Digital vs reality marketing - Where should marketers be focusing their efforts?

Craig Williams, global business development director at The Work Perk explores digital versus reality marketing

The internet has undoubtedly been a gift to marketers. Today, businesses can communicate with their customers in real time at the click of the button, for next to no cost. But with this upsurge of exciting digital technology, it’s easy to forget the value of physical brand experiences.

Believe it or not, there once was a time when marketing meant having real life interactions with customers, not just virtual ones. Whether it was picking up a telephone or meeting a client face-to-face, a few decades ago customer relationships were made almost exclusively offline. Unfortunately, the rise in popularity of digital technologies has led to these tried and tested ‘offline’ methods becoming rather neglected. 

The fact is that businesses would be foolish to continue this way. The digital space has become pretty overcrowded and the average consumer is now bombarded with hundreds of virtual brand messages each day. It’s no wonder that there are set to be an estimated 21 million ad block users by the end of 2016.

Of course, this digital disengagement only serves to enhance the value of real life interactions and businesses would do well to refocus their efforts here. Experiential marketing such as sampling plays on the long lost tangibility factor that online marketing critically lacks. Not only does it enable brands to connect directly with consumers, it allows them to provide a personal and memorable experience that ultimately provokes a stronger degree of emotional engagement with a product. 

There is no doubt that an online presence is essential in today’s digital era but relying solely on the virtual world to market real-world products is not always going to cut it. Brands that facilitate engaging, real-world experiences alongside digital ones will reap the most success.

What real-life/experiential activity do you have scheduled in your marketing pipeline?