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Guest Column: When digital goes on-ground

17-January-2013
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Guest Column: When digital goes on-ground

For a long time, the digital arena has stayed indoors – on a notebook or the comfort of your lap. However, with the rapidly changing dynamics in technology, digital advertising is taking to the streets and malls. We often hear of marketing campaigns employing QR codes, augmented reality and 3D projections. That was 2012.

2013 is the year when digital goes on-ground. The time has come when we’ll see digital in India get bold and aggressive, and not afraid to step out onto the streets.

Digital experiential marketing is a relatively young marketing discipline, but is growing rapidly because it ticks a lot of the right boxes. Compared to mass media campaigns, experiential advertising tends to communicate at a much more personal level, generate a deeper level of emotional engagement, resulting in better conversion rates and all at relatively low cost. (Source: Wikipedia)

However, to mark the next phase of digital advertising – to build digital experiences – we, the ‘internet guys’, have to do a few things right.

Imagination
To build an actual invisible car or a coke hug machine, you first need to think of one. That is why it is so important for agencies to mentor and condition youth in a way that they can think of digital on-ground ideas. The first hour of work every day should be spent reading on the internet about the possibilities of things that can happen in this space.

Technology
So you came up with the idea of a chair that tweets the weight of the person who sits on it. Cute! But who is going to build it? Well, if you don’t have the right people to build it, you can’t.

As more and more creative techies join the industry and as agencies scale up their hardware-electronics-tech teams, we’ll see that the possibility of executing such ideas will increase immensely. We’ll not only be able to include on-ground tech ideas in all our communication plans, but also be able to give clients an exact cost and deployment plan for the same.

Mobile
Mobile is the biggest thing to have happened to internet advertising, since the internet. The notebook killer is the most important piece of the puzzle and we have to get our act right in the mobile space. Build your activation around mobile and once they love what you’ve created, they’ll always be on it.

Build relationships
This is where digital advertising goes beyond the realms of advertising. Create something that is part of the solution. A solution that would make customers interact with your brand every day.

Have fun
Lastly, create something that’s fun to do. Something that wows, amuses or offers an experience worth talking about. 

The author is Associate Creative Director, Webchutney

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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.