Remember when everyone thought that digital media experiences would eventually eclipse analog out of existence? In 2009, it was believed that ebooks would finally destroy print, Spotify was hailed the final death knell for music on fixed media, and the advent of Netflix foretold the end of cinema. And yet, a decade hence, indie bookstores are on the rise, bands sold four million vinyl records last year, and Netflix is now releasing films in theaters. Go figure.
There’s something of a digital backlash afoot as consumers crave more substantive experiences — but it goes beyond fetishizing analog media as it shades how we approach experiential marketing.
As marketing has made great strides in fomenting digital demand, there has been a similar, complementary rise in the need for consumer-directed experiences. And those experiences aren’t being mediated by any sort of technology, be it digital or even analog. It’s about being there, in real-time, having an experience first-hand.
Think of it as “going back to the source.” For example, a musical performance could once only be experienced in the presence of the musicians themselves. Then analogizing technology (the grooves in a record, say, is analogous to the sound waves produced by musicians) made it available beyond the moment. Digital distribution furthered that reach. But how do most musicians make their living now that we’ve reached a zenith of digitally-driven availability (and the average “per stream” payout to music rights holders at an average of $0.007 — yes, that’s a seventh of a cent)? They play live.
Getting the Brand Back Together
Your brand should “play live” too — not for tips but for the sake of your customers, who are increasingly immune to digital messages. Marketing strategist Mehmood Hanif estimates that the average Internet user is served 11,250 ads per month. How many do they remember? A brand exhibit that commands attention, however, invites people to enjoy a personal, real experience that will not only be memorable, but it’s also essential to a holistic marketing strategy as the real world continues to beckon your customers.
We can help you get real (no vinyl required). Let’s connect!