomes mainstream and affordable by 2017, marketing will become personalized and humanized to a whole new level. Imagine yourself in the personal spaces of your customers in real-time via HTC Vive for example.
Now it’s time Willy Wonka found a way to teleport chocolate bars to television screens. While Amazon Prime Air delivers products in a jiffy, I think holoportation is like living in the Matrix or Minority Report.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
With all the above happening in 2017, we know that we’ve entered a new phase that requires professional marketers to use digital devices to create responsive, relevant and measurable campaigns at a local and global scale. With the advancing technologies, possibilities are infinite. Don’t simply stick to the basic fact that “content is the king” but the way you choose to deliver and present the content is as important. This is no less than the excitement of Star Wars latest movie release!
So how far will go with digital marketing in 2017 to engage your customers?