‚ÄúDigital‚Äù used to mean ‚Äúon a computer.‚Äù However, in the last few years the meaning of digital has expanded into so many different aspects of life, limiting it to just the internet is small thinking. As new technologies emerge, the opportunities for broadcasting information is growing exponentially.
Now more than ever, the gap between pure digital and out of home/outdoor/etc types are marketing is shrinking. Before, a giant billboard in Times Square was the epitome of getting the word out about your product. Adding a digital element to an out of home experience is now almost commonplace. For example, Bank of America did a Times Square placement that invited people to do a Mad-Libs type game by texting in words. The beauty of the campaigns is that now that the users have participated, they can now be messaged about future campaigns. One interaction can turn into many.
On the subject of mobile, one of the cooler things on the rise are QR codes. Those little scannable squares have almost limitless applications. You can scan one with your phone and get a URL to take you to a new movie‚Äôs website, or scan it and get a discount code to try a new Subway sandwich. Codes are being used for giveaways, tourism and more.
This, and other methods, are making receiving information a more enjoyable experience. Commercials and billboards tend to something clobber someone over the head with messaging. Now, with new digital alternatives, users can consume info the way they want to. The makes them much more receptive, but also raises the potential as a repeat customer.
What‚Äôs really great about it is that opens up doors that we as marketers were always trying to open. When I used to do television marketing, we were always asking ourselves ‚Äúhow do we get people to go from their TV to their computer and vice versa?‚Äù With this new technology and new thinking, it‚Äôs starting to become easier to make those connections.
What‚Äôs important to keep in mind now is how to handle it. If the idea is cool enough, people will clamor to get on their phone or their laptop to check it out. If it‚Äôs not a strong idea, people will stay away. The consumer these days is too smart to be fooled by blanket messaging. They know when they are being duped. As a result, just a billboard or just a blaring commercial isn‚Äôt going to cut it. It‚Äôs not going to penetrate a consumer‚Äôs jaded reactions to popular culture.
All in all, it‚Äôs a pretty exciting time. All these concepts are still new and haven‚Äôt totally spread yet, so there is still tons of potential and isn‚Äôt in danger of getting played out any time soon. As long as there are still cool ideas behind it, it will be continue to be exciting and successful.