MIMA recently gathered a panel of experts to share their experience with some of the coolest emerging technologies including Google Glass, Oculus Rift, Kinect and beacons. Not surprisingly, the trend is toward blending the physical and digital realms to create impressive, immersive experiences. Wow factor aside, it is often unclear exactly how these technologies will be received and used by consumers, end even less clear how brands can use them in marketing. But that does not stop the innovation. In fact, as the marketplace begins to adopt these new technologies, when, where and how consumers are using them often helps brands see where the latest gadget or app fits in their marketing plan. While it can take anywhere from months to years for new technologies to hit the mainstream, there are lessons marketers can learn from them today:
Be an agile marketer. Test new strategies quickly. Analyze and assess with urgency. Use the information to make adjustments and get back in to the market with speed. But don’t abandon core strategies – they are a necessary to provide continuity while you are prototyping other approaches.
“Technology is being redefined by how we live, (companies should be) getting out of the way,” said Ryan Carlson, technology evangelist at The Nerdery, during the MIMA event in May. This approach works in marketing, too. It is easier than ever to listen to customer feedback – not just what marketers solicit but what is public and available through social networks. The key is acting on the feedback in a timely manner.
Even the most well-researched, strategic plans can fail. But all is not lost. In failure, learn from the past. Recalculate and forge ahead to boldly try something else. Likely with better results. As technology advances and becomes an even more prominent part of the American lifestyle, brands will need to find their innovative side. Learning from Silicon Valley and applying product development practices to brand marketing is a step in the right direction to keep pace with the world. The reward of a loyal customer is worth the risk.