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Marketing in the connected world: Part 2

05 Sep 12

New technology offers marketing opportunities far beyond the devices in our hands and living rooms.

Through increasingly ‘smart’ applications on phones and tablets, every environment in the physical world is an opportunity to engage with consumers interactively.

Your brand can communicate with customers based on their personal tastes through location based communication, or they can choose to interact with you through the amazing world of Augmented Reality.

Unlike traditional marketing, where spend and placement have the power to rule supreme, this brand of more pervasive and interactive marketing is no longer about buying the medium but about creating it.

Consumers no longer want brands to be pushed on them for no return. They want to be engaged, interacted with, rewarded and included in both the process and the result.

The best mediums in the Connected World – for both consumers and the businesses looking to communicate with them – are brand owned experiences.

Companies are quickly learning the power of connecting with customers with real world experiences and studies show global trends towards increased spending in more interactive marketing – including mobile marketing, social media, and ambient marketing – at the expense of traditional media.

Brands looking to differentiate themselves from competitors may wish to investigate the following Connected World marketing opportunities:

  • QR codes – QR codes were the first of the mobile marketing initiatives that connected the real world to the mobile world. Uptake was not as strong as it could have been, due to a lack of education at early stages of the technology and organisations all too keen to use QR codes to direct people back to their website. QR codes should add value by providing a discount, a voucher or a benefit to the customer to be successful.

  • Geolocation based communication – most smartphones these days are GPS enabled, allowing them to share geolocation based communication with the connected world around them. Savvy businesses are now taking advantage of this, pushing out what is known as “digital signage” from store-fronts to nearby customers who choose to receive this information.

  • Augmented Reality – Augmented Reality or AR is the next step in the connected world where marketing comes to life, and has endless possibilities for businesses brave enough to take it on. AR is generated by apps or software which overlay computer imagery from your smartphone, computer or tablet over video of real life environments to create a virtual reality on the screen.

One fantastic example was at Wimbledon, where people could download an app to their smartphone, point the camera at queues and stalls when inside Wimbledon and see real time information overlaid on the screen including number of people waiting in line, products available at that stall and prices of the products.

The London Olympics also used AR on the Games maps allowing people to view 3D scenes and video through an app on their smartphone, while Ikea will use augmented reality on their 2013 catalogue to allow true interactivity with products.

View the Ikea catalogue AR here

Nicole Crump is the Director of Tactix, a marketing company offering fixed price marketing plans and strategic advice to companies with a passion for growth. To find out more click here