Peter KohlÖffel of ProActive™ explains that with the trend towards bigger, better and more integrated activations campaigns, digital interaction is evolving to become a critical element in the campaign mix.
Over the past decade, activations have become an exceedingly more integrated part of the overall mix. The trend towards consumers wanting face to face interaction, direct contact and experience with a brand and word of mouth is still on the rise. There is also little wonder that there is a direct correlation between this trend and the growth of digital marketing – consumers want interaction that is personal, they want to feel that the information they receive has been created and packaged especially for them. As part of this arc, consumers want tangible experiences that are digitally integrated.
There are many reasons for this.
Marketers are looking to maximize the big investments they’re making in experiences, and having a digital campaign running alongside the activations component can significantly extend reach, not only in engaging more of the target market but in extending the life of the campaign – it can live on for days, weeks or months after the experience has ended in the real world.
It also provides the opportunity to capture data, giving the brand a clearer picture of their audience and also a means to stay in contact with them.
Some brands may be digital to begin with, for example the Kick Off app, so their objectives are directly related to measurements – how many consumers downloaded the app, how many transactions were made and the like.
As touched on earlier, personalization is huge and is only going to become more important in terms of engaging with a desired audience. Also, what is being shared on social media – think Facebook, twitter, Instagram Pinterest, YouTube – is also becoming an increasingly important element of quotidian life.
Photograph and video sharing has already gained enormous traction and will continue in this vein. Videos and, even better, personalized videos will ensure that the brand activation experience is shared and experienced by those who could not engage with it in one particular environment – be it at a mall, an event, a concert or in-store. A brilliant example of this is the Base Camp campaign implemented by National Geographic. The brand extended the Base Camp experience into social by making incredibly high quality videos for their attendees. Each attendee walked away with a unique biography in video format that could be utilized on their personal website or shared via social media. Which they did and to great success.
The integration of digital helps to make in-store purchasing and decision-making more efficient and pleasurable for the customer. This works especially well with electronics and products that need face to face interaction with the customer to explain how it works as well as its benefits and unique selling points. The activation needs to be seamless with brand ambassadors highly skilled and knowledgeable win terms of brand and product. Think the selling of the latest iPhone or iPad in tech and appliance stores.
The Take Out
There is a trend towards more integrated activations, with highly creative ideas that live on within the digital sphere. Brands need to take cognizance of the higher levels of personalization that consumers seek, and ensure that they are ‘communicating’ with their target market in a personalized, multi-platformed environment.