Digital Experience Marketing: Why Brands Should Embrace It

Our daily lives are intertwined with various digital mediums. From Alexa’s wakeup alarm to meeting reminders, various mobile applications, smart watches, smart appliances, fitness devices, laptops, and tablets. As technology takes over every sector, our engagement and immersion in the digital realm is becoming unprecedented. Offering brands a unique chance to create storytelling experiences across digital platforms that immerse the users.

Enhancing their recall power by building eclectic and powerful experiences. This gives rise to experiential marketing in the offline branding world, allowing marketers to find an effective way to connect with their audience. As we grow digitally in the 3D realm, digital experiential marketing is on the rise with the use of immersive technologies. AR/VR/XR – Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Extended Reality – are the leading emerging technologies shaping the world of digital experience marketing.

Before we dive deep into what guides digital experience marketing and learn from a few global examples, let us understand what digital experience marketing is.

What is Digital Experience Marketing?

It’s an engagement marketing tactic that utilizes many digital tools to promote a brand, its products, and a campaign to build awareness. Immersing the viewers in the product, offering them a chance to participate and engage with customers. Building experiences for customers enhances the opportunities for brands to build lasting connections that are emotionally driven and create memories. These experiences can be offered across websites, mobile applications, email campaigns, social media platforms, virtual events, gaming platforms, etc. These experiences are built with key aspects:

a. they are highly user-centric to enhance engagement
b. powered with personalized content to build direct connectivity with a consumer segment
c. designed with data-driven insights to target the right touchpoints
d. bring in omni-channel integration to deliver cohesive message with an impactful brand experience across the digital platforms.

What defines the success of digital experience marketing is the buzz it can generate. The engagement numbers and user feedback.

What is the Essence of Digital Experience Marketing?

The reason why it works is simple – it’s a new creative, innovative, and immersive experience tool. It offers brands the opportunity to not ‘talk at’ the customer, but rather involve them. It’s important because it builds lasting experiences. A study published by the Wharton School has mentioned that experiences provide consumers with more satisfaction and happiness than tangible products. Experiences are a big part of what forms a person’s identity today. Consumers are more likely to talk about their experiences and share on their social platforms than their possessions. Experiences offer consumers a story to share fostering a bond between the brand and the consumers.

The key takeaway for digital marketers: A consumer is more likely to remember your brand and share the details if you can make them feel emotions with an experience. When building on immersive experiences in the digital realm, make sure to work with data insights to reach the right idea. One that helps you achieve marketing goals, immerse, and engage consumers, and fit within your budget.

Global Brands’ Successful Digital Experiential Marketing Examples

a. Apple’s – #ShotOniPhone

Apple first launched its #ShotOniPhone campaign in 2015 as a consumer challenge. Encouraging users globally to submit the best macro photos via social media using the hashtag. The idea was to promote the Apple iPhone camera highlighting the many features like its then-latest macro feature in the iPhone 13 Pro. Users shared several macro photos, from which Apple picked 10 entries to feature in its global campaigns.

How is this digital experience marketing?

– It encourages user-generated content and widespread sharing.

– It encourages and builds a sense of community amongst Apple users while building trust in the Apple iPhone camera.

By November 2023, it is noted that the #ShotOniPhone experience marketing campaign by Apple had almost 29 million posts.

b. Fortnite’s virtual concert

Metaverse’s virtual music concerts are the hype of the decade. Fortnite, a video game brand introduced an in-game virtual concert, which will go down in history as one of the leading experience marketing examples. In April 2020, just as the world got into lockdown Fortnite announced the in-game event called Astronomical – the first of its virtual music concert. Featuring the hip-hop artist, Travis Scott. Breaking many records and reaching a global audience of nearly 28 million people as per the University of Oxford.

The campaign’s effectiveness can be noted by its overall success numbers. The average spent hours were on a high showing how people enjoyed new forms of virtual entertainment. The event also achieved critical claim for its incredible technical and artistic execution.

c. Uber x SmartWater – Rides in the Selfie Mobile

Uber and SmartWater partnered to introduce a Black SUV Uber ride packed with premium SmartWater bottles for leading influencers traveling to New York Fashion Week. Both brands took advantage of an incredible opportunity of New York Fashion Week to reach sophisticated clientele who love the fashion sector. They installed a light-up selfie setup in the Black SUV’s back seat. Offering free rides with premium bottled water to selected influencers. These influencers had a big audience to share the selfies with while Uber-ing around the Big Apple to the global fashion week.

What worked?

The campaign was called #ElevateyourEveryday and gained a lot of social media traction. How?

It was built around user-generated content. Making it a successful partnership for all involved. The USP was offering an otherwise boring and uneventful ride a new twist. People riding could have fun, capture their photos, and share them on social media. These photos acted as tangible proof of a great experience in Uber. Uber hired Simple Booth, a revolutionary leader in digital photo experiences to bring their expert selfie stations to the UBER SUVs. Simple Booth helped riders take beautifully lit selfies and software aided riders with ready-to-use photos that came with relevant hashtags and logos.

d. Ikea Place App

Ikea uses the power of AR to allow customers to test how their products fit into their homes. Using the IKEA app a user can click on online product images like a sofa, table, lamp, etc. Using the camera on the user’s phone, the app allows them to virtually place the product in a user’s home. All products are in 3D and true-to-scale. Allowing users to visualize the product in their space before making the final purchase.

How is this effective?

It brings in more online shoppers for IKEA as the brand makes its products more accessible to people. Helping customers to make informed decisions, reducing a large portion of returns while also increasing sales. The brand actively uses AR/VR today to bring more emphasis and relevance to its e-commerce and mobile applications. They listened to their target audience and made their experience better. Bringing a new experience marketing initiative while bridging the gap between IKEA’s catalogue, its stores, and online shopping.

As a digital marketer, one should remember to meet the customer where they are. For instance, Fortnite reaches young people with online gaming. It reflects user-centric experience marketing and the brand’s association with technology.

The fine trick to learn for digital experience marketing is to involve the customers in an activity. As a digital marketer, you must make sure that the activity reward justifies the effort. It must get people talking and sharing about their memorable experiences. Allow the marketing experiences to tap into consumer’s interests.

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