The art of creating a digital experience in an offline environment
For years, businesses have been seeing the benefit of creating effective digital experiences online. If executed in the right way, they can command our attention and instantly pull us into an exciting and engaging world across multiple channels. It’s the same in both the business to consumer environments and the business to business world. But making sure you have a solid online offering isn’t anything new anymore.
That being said, online experiences can only be successful if they are developed in line with wider traditional marketing and promotional activity. Just because something is digital, doesn’t automatically mean it is going to excite and enthral the masses - a common misconception. Unless you have thought about, and streamlined, the entire user experience (UX), any whizzy creative you might have come up with is going to fall flat on it’s face.
In the offline world, it’s no different, and although user experience is generally a term used for online experiences, it is still fundamental to establishing offline engagement. At exhibitions and events such as MIPCOM, the most anticipated global market for entertainment content across all platforms, attracting the attention of potential buyers is key - standing out in the noise is paramount. Whether you're a broadcaster or a production company showcasing your latest format, you need to find ways to communicate past the mass advertisement wall and drive engagement and participation.
Digital is often forgotten about in offline environments such as these, but if applied in the right way, can have a profound impact on engagement. For starters, it is nearly always unexpected. Live exhibitions are part of the ‘marketing old guard’ and can often lack innovation and creativity. They may look impressive but are not always sumbersive experiences. Digital enables you to bridge this gap and connect with attendees in a more direct and fun way, sometimes even overriding huge media spend for better ROI.
Events like MIPCOM are also notoriously expensive to advertise and market at, so being creative is essential to success. When you have a small budget it is important to identify other ways you can ensure a strong return on your investment and gain programme format awareness. To do that you need to focus your marketing efforts on the people that really matter and build experiences that will enable them to truly experience the programme you are trying to showcase.
Does your experience create a ‘Fear of Missing Out’ (FOMO) mentality amongst attendees and a sense of buzz? Does your campaign compliment your aims and objectives as a business? Is it sharable? Is it scalable? Is there a clear user journey for people to travel through?
These are all important questions you need to ask yourself before embracing a digital solution. Whether it is a custom built iPad meeting application that allows sales team to present bespoke pitches to clients or a stunt where you equip producers and buyers with a mobile phone packed with interactive apps and content, you need to ensure you have identified the best way to communicate your messages, but at the same time understand how the people you are trying to engage might want to receive them.
The digital industry’s bread and butter is creating carefully considered digital user experiences online, that are mapped out with a clear journey or path for the user to take. But when digital is introduced to an offline environment, the user experience is often neglected, and the digital journey can appear disjointed from the online experience. Having a clear vision and plan in place can immediately transform the way you interact with customers offline and open up a wealth of new opportunities.
Adam Smith, Owner and MD of Rawnet