Beyond Digital – It’s All About Technology These Days
Having a solid digital strategy in place is a given these days and marketing professionals are fast becoming firm believers that the definition of this term is evolving to encompass the power of technology.
It’s not that they think we should forget about digital thinking altogether. Rather, they say, digital competencies are so ingrained in a brand or business’s operations, that it seems silly to conceive of a “digital outlook”. Instead, we should be focused on creating a suitable strategy for where we are right now – and that place is all about technology. 2016 is showing us that new technology can be a source of inspiration for new opportunities, and new ways for customers to engage with brands.
Technology – more than just gadgets for grown-ups
Imagination, a creative agency based in Sydney, has recently launched an Innovation Lab that’s focused on educating marketing professionals and their clients on how to best incorporate technology into their customer engagement strategies.
Imagination has been inviting their clients into the lab to interact with a range of technologies that they’ve developed in-house, including gesture control tools, virtual and augmented reality devices, touchscreens and 3D printing devices. However, don’t assume that the lab is just about fun gimmicks and remote-controlled drones. For them, technology is providing a crucial step for companies to grow their brand. More than just toys for grown-ups, these devices are all intended to be carefully woven into a brand’s engagement strategy to give their customers something extra to what they currently have.
…which leads to the next technology-related point. The Internet of Things (or the IoT for those in the know), is a network of connected devices and gadgets that is giving brands a unique insight into their customers’ behaviour and preferences. More than just a collection of cool devices, the IoT is being developed to seek out the services that customers are demanding on a growing scale. This is an exciting opportunity for marketers; as we connect more devices, we create more data, which can then be analysed and turned into campaigns that really make their mark.
(Samsung’s smart fridge at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas. Credit: CNet).
Smart fridges and voice assistants
The big emphasis here is on services that relate to convenience. Think smart fridges that let you know when you’re low on milk (and then lets you order from your preferred supermarket), or a voice assistant that’s synced with your car so you can check your petrol levels, and even start your vehicle for you. How’s that for convenient? By 2020, some are estimating that IoT will be made up of approximately 50 billion objects. So, what service are you looking to have fulfilled? They might be closer than you think.