As one of the co-founders of Art-E Mediatech, Rohit Sakunia’s journey began in 2018, as 4 friends came together to establish a new-age digital marketing firm. The ambition was to develop digital and technology-led brand solutions using a consultative approach for rapidly evolving needs of brands. As CBO of Art-E, Rohit is responsible for the communication and business development, spearheading long term strategies, stakeholder management and everyday operations. Within 2 years, his leadership has ensured scaling-up 4-member founding team to the current 100 artists at Art-E, while expanding within the country and internationally.
The whole world is adjusting to the disruptive role of technology, and marketers are now finding various ways to utilize it to grab the attention of the end-consumer. In under a decade, we have experienced how people have moved their average shopping experiences online. Beginning with procuring groceries, gadgets, and clothing, to consuming content for entertainment, online mediums have diversified the engagement touchpoints through a plethora of marketing campaign ideas.
In India, we are undergoing a digital transformation unlike anything seen in history, with projections indicating that millions more will be added in the coming years, taking the total tally of active internet users past 800 million. With this potential staring at brands, they are keen to explore several opportunities, including integrated O2O (offline to online) experiences, which can direct even first-time users towards online modes of operation, thereby elevating the chances of brand recall.
While the utilitarian nature of online campaigns to drive purchases offline has observed success qua industry, it is offline to the online experience that needs some awareness among end-users. We often hear about users checking out product reviews or information online before they visit physical stores to finalize on a purchase. Similarly, brands will be keen to adopt offline techniques to draw customers to increase online sales, provided it begins to show the desired results.
Using offline tools to connect users to products and services online
There are numerous examples that showcase how this can be achieved. For instance, if we were to take promotions for a TV show into consideration, interest can be generated through the physical display of ads on billboards, public transportation etc. Information can be made accessible through the clicking of a picture on a mobile phone, QR code scanner, or by typing-in a code. Brands can assure users of discounts, offers, or even surprise them with prizes, as a part of their efforts to create brand awareness.
Moreover, since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, a whole host of everyday services have moved online. In the F&B industry, public displays about brands can lead the user to a restaurant’s menu, including the opportunity to avail discounts, while ensuring contactless and socially distanced servicing. Pizza franchise chains often operate in this sphere, providing attractive offers to anyone who accesses their online portals through brick-and-mortar stores or physically promoted ads. On similar lines, print ads on newspapers, brochures and magazines can be direct users seamlessly to online e-commerce portals, where traction is increased through an upward trend in online traffic.
Additionally, in a post-COVID scenario, brands must also conduct campaigns that allow customers to willingly provide details such as e-mail, or those which encourage them to follow social media handles, thereby creating a space for the user to associate a particular brand when they think of purchasing the product. For gaining a perspective, an example would be of a niche merchandise store conducting promotions at airports, malls, etc. where they promote app downloads to customers so that they receive offers in return.
The future of technology in delivering integrated solutions
The top priority for every brand is to be remembered as a market leader in the product or service they deliver. In meeting the expectations of users, brands have begun to use new-age technologies to excite them about new launches. Since the advent of machine learning, AI, and data analytics in online shopping, brands are able to decipher to the T, which demographic to target, price expectations of customers, and behavioural patterns pertaining to product purchases.
However, a world that remains deeply connected in the physical realm still requires a personalized experience that involves direct interactions. Be it URLs or product links accessed through public displays, VR (virtual reality) experiences at malls or AR (Augmented reality) experiences through code scans, the next generation of technology will enhance the human-centred design interface, in a bid to connect the physical with the digital in a far more sophisticated and aesthetic manner.
Whether brands indulge in flashy promotions, or simple and agile offline campaigns leading to online sources, the experience is enhanced only when the end goal happens to meet the consumers’ requirements. Using out of the box offline promotional ideas can still create the desired impact on the customer to go check the products online, considering that people are yearning to interact in current times, and engage socially in public places.