It seems that everything we do these days involves some sort of digital device – whether it’s shopping, looking for a new house, chatting with our friends and even going out for a meal. The use of digital media is growing and it’s easy to see why.
Dynamic displays have an instant effect on us. They can grab our attention, they can interact with us and they can sell to us! They give marketers a chance to engage with an audience and capture information without personally having to be in attendance. They also give us a chance to make an impression and for that experience to stay with the customer for a long time.
Let me describe an hour of my life last week when I took my daughter to buy a new pair of shoes. In this story you will see how and why digital marketing is so important and cannot be ignored.
Engage and Entice – My daughter and I walked into a shopping mall with the specific intention of getting some new shoes. On the way in I see a digital sign that captures my attention – it’s bright and bold and looks like it’s about to jump out at me! It’s nothing to do with buying shoes but it has told me that McDonald’s has a deal on today. Hmmm… maybe we will grab some for lunch!
Interaction – I continue my trip into the mall but I need to know where the shoe shop is, so instead of asking at the information booth (which no longer exists) I go to the digital touch screen display and type in the name of the store I want to find. Bingo! (Of course they’re missing a trick here as they could also let me know about a special they have on today.)
Experience – I take my daughter into the shoe shop and get her feet measured, which is no longer as simple as taking your shoes off and standing on a measuring pad. My daughter is given an iPad and is asked to choose a character. This character then talks to my daughter and asks her to stand in a certain place. The iPad is inserted into the device and digitally measures her feet. Once we have the size my daughter selects which shoes she likes and the assistant goes and gets them. Buying shoes used to be an ordeal, but now my daughter is engaged in the process and is interested, and positively intrigued as to what comes next. The store has captured her imagination, and she’s fascinated.
Capture info and create a bond – After purchasing the shoes my daughter says goodbye to the character (on the iPad – who has been dancing for her whilst she has been trying on the shoes) and is then asked for an email address so the character can send her some cool pictures and games. Clever.
Choice and Self Service – We head over to McDonald’s and go to the digital screen where we can design our burgers and order our lunch without even speaking a word! It was easy, and I was able to select each option I wanted so there were no misunderstandings or any one to blame if the order was wrong. But at the risk of sounding old-fashioned, it did seem strange to complete my order without face-to-face interaction with another human.
So, there we have it. I was in the mall for approximately one hour and not only did I buy some shoes for my daughter but I was also sold to numerous times, interacted with digital devices, ordered my own lunch without a word and gave my email address away, again.
The world we live in is constantly changing and the way we market and do business is too. That’s why it is imperative that we understand what is out there and how we can use it to sell our products and to market to individuals in a non-intrusive way.