Quite a few people, well…maybe excluding Generation Z wish it was still 1995. Mobile technology is great, but when was the last time people at a party were not obsessed with their phones or even embraced outdoor adventures rather than visit social media sites. Sadly, no time machines have been invented and as we step into 2019, the advent of the fourth industrial revolution is set to accelerate the growth of mobile technology.
Today, smart marketers are taking the opportunity to merge old-school techniques with modern digital marketing initiatives, by providing services that give customers the gift of a captivating ‘phygital’ experience. ‘Phygital’ is a marketing term that refers to the combination of physical and digital marketing. Essentially, the concept is a fresh and competitive mobile strategy in which companies can create a combination of physical and digital interactions with customers to provide an unconventional escapade.
How can entrepreneurs or brands improve their ‘phygital’ skills?
It’s easy to see ‘phygital’ marketing as nothing but a fad born out of the need for people to coin fancy names. Some people are particularly guilty of this when trying to create unique couple nicknames- does Brangelina ring a bell?
However, ‘phygital’ campaigns have been revealed to outperform campaigns that are either solely physical or solely digital. Companies leverage this technique to address two trends in consumer shopping- the need to research products online to get the best deals and the need for customers to test products before buying.
The primary aim is to use marketing communication software to send personalized text messages, emails and social media messages to customers. For instance, the Beacon technology (small, battery operated wireless devices) uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to transmit signals to nearby phones. In the case of retail, Beacons are used to reach out to customers that have Bluetooth enabled and the right retail apps downloaded on their phones. Notifications are sent to customers on a particular aisle, highlighting where to find similar items in the store.
Interestingly, Beacons which are tools of geolocation marketing, combine the wireless detection of the physical location of a device with the customer’s online identity to send messages that highlight items the customer may have forgotten to pick up, based on the information on their online shopping cart. In a nutshell, the technology helps identify a customer’s preferences and pinpoints their location in a store or its environs.
Thanks to the fourth industrial revolution, the Internet of Things, BLE, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), artificial intelligence, augmented reality, mobile apps and social media are tools administered to improve customer engagement.
The ‘phygital’ trifecta
What makes or breaks a ‘phygital’ experience? We are glad you asked! An advertising or marketing campaign can be evaluated by analyzing the quality of its content. In a good ‘phygital’ campaign, the content is designed to appeal to the intended target market and the message is delivered through multiple communication channels, integrating the customer’s physical and digital worlds.
To absolutely ‘kill’ or ‘slay’ your first ‘phygital’ campaign, the content has to fall into one of three main categories- entertainment, data and utility.
The idea here is to get your customers to go wow! cool! or Amazing! A toy company which specializes in the production of interlocking plastic bricks created an in-store augmented reality experience for kids and their parents. By holding up the toy which was still packaged in a box, the customers could instantly see how the loose contents come together in 3D. The result? The customers are entertained but also get a glimpse of what they intend to buy.
Marketers in this category often wire their stores with WIFI Beacons and introduce mobile apps with the ability to track the shopper’s movement. Using data acquired from purchasing history, the store sends appealing advertisements, recommendations or deals to the customer, depending on his or her location in the store. Hey! It’s almost 2019 people, supermarkets need to start adopting technology mimicking scenarios in science fiction movies.
True to the name of this category, marketers in this camp try to make ‘phygital’ tools useful to shoppers. For example, a fashion store displayed its clothes on a digital hanger- so, what’s the big fuss about that? The fashion store helped facilitate the shoppers’ decision-making process by having the hanger highlight the number of people who ‘like’ the clothing item on Facebook. After all, as humans, social validation is usually taken into consideration when making certain choices.
Another case study reveals how a make-up company created an app that helps customers apply every shade of lipstick in their collection when they upload their picture. Ladies who have were excited to get a lipstick shade only to find out the color doesn’t match their skin tone will understand the sheer ‘awesomeness’ of this app.
Phygital marketing campaigns are great at enhancing the customer’s experience with the brand as well as boosting sales. It is a powerful marketing strategy that can be used to create game-changing brand campaign trends.