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Digital Trends

AR? VR? WTF? Augmented reality and virtual reality have become popular buzzwords in digital marketing circles. Unfortunately, their actual meanings have gotten lost under an avalanche of hype and false promises. Some forward-thinking CPG brands have begun to evaluate integrating AR into their package design. So this article provides a useful overview on AR, VR and the differences between the two. Application to Marketing: At the current time, virtual reality is still causing a form of motion sickness in users. Nausea is a bad mix with marketing, so let’s leave that aside. But augmented reality is simply a way of adding information to the physical world. Shelf space in supermarkets is still the best marketing many CPG brands can get. By creating an AR overlay on packaging, it is possible to create vast, immersive and interactive marketing experiences at the point of purchase, without paying the retailers. Availability: There are existing AR apps for smartphones. Eventually, these will be used widely by consumers in stores and out in the world. However, at the current time, it would be necessary to alert consumers that an AR experience is available to them. Read More MOOC’s should kill the video star. Massive Online Open Courses have become very popular. And one could certainly argue that the democratization of knowledge is a good thing for society. However, researchers at the MIT Media Lab have begun to ask the question, is video really the best format for MOOC’s? The format of MOOC’s emerged naturally from the college lecture hall, but the talking head has become a cliche of online learning and not a particularly useful one. Application to Marketing: In general, we have been too slow to appreciate the story-telling possibilities of the digital space. What are viral videos but long commercials with the need for story-telling economy removed? Just as these courses attempt to educate in the traditional linear pattern of the classroom (start at the beginning and continue to the end), marketing has failed to allow audiences to follow their own interests as they move through content. Linearity is the touchstone of our traditional push media. Continued use of linear formats represents a failure of imagination. Availability: Context rich story-telling platforms like Fold (, seem to point the way to a less linear approach to information communication. Read More Pop ups should pop down. Advertisers want their messages and promotions to break through, particularly on owned media. But the problem with throwing pop-ups and aggressive promotions at a website visitor is they can feel assaulted. Bounce Exchange is a company that markets to visitors based on their behavior – how they entered the site, how much content they are consuming and how much they are commenting on or sharing that content. The result is that you can focus your advertising on those individuals who are most likely to convert, rather than spamming a casual visitor. Application to Marketing: Too often, marketers want digital executions with “stopping power.” But any kindergartener can tell you that interrupting people is rude. Particularly on owned media, marketers need to show a little more restraint. Yes, it’s gratifying to get your “latest offer” into the site visitors face right away, but waiting to see from their usage whether or not they might appreciate that information is more respectful and more likely to succeed.. Availability: Bounce Exchange has signed up prominent clients across a range of industries. Read More Beyond the “glasshole” – the wearable future. Google Glass has retreated into the enterprise and industrial markets. The Apple iWatch is, at best, a qualified success. So are wearables dead? Not even close. As we enter into an age where the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to transform dumb objects into smart ones, wearable technology will help us navigate this environment. This article provides an interesting overview of the types of applications that are likely to be coming in the near future. Application to Marketing: Some of the first applications of any wearable technology will be fitness, health, and dieting applications. After all, wearables are good at monitoring our place in space and our degree of activity. A company that wanted to approach this market in a forward-thinking way would provide developers with product information through a simple API. Wearables will depend on a sea of background information to help us navigate and make consumer decisions. By providing that information, companies can create trust and affinity. Availability: The API would be simple to build. But the applications will be 3 to 5 years in coming. Read More Don’t blow off Steam. Steam, the online game platform from Valve has grown to dominate the game market. Gaming is big business. In 2015, the market is expected to exceed $41.4 billion dollars. As a leading player in the market, Steam’s periodic sales promotions are believed to drive huge amounts of business for the games lucky enough to be featured. In this article, a statistical analysis is performed on the results for the first time, demonstrating that being featured in a Steam promotion generates more sales. But it also demonstrates that sales for the gaming market in general increase during sales periods. Application to Marketing: We’ve come a long way from Space Invaders. A typical game nowadays is totally immersive and gamers fully expect to dedicate days or even weeks to completing a game. Social calendars are cleared for big launches and gamers will even “stock up” on necessities so they don’t have to interrupt their game time with shopping. An advertising partnership with Steam, to coincide with major launches or sales periods would be an effective way to drive purchase with the vast gamer market. Availability: Currently, Steam allows you to advertise to users through the downloaded platform Read More

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