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Opinion and Insight
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Digital Offers a Powerful Intimacy Between Brand and Customer

The Industry Club, 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The Industry Club looks to the possibilities for AR, VR and personalisation - and consumer concerns around privacy

Digital Offers a Powerful Intimacy Between Brand and Customer

Immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality bring exciting opportunities for advertisers. Mixing physical and virtual together, VR has the potential for a powerful intimacy between brand and customer, as shown with headsets like the Oculus Rift platform and Microsoft HoloLens. What’s more, haptic technology will soon allow VR to impact both mind and body.

Anthony Batt, co-founder of virtual reality firm Wevr, told The Guardian: “You can see brands creating room-scale simulations where consumers will interact with branded content. For example, Airbnb could create sims for real rental properties so users could experience what it would feel like to stay there.” There are also opportunities for brands to take a philanthropic approach, such as Toyota using VR for its TeenDrive365 campaign educating teenagers about the dangers of distracted driving.

Ever-developing platforms are such rich and fertile ground for advertisers; in his Business 2 Community article The Internet of Things is the Future of Advertising, Andrei Klubnikin reckons that in less than four years, there will be 50 billion IoT devices worldwide, including smartphones, wearables and new-generation home gadgets. Drinks giant PepsiCo spent 40% of their advertising budget for the Super Bowl last month on digital. From Snapchat to Twitter, mobile to content marketing, the brand used multiple platforms to generate extra value beyond the TV.

In addition, says Andrei, the genius of the IoT for advertisers is that it enables companies to talk to customers after a sale to make sure their product works, give advice on how to use it and offer related goods and services. Consequently, brands can then improve both products and marketing strategies. Dan Hibbins, Digital Consultant and Trainer at The Industry Club, says: “The landscape is ever-changing and it’s broader, but from a delivery and production perspective we can be much tighter in how we define and scope our products.”

Personalisation is a big buzzword among advertisers in 2016 and a key area in which specialised digital creatives are highly prized. “It’s about asking how do we use the data we have to drive more personal, relevant communications to the consumers of our digital products?” says Dan Hibbins. “Finding good people to do that at the moment is interesting.”

While the online world is already adept in using personalisation and big data, TV is about to go even further. Indeed Sky’s new AdSmart scheme, which geographically targets ads to audiences in order to ensure greater relevancy, has been taken up by luxury car producer McLaren Automotive. Sky claim the platform has reduced channel switching during ads by 33%.

But with advancements in personalisation in connected devices, privacy and data protection remains paramount. Customers are demanding it. To prove it, the use of ad-blocking software grew 41% last year, with 198 million active users worldwide, according to a study conducted by Adobe and PageFair.

“Every month Facebook is in trouble for flouting some privacy law, and other large brands have faced similar challenges” says Dan. “Privacy is at the top of consumer’s mind. We trust these companies with our personal data and our credit cards and how we secure that type of data is getting more top of mind.”

So what does the future hold? We can expect advances in automation, drones and social platforms, says Dan. To get a sneak peek advertisers need to get down with the kids - or better still hire them. “As the younger crop of creatives come through, they are more connected in themselves and to their digital experiences,” says Dan. “They are fostering the changes to the guys who are perhaps a little stuck in their ways.”

For more about digital trends, watch Dan's video above or click here. To see Dan Hibbins in action, go behind the scenes of his recent course at The Red Brick Road with The Industry School.

Category: Business and services , Recruitment