Everyday we are bombarded with countless different distractions. Be it a ping on our phones or smart watches, an email notification on our laptops or an eye-catching advert on a digital billboard – there are endless diversions that pull us away from our daily routines. Unfortunately for marketers, this trend of immediate gratification and perpetual connectivity – alongside the easily digested, quick content provided by the likes of TikTok and Snapchat – has made it increasingly difficult to hold a consumer’s attention.
In fact, it has been widely reported that the human attention span has dropped to just eight seconds across all generations. That’s shorter than a goldfish’s. If you break it down further, the time in which marketers have to draw in their audience gets much shorter. Gen Z, for example, only has an active attention span of approximately 1.3 seconds when it comes to advertising.
Enter immersive experiences. A growing trend that has become central to many brands’ marketing strategies, emerging as a powerful way to instantly grab, and hold, an audience’s attention. More than that, it is a technique that transforms audience members from passive recipients to active participants in the narrative of a marketing campaign. That said, immersive experiences take a lot of work to create. And to build something truly outstanding that an audience will want to interact with, and will remember afterwards, requires a fair amount of insight into your consumers needs and interests.
So, before we lose your attention to the next distraction, we want to discuss how you can harness new technology – such as the power of artificial intelligence (AI) – to build innovative, creative solutions that will captivate, engage, and entertain your customers.
The power of personalised and engaging immersive customer experiences
As the world becomes increasingly digitised and the level of convenience offered to people continues to increase, customer expectations have risen higher than ever. The onus is now on companies to provide a memorable, personalised user experience to their customers immersive experiences, or risk losing out on their business. Immersive technologies – such as virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality – are a key tool in providing these memorable experiences. In fact, a recent study from Capgemini Research Institute revealed that 58% of the consumers surveyed mentioned immersive experiences could be impactful and valuable during product/service selection and purchase.
And brands have already started using these tools to great effect. Take, for example, Sephora’s announcement earlier this year about offering its customers skincare personalisation technology and solutions, both in-store and online. Or Volvo’s recently created app that allows consumers to experience a test drive of their XC90 SUV on their phone. While, BT has launched Immersive Spaces for business and public sector organisations, a 5G-enabled solution that simulates real life situations to improve business learning and development. The interactive space includes a library of more than 3,000 virtual scenarios, real-life environments, games and training experiences.
All of these experiences have been designed to get customers to interact directly with the brand, and to leave a lasting impression. They are creative, engaging and exciting and will no doubt be memorable for those who use them.
Where does AI come in?
As mentioned, these experiences are not easy to create. Fortunately, we are entering an era where advanced technologies such as AI, machine learning (ML) and automation can play an instrumental role in their creation. By tapping into the potential of these intelligent solutions, marketers can develop strategies to create immersive, interactive and personalised content on a whole new level – and use it to dramatically increase customer engagement.
These technological solutions can be used to analyse vast amounts of data and make intelligent predictions about user behavior, helping to accurately recognise and interpret physical environments and even allow for immersive experiences to respond and react to the user in real-time. This means these experiences won’t just engage with the customer, they have the potential to be increasingly relevant and hyper-personalised.
Ultimately, AI is a powerful tool that businesses can use to streamline creative excellence, increase efficiency and reduce time constraints. According to Scott Mager, CMO at Deloitte “It’s [AI] a creative renaissance; it puts creativity in more people’s hands, and I think we’re going to get more interesting content that’s [currently] locked in people’s heads.”
When combined with the immersive, AI can help create something truly unforgettable.
A brighter future for the marketing industry
AI and immersive technology must be recognised by marketers as not just another gimmicky piece of technology, but a force set to revolutionise the industry. Brands need to prepare themselves and think about utilising the capabilities of AI to bolster the experience offered to the customers and make their personalisation strategy more efficient.
Brands that combine these two emerging technologies can add a more tangible, engaging aspect to their offerings that will resonate with consumers and leave them with a lasting impression.