May 18th, 2015 By Jack Morton
Now more than ever the industry is trying to find the right definition for experiential marketing. While visiting SXSW earlier this year, it struck me that this highly engaging experience, with its roots in technology and innovation, reflects the future health of experiential.
There are two major influences driving the future of experiential marketing: the influx of visual content and the affordability of technology.
The influx of visual content is creating enormous visual redundancies in our screen-based lives. We now spend close to 50% of our time on digital media, and nearly 100% of that time is visual. While sound is often incorporated, the other senses – touch, taste and smell – are practically non-existent.
People are craving something new, and will respond to sensory experiences that transport them through all five senses.
Austen, through his experience creating restaurant-based digital platforms, hits on a key point: the affordability of technology is enabling brands to enhance infrequent in-person experiences. The technology already exists to turn any wall, ceiling or floor into an interface, but it is only now becoming affordable enough to implement. Brands can add value to infrequent moments – visiting a restaurant, sitting on the subway or waiting on a jet bridge – without requiring the user
to download anything.
As access to this technology grows, the key will be providing value by staying rooted in the natural behaviors of the space.
To sum it up, the future of experiential marketing is bright because there is enormous opportunity to transport people – to change, even if temporarily, how people experience the world. As technology becomes more accessible, there are more opportunities to create experiences. And as the world becomes more visually oriented, there are more opportunities to create disruptive sensory experiences.