August 19, 2015
You jolt up in your bed as your alarm clock rings, pulling you from the depths of a nightmare; a nightmare where the world had gone back a couple of decades, where technology still didn’t play a big part in our lives, and where having a laptop and sending emails was the most exciting part of anyone’s day. You’re thankful when you open your eyes as you think you’ll escape the grasp of a society where technology isn’t important.
You search for your iPhone, but you can’t seem to find it. Where is this alarming noise coming from? You realize there’s an old clock sitting at your bedside. You press the button on top and the noise stops. You stand up and stumble to your shower, being held down by your sleepy daze. You fumble around for the Bluetooth speaker but you also can’t find that. You must’ve misplaced it last night before going to bed since you were listening to music to help you fall asleep.
On your walk to work you see some brand ambassadors handing out some flyers.
Weird. You think to yourself. Why aren’t they trying to get my email?
Intrigued, you stop at the footprint. You realize that none of the brand ambassadors have iPads, there are no GIF stations in sight, and none of the consumers have their phones out.
“Hey! If you write down your home address you’ll have a chance to enter into our drawing for a big prize!” Exclaims one of the brand ambassadors as she approaches you.
“Excuse me? My address?” You’re as puzzled as you’ve been in a while.
“Yes! In that way we’ll be able to contact you about our brand’s coolest features and you’ll be entered onto a public list where everyone knows that you’ve been through this experience here with us today.”
Experiential marketing would be a completely different field without technology. Technology enables marketers to capture new leads for brands by easily acquiring an email address, something consumers find convenient to share and check on any mobile device.
The field of experiential marketing itself is heavily based on technology and has been experiencing such large growth in the past few years because of the rate at which technology is advancing. While technology isn’t the sole reason that experiential marketing is a growing industry, it is surely part of the equation that has led to some growth.
The above story is one of the ways that I could imagine an experiential marketing activation being set up without technology. Some events though could play out differently. A product launch might remain somewhat similar.
A big event where a product is launched could still include good music and good lighting; it could still target the right group of consumers and drive sales up for the brand. Giveaways could still be held and consumers would be encouraged to share some sort of lead-generating information (maybe a phone number or an email they don’t really check that often) in order to enter the giveaway.
However, the experience would not have the exposure that it has today. Without social media, people who aren’t at the event would only hear about it through word of mouth. Although word of mouth is a great way to spread awareness, social media is a fantastic tool that gives word of mouth even more power.
A technology-lacking world would also take away a lot of the creative freedom that experiential marketers take advantage of. Many aspects of a footprint or an event today rely heavily on technology. Brand ambassadors carry around iPads in order to easily take note of consumers’ contact information as well as any quotes, praise, or complaints that stick out and could be used to improve the brand.
GIFs stations and other photo opportunities allow consumers to share their experience. This play on this generations desire to show off what is happening in their lives. Without technology, they would have to wait to tell their friends in person and wouldn’t have quick, yet quality, photos to share.
Apps wouldn’t be available for download, and many of the brand-consumer interaction would be cut short given that plenty of those interactions today happen through a mobile application.
The consumer end of the experiential marketing event would not be the only effected end. Without technology, marketers would have a harder time tracking the experiential campaign’s results. They would have a harder time creating concept decks and interacting with their clients. Mock-ups would provide another challenge for the creative team, as they would have to use pen and pencil sketches or 3D models that take longer than computer based mock-ups.
A world without technology is already a hard thing to imagine. Experiential marketing relies on technology, so imagining how it would be without it is quite the creative exercise.