Evolving technology is rapidly changing the landscape and pushing the boundaries of traditional direct marketing models, creating opportunities for market disruption.
Wired Magazine reported on an IBM study which found 90% of customers want better personalization and “are willing to spend 20 minutes to set up their information to help retailers give them a better experience”. However, the same study also noted that less than a third of retailers could, in fact, accommodate that growing consumer desire of personalization.
Tech savvy brands which can successfully adapt and integrate new technologies into their direct marketing strategies have tremendous upside opportunities to engage customers and build loyalty.
Four Key Technologies to Watch:
Look for the continued emergence of augmented reality in direct marketing. Currently, the two primary interfaces for accessing augmented reality (AR) content are the webcam and the front facing camera of your smartphone. Emerging technologies such as Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, however, offer the promise of a more deeply rooted experience and a fascinating glimpse towards what the next few years have in store.
Though still in its infancy, AR promises to extend marketing efforts into a uniquely personal and immersive brand experience. Imagine retailers creating virtual dressing rooms that extend the traditional brick and mortar experience, allowing customers to upload a photo and then explore a brand’s clothing line - trying different styles and colors, reading reviews, accessorizing outfits, all with a few swipes of a finger.
QR codes and Personalized URLs (PURLs) are not new tools in the Marketer's toolbox. They will, however, continue to grow in popularity and enhance direct marketing's evolution into an authentic two-way dialogue.
By leveraging 1:1 personalization technology in print channels, marketers will find new ways to use the internet to expand and extend customer conversation. Personalized calls to action in print communications and on-demand content generation will provide customers with greater choice and more relevant information which, in turn, feeds brand loyalty by creating a unique user experience.
The costs and technology hurdles for customer-driven Marcom will continue to plummet, which when combined with the greater accessibility of big data will inevitably result in a steep rise in the hyper-personalization of the marketing message.
Hyper-personalization is about reaching beyond trite personalization techniques and aiming for a more intimate brand connection. For example, personalization could move beyond just utilizing a customer's name and instead leverage more meaningful information such as address and buying preference.
In this example, a hyper-personalized direct marketing piece would show personalized driving distance and directions from the recipient’s house to their nearest branch or store. Or, would use a customer's web behavior to influence imagery, color, product selection.
Like QR codes, NFC technology serves to bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds. However, unlike a traditional printed “call to action” that requires a consumer to type the URL or use a special app to scan a code, NFC is much more transparent. All the consumer has to do is touch their smartphone or mobile device to your marketing piece to be redirected to the offer or website.
Similarly, proximity marketing applications allow merchants to convey messages, offers, or even discounts to any smartphone within range of a particular product or showcase, allowing marketers to precisely target messages to consumers and gauge reactions to offers in real time.
Forward thinking companies that are moving to incorporate the technology of tomorrow into the marketing campaigns of today stand apart – ready to disrupt industries and gain significant market share. If you are ready to stand apart, we can help. Novocent is a tech-savvy agency that has built its reputation around meeting marketing challenges with elegant and engaging solutions.
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