The Digital Marketing Future

In its earliest form, experiential marketing consisted of tactics so simple that they might not even be considered “experiential” today. In the old days guests or consumers were drawn in by physical connection, personal engagement, that directly connected them to the product and its value. In today’s increasingly impersonal, fast-paced digital world, consumers are craving tactile, sublime experiences more than ever.

Most companies relied heavily on free sampling to allow consumers to experience the benefits of their products in the hopes of inciting an in-store purchase down the road. Nothing beats the whistling smells of fresh baked bread pouring from a bakery storefront. You can’t help but stop in for a sample or even bring home a fresh loaf for dinner. Though oftentimes a successful strategy, companies started turning to ‘digital offerings’ to entice people during activations. Flash forward to today, where technology is the centerpiece in most experiential marketing campaigns.

The digital influence and possibilities forced companies to start relying directly on technology in their quest for consumers’ loyalty. Now every event or marketing tactic involves high-tech activations, i.e. virtual reality, pop up shops, and interactive displays.

With the right engagement and the right technology, brands can develop highly customized interactions that appeal to every consumer with unmatched scalability. These activations can often make or break someone’s view of a company or brand. Some of the most successful campaigns to date began as a simple idea backed by powerhouse technology.

The rapid evolution of digital has changed the way we purchase goods, consume, and activate for live events, and there is no going back. The world of experiential is facing a crucial and compelling shift where the technology influenced world of marketing offers endless possibilities for live events and brands today. In the world of experiential activations, what was once simple and functional can now be immersive, mind-bending and personalized to reach the minds and hearts of every attendee.

Brands understand that consumers today value experiences over material goods. In the wake of technological advances, companies can now translate even more emotion into the branded interactions. Everything from transporting your attendees to various locations with Augmented Reality to harnessing the power of 3D printing, brands are laying it all out on the table and leaving no stone unturned. To stay ahead of the industry curve, agencies must accept the new digital frontier, but also utilize these new tools in a responsible, strategic manner in order for them to resonate.

Successful convergence of the physical and digital relies on research, strategic planning and participation in the digital culture as a team, brand and industry professional. To consistently bring to life the most progressive, awe-inspiring experiences for your clients, your team needs to moonlight as tech experts.

Without a warm understanding or strategic roadmap on how to incorporate the digital and social world into your physical event, you will fall short and miss opportunities to provide innovation for your guests, prove your expertise to the client, and fail to squeeze every last drop out of the countless hours and dollars poured into the activation.