Live interaction with customers is and will remain an important tool in marketing, especially when companies know how to take advantage of digital opportunities. Technical gadgets, such as VR and AR, can offer customers a multi-sensory digital brand experience at trade fairs, road shows and customer events. But how can these immersive customer experiences be measured and used?
Technical gadgets as a collective experience
So-called “immersive digital experiences”, like a photo in front of the green screen background, a 360°-photo box for the glamor shoot, or the 4D virtual reality activity on the exhibition stand, are trendy and a point of attraction for visitors on all kind of events. The attraction of interactive marketing campaigns for visitors is to immerse in digital worlds using technical gadgets, to share the collective experience on social media, or simply for having fun.
Companies, however, pursue more specific intentions since the interaction is an additional opportunity to find out more about potential customers and to create a lasting brand impression. Opting for an immersive experience marketing strategy corresponds entirely to the lifestyle of younger consumers who are more interested in “experiencing” a product than in purchasing it. In general, the priority of companies is shifting away from the one-off spontaneous purchase of a product to long-term customer relationships and the development of a brand name. But live communication at events has on top another advantage: important target groups and decision-makers cannot simply be reached via email campaigns, but they are regulars at trade fairs and industry events and are open to communication when there.
Make customer experiences measurable
How well the creative digital actions are received and whether they really create an "immersive experience" can hardly be determined without sophisticated tools and the collection of data.
Innovative marketing must pursue two central principles: experience must generate a wow factor and interactions should generate data that can then be used to build a brand.
What is the return on investment (ROI)? Which part of the experience was particularly well received? Is there room for improvement? How do the results depend on the season, demographics or location? And more importantly: How can the data obtained be marketed further?
The targeted planning, control and success measurement of innovative marketing methods must be based on well-founded data and that’s exactly what worries many companies, since data often comes from different sources, are difficult to compare and—at least with relational databases—can hardly be linked. But it is precisely the consideration of the collected data in context of each other and compared with existing customer data that provides exciting new insights.
Therefore, this is the approach taken by the digital marketing expert Quander, the start-up that realizes multi-sensory digital brand experiences for companies such as Sky, YouTube and Samsung. To evaluate the campaigns, Quander developed an app that processes data during the event and forwards it to the organizers. They are informed in real-time about the number of visitors, movement flows, bottlenecks and complaints, as well as hot spots, so that they can change the schedule at short notice or request additional staff for certain areas. Certainly, the subsequent analysis of all interactions and recorded visitor data help companies to continuously improve their event marketing.
Data management technology wanted
Initially, Quander used a traditional relational database management system to store the data, but the solution quickly reached its limits. In order to be able to fully evaluate the abundance of unstructured data and to take the data relationships into account, the company finally decided on graph technology, since data can be saved in a graph as it is recorded. Events, visitors and actions are represented as separate entities (nodes) that are linked to one another via relationships (e.g., “participates”, “gives feedback”). Both nodes and edges can be assigned attributes such as "Duration of interaction" or "Rating 1 to 5".
Furthermore, existing data from other events or CRM databases can be added to obtain a more precise picture. Regardless of the total size of the data set, graph databases are characterized by the query of highly networked data. From a starting point, relationships can be traced similar to a family tree or road network. In a few milliseconds, users can query millions of connections, uncover trends and patterns, or identify outliers.
Innovative, interactive, intelligent
With Neo4j as a database, Quander can provide its customers with a detailed breakdown of which experiences are popular and which features and gadgets need to be improved or removed. In this way, the ideal combination of interactive marketing campaigns can be put together for every target group and every event in every city.
The clear visualization can also reveal surprises to marketing departments and initiate new creative approaches for the next event. Digital signage, which recognizes people via webcam through facial recognition software, can broadcast individually tailored advertising to AI-controlled virtual exhibition companions. There are no limits to ingenuity.
New smart technologies in connection with graph technology and data analysis provide the basis for making live interaction with potential customers innovative and exciting.
By Daniela La Marca