Selling in the age of digital engagement

The marketing industry continues in its quest to discover the material value of (mostly social) interaction. The ambition of this pursuit is admirable – up to a point. Although there are many fine examples where the value of interaction is wholly apparent, there is still an unprecedented volume of largely unaccountable engagement going on.

If brands market to sell, digital engagement needs to focus its attention on a fundamental truth about selling. That a big part of selling is about igniting a desire to buy. This should be evident in all great creative briefs. How we can answer those briefs using emerging digital technology is the really exciting part.

Creativity is the only answer to how you tackle this across a vast range of sectors, products and categories – each with its particular set of conventions. Creativity is the only way to punch through, igniting desire. It’s also technology that’s enabling us to achieve this in exciting new ways.

Consider how you would create the desire in the mind of the scientist to buy a specific brand of weighing scales? The answer is by appealing to the very thing that scientists are passionate about – experimentation. But experimentation on a grand scale, shared on a global scale: http://gnomeexperiment.com/.

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In the luxury sector, where arguably the product experience sells itself, digital can deliver immersive virtual product experiences to get you closer to experiencing the products to seduce you.

Jaguar Land Rover recently created a digital showroom featuring high-resolution renders of their car projected onto a screens at nearly 1:1 scale. Through gesture-based interaction customers were able to explore the interior and exterior of the car on-screen – a highly seductive experience.

Interactive video is fast becoming a key engagement technique that clothing brands are using to drive engagement that sells – a great example of this is the ASOS Urban Tour. We will see more and more of this kind of product exploration as interactive video continues to develop.

The thing that unites great work like this is that the interaction itself is something that you aspire to spend time with – and share with your friends. When the interaction has as much intrinsic value as the content that forms the experience, this can provide a truly irresistible user experience and one which ignites the desire to buy.

Ben Evans is Managing Partner at OgilvyOne in the UK and heads up Digital responsible for ensuring that OgilvyOne is at the forefront of digital marketing. He also runs the agency’s British Airways global creative technology account.

Posted in Great Creative that Sells

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