Tech can be scary.
By Monica Pitts
I’ve seen extremely successful people shut down when the conversation turns to changing their marketing practices to integrate technology.
While implementing technology is change, it’s certainly not an eraser. When you’re using it the right way, you’re not changing your message or erasing a process, you’re just adjusting the way you present it to your audience so they can intake it more effectively. That’s the technological sweet spot — take something good but aging and make it better, like chocolate covered bacon.
Let’s explore a few technologies you might find useful to communicate your marketing message.
Video is one technology everyone’s familiar with. It’s been around forever and is becoming more and more accessible for the average business owner to utilize. Video production software is available for all kinds of devices in a huge range of prices and options. Cameras and drones are easier than ever to use and more affordable as well. Drone footage is increasingly popular in construction — it tells an amazing story, one that’s difficult to capture from the ground.
A video isn’t really marketing until you show it to people, and the available placements are endless. You can put it on your website, use it in your ads, place it on YouTube, or play it on a digital display at a trade show.
Digital display is replacing print in so many places: digital billboards, menus, schedules, heck, even in the aisles at Walmart.
Digital display offers a level of flexibility print just can’t accommodate. They can be adjusted seasonally, for events, or to rotate different messages continually, so your marketing real estate isn’t locked into just one message FOREVER.
When people think of apps, they usually think of something they download on their phone. But applications are actually far broader than that. An app can be in a website, phone, kiosk, or computer. Regardless of where your audience uses an app, the goal is an interaction between your customer and the information they want or need.
Apps can educate and train or allow people to purchase products. We create website apps for our clients to streamline events and employment application processes, or to estimate prices and materials.
For example, one of my clients sells mulch, and on their website there’s an app allowing visitors to calculate how much mulch they’ll need for a project. After estimating, customers can use the shopping app to place their order online instead of calling it in.
Techies love to talk about virtual reality, and from a marketing perspective, it’s quite powerful. Virtual reality gives participants a unique experience with your product or service. While video tells a story, virtual reality allows participants to be a part of the story and feel it.
Don’t just tell them what it would be like working through the night on a paving crew – show them. Cars zooming by, lights flashing. Let them feel their heart beat faster as they experience the situation through virtual reality.
Augmented reality allows people to see what something could be like. For example, many furniture companies offer apps that let you augment reality so you can see what their furniture would look like in your house before you buy it. What could you show people to help close the deal? How their home would look with a new color of siding or a refinished driveway might support and speed up your sales process.
When games are applied to marketing, players are able to experience situations and learn from them.
You might use a game to train employees and reinforce safety protocols, or to emphasize to the general public how their driving decisions impact work zones. You could create an experience that allows participants to drive a car while being distracted with texts or kids screaming. Then show them the outcomes of their responses to certain situations. Sure, you can give participants the same information in a pamphlet or flyer, but having them physically experience it and make a choice creates a visceral effect that’s tough to achieve with other forms of technological marketing, aside from virtual reality.
Kiosks help you check in at the airport, check out at Walmart, and even place orders at fast-food restaurants. Every day, kiosks create convenience by improving customer experiences and streamlining processes. After all, the best type of marketing is a happy customer!
That same technology can be utilized for your marketing. Using a kiosk, you could guide customers to purchase appropriate products based on selected criteria or educate them about your building process. You could use a digital kiosk to allow people to interact with your portfolio at a tradeshow or apply for a job with your company.
The Trick to Marketing with Technology
Don’t lead with technology, begin with your message. Then pair it with the technology that communicates the message most successfully to your audience. Whether you’re taking an old flow chart and turning it into a self-guided tour, or shifting away from handwritten applications to an online employment app — keep what’s good and pair it with technology to communicate your message more effectively. Like that chocolate covered bacon — bacon, but better.
Monica Pitts is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of MayeCreate Design. She spends her days constructing a marriage of form and function; creating art with her design team to grow businesses through websites and online marketing. Monica considers herself an artist, marketer and web dork with the ability to speak geek and English.