Most people have heard of the term ‘Experiential marketing’ (a concept that integrates elements of emotions, logic, and general thought processes to connect with the consumer.). Well, now that can be taken to another level thanks to fast paced advances in digital display technology.
If you are looking for a way to stand out from the crowd and differentiate your brand from competitors in the room at events and exhibitions, then you must consider using the range of advanced projection, touch screen technology and devices now available on the market to create high-impact experiences.
A touch screen is an electronic visual display that the user can control by touching the screen with one or more fingers. The popularity of hand held devices like the smartphone and tablet is driving the demand and acceptance of touch screens for portable and functional electronics. With the growing use of touch screens, the marginal cost of the technology is routinely absorbed into the products that incorporate it and is almost eliminated. Touch screens now have proven reliability which is overcoming some of the fears that brands once had with using the new technology.
Touch screens are an extremely powerful engagement tool, allowing the user to directly interact with what is displayed on them. Although the first touch screens have been around for a while , companies that develop touch screen technology and the devices that incorporate it, are constantly looking to extend the boundaries of their capabilities, releasing new technology and ideas on a regular basis and making it difficult to stay ahead of the game and keep up with what is the latest trend. But looking at this in a positive light, the constant innovation is now facilitating ‘out of the box’ thinking amongst interactive designers who are creating amazing immersive and engaging visual experiences never seen before. These developments are taking sales and marketing departments into a new era of brand promotion – The creation of an experience facilitated purely by the power of digital technology. Touch screens are opening up new and innovative ways for brands to communicate their messages and products to target audiences in ways that will really stick in the recipients memory.
The device is only the mechanism for displaying the engaging message. Its the message that is going to have the real impact and pose the biggest challenge to you when planning to create an industry-leading experience. Designing for these interactive devices requires blue sky thinking. It is pretty much possible to create anything you like on the screen, so think big, nothing is impossible!
Touch Screens allow end users to explore your products in the past, present and future, your sales teams to show the capabilities of a product on the fly, inner workings of technical products to be demonstrated, and your vision for the future of your product, site, building or property to be realised.
If you are used to traditional marketing and the thought of embracing the digital engagement era is daunting, you probably find yourself thinking of a range of excuses not to adopt new ideas! For example, its too complicated, there’s too much choice, the options will fall massively outside of my small budget etc etc. But you only need to look around you to see what it is that draws the attention of a new generation of potential customers. They are obsessed with the need to be able to control everything at the touch of a button and expect to be able to do this on the move. This expectation requires us to change the way we’ve been used to working. Creating brand experiences for the next generation will keep you ahead of the game and at a competitive advantage within your industry.
To give you an example of a successful touch screen implementation project, London’s newest (and tallest) attraction, The View from The Shard, has met this expectation by placing touch screens at the top of the building that enable visitors to explore the view in more detail and make sense of what it is they are looking at. Visitors are able to make their own choices and interact for as long or short a time period as they require in order for them to get the best out of their own personal experience of the attraction. By allowing the visitor to choose the degree in which they immerse themselves in the experience, the whole visit is likely to stay with each and every individual for a much longer time period.
But if this is all new to you, where do you start?
Well the simple answer to that is, think of the bigger picture. Its all very well saying you want data capture on mobile devices that visitors can interact with, for example, but what context will those devices be placed in? And what will the displays look like in use? Don’t just get hooked up on what devices to use, plan for the overall experience you wish to achieve and ensure that every touch point with a potential customer fits into this plan at the same time as fulfilling your primary objectives. Because without an immersive experience that entices the user to interact with your displays in the first place, they will not willingly hang around for very long even if they did have an initial interest in your brand. The displays then need to encourage the user to complete the desired outcome (for example, make a sales enquiry). Creating this experience requires the development of some seriously impressive digital graphics that are consistent with all other branded collateral and help to take the user on the journey from an ‘unknown’ to a ‘known’ potential buyer or advocate of your brand. Your digital experience could end up doing much of the hard work of selling for you if well planned and executed.
Consider factors such as:
- What is your display aiming to achieve?
- Who are the target audience?
- Have you seen anything that has inspired you recently?
- What are your competitors doing?
- How will the surrounding area be designed?
- Which are the most suitable touch screen devices to use to fulfil your objectives?
- What Digital Assets need to be created for display on touch screen devices?
- Does the resulting interaction with the user need to trigger any data feeds (eg, passing of leads from the device to a central system or spreadsheet)?
When thinking about the overall experience, surrounding area, and what devices and technology might be the best to use, you’ll need to consider the floor, wall and ceiling areas as well as the position of any free standing screens, kiosks and hand held devices. It is now possible to create touch screen experiences using front and rear digital projection onto transparent glass screens that can be positioned in front of windows, on ceilings or in the middle of a room. Interactive images can also be incorporated into large free standing touch screen tables that can form a great centre piece for an exhibit.
The devices used to display the message are one thing, but the selection and development of what is to be displayed on the devices is where the impact will really be felt. The experience you create on the touch screens must be second to none and aim to keep the users interest for as long as possible. This is where digital media holds its own. 3D models, product demonstrations and simulations can be created that allow users to immediately explore, interact with, and even customise your products without having to speak with a sales rep or be given access to the physical product. They can play a fundamental role in pre-sales. Corporate Video presentations can be created for projection onto screens or displayed on a smaller touch screen devices to give a branded experience, and interactive alternatives to your static sales and marketing collateral can also be presented (e-brochures, data capture mechanisms, video, catalogues etc). The options are endless!
If you would like to talk to us about your ideas or just need some inspiration, call us on +44 (0) 1908 522 532 or email [email protected] We can show you some of the possibilities available and give you an inspirational demonstration of what you might be able to create for your brand.