Updated: May 26, 2022
NCFE Level 2 Award in Digital Promotion for Business (601/6671/X)
NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Digital Promotion for Business (601/6673/3)
Unit 05 Emergent digital techniques for business (K/507/4158)
Cecilia has been running a digital advertising agency since a decade. She is facing a new challenge now! A steady client of theirs, ‘Power Shoes’ wants to launch a new digital campaign. However, they want this campaign to be completely run on emergent digital technologies. The brand owners assert that use of novel, emergent technologies in their brand campaign will further seal their image as a progressive and technically sound brand. Also, this will help them connect with the right user group, one that is technologically active and receptive.
Recorded below are the notes from the team meeting, developing this new digital promotion campaign:
Why is the world moving to new / Emergent Digital Technologies for Digital Promotion of Business?
The field of digital promotion is ever evolving. The ultimate goal of any business promotion is to be able to strike a rapport with the audience. Business promotion can be deemed successful only when it has been able to strike a note with the audience, and they are persuaded to move to the next level of the marketing funnel.
Emergent digital techniques use the power of internet to make sure that the product/service idea is visible to the customer just when she/he is thinking about it or looking for it. The power of ‘being right there when your customer is thinking of your kind of product /service’ is what makes emergent technologies more effective than their traditional counterparts. It is important to note here that most emergent digital technologies are a further extension / improvement of the traditional digital marketing techniques with an element of real-time technologies & cloud computing.
What are the various Emergent Digital Technologies that can be used for promoting business?
While the field of digital technologies is ever evolving, the most prominent ones can be grouped as:
1) Artificial Intelligence: AI needs no introduction in a world powered by machine learning. Promotional campaigns are increasingly using AI applications like voice search and chatbots to make customer navigation easier on the e-commerce websites. AI based chatbots are intuitive and able to serve the customers 24X7, taking customer service to the next levels. Similarly, voice search-based product search, although still at nascent stages, is going to be the next big thing in e-commerce customer assistance.
2) IOT-Internet of Things: IOT is a system of physical devices that exchange real-time information. This technology takes remote monitoring applications to the next level. Combining IOT with location-based applications can bring best of physical and online platforms to the world of digital promotions. IOT can help businesses and advertisers understand what exactly customers are looking for in a product or service. Decoding customer’s requirements, purchase patterns, aspirations can help businesses build better products and services and at the same time help advertisers design campaign that customers are able to connect instantaneously. Additionally, IOT combined with location based notification services, can push advert notifications just at the moment when the probability of purchase is maximum. Ever wondered, why you get certain push notifications just the moment you step around a market and why these notifications are almost always about products you intended to buy recently!
3) AR / VR / Metaverse: ‘Virtual Experience’ is the key to all these 3 utilities where promotional campaigns can help the customer get a little taste of the experience they are promoting about the product or service. These technologies have the capability to take ‘try before you buy’ to the next level, removing all logistic requirements in the process. While Augmented reality (AR), builds up layers of virtual experience in a basic physical setting, VR (Virtual reality) takes it a step forward where even a basic physical setting is not required to ‘experience the experience’. The trend is already hot on certain social media platforms where you can edit your pictures with filters of expensive products like watches and sunglasses on your person and share the pictures with friends. This is most recent example of AR being used for digital promotion of business.
On the other hand, ‘Metaverse’ is the most promising emergent digital technology with unlimited potential in digital promotional application. From gaming to education, everything is moving to metaverse. Buy advertisement banners, hoardings and store inside the virtual world are a must for digital promoters who want to keep up with the new trends and fast moving customer expectations.
4) Blockchain: While this technology is more known for crypto products, it has potential of wide-spread applications in every other sphere of commerce. Blockchain can be effectively used to validate and increase customer confidence in product novelties. It could be an agro brand selling organic fruits or a clothing brand claiming to sell authentic Kashmir shawls, blockchain can provide evidence to the claims and help weed out inauthentic players from the market. Imagine a wrist watch customer, getting a blockchain based evidence about the product being made with zero-carbon footprint processes! The potential of interesting story-based digital campaigns can be accentuated many folds with blockchain technology.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Emergent Digital Technology in Business Promotion?
Advantages of using Emergent Digital techniques for business promotion is that it would make the promotional campaigns more personalised and persuasive. This would increase the efficiency of the advertisement campaign in terms of time, money and resources and help in closing a deal faster than before. Use of Emergent Digital Technologies in business promotion provide increased customer engagement and responsiveness. This in turn makes them more resilient and adaptive to suit the needs of the market.
The biggest drawback of emergent digital technologies is that they are complicated and expensive at the moment. Because of the cost of technology, expertise and equipment; the option is available to only big budget players. Therefore, use of these technologies places the medium and small players at huge risk of falling into oblivion despite offering good quality products and services.
Additionally, emergent digital technologies could be impacting user privacy more than ever before. With more of these being used in commerce, we could see new internet privacy issues arising, ones that would have been unthinkable couple of years before.
How can we create a customer journey using emergent digital technologies for business?
To be able to understand this process let’s talk about James! James is an athlete and old customer of ‘Power Shoes’. There could be 3 ways he
could be looking at while planning to purchase a new pair of shoes:
1. He could be going directly to ‘Power Shoes’ website.
2. He could be looking for new shoes on an online search engine.
3. He could be going to the local high street or his favoured shoe store.
In scenario one, James is still a loyal customer. However, to be able to keep him ‘Power Shoes’ should be able to provide a wonderful onsite experience. Making the selection process smooth, quick and interesting will make sure that customer is not tempted to visit the competitor’s website.
Use of AI based chatbots and voice search features will ensure that these objectives are met to a large extent. In a traditional website, the home page would be crowded with ribbons and slides of new product lines & discount offers and James would have to use his navigation skills for finding the right product for him.
‘Power Shoes’ new AI powered website has a totally uncluttered and sleek home page. The only prominent feature is a chatbot that politely greets James and offers further assistance. There is a very small conversation between the chatbot and the customer about his requirements like expected price range, end-use, size, colour preference etc. In fact, if the customer is logged in with his pre-existing account, the chatbot would automatically suggest the size and colour preference thus further shortening the conversation. Within few seconds of James coming on the website, his screen is presented with a select inventory of 5-10 shortlisted pairs of shoes that match his requirements. The AI based chatbot and connected software can also sequence these options in order of preference based on his purchase history. If required, James can ask couple of more questions about the availability, after care etc which further refines the search results. Now the customer is left with only 2-3 pairs of shortlisted shoes and he can take a decision and close the sale in next few minutes. All in all, the process of purchase was stress free, quick and smooth. This will go a along way in retaining James as a loyal ‘Power Shoes’ customer.
Additionally, the website could be providing AI / VI based features that can help the customer get a virtual experience of trying these shoes and understand the aesthetics of it in different scenarios.
In the second scenario the customer wants to look for other options, so instead of going straight to ‘Power Shoes’ website, he goes to the search engine and starts looking for shoes using specific keywords. Now here the winning strategy would be to make the customer get an impression that ‘Power Shoes’ is still the market leader and best option! The seller should be using the principle of brand recall here.
To achieve this objective, the advertiser could be using AR/VR/Metaverse & Blockchain technology. If customer is known to be frequenting Metaverse for gaming and other purposes, the business can make sure that they hire billboards inside metaverse, just at the right places to get noticed by their repeat customers. While purchase inside metaverse would be a reality soon, at the moment sellers could be using it as a premium advertising space which is yet to become overcrowded.
Similarly, instead of placing a PPC advertisement about selling shoes, the seller could be highlighting an advertisement about ‘virtually trying out shoes’ and then take a decision to sell. This novel approach using AI / VI could pull the most reluctant customers back to the seller’s website from search engine, thus winning back a customer.
Alternately, Blockchain technology could be used to help the customer establish the root sources of different raw materials used in the shoe. This can help develop a novel promotional campaign that can tell an effective story about the brand sourcing novel raw-material from all around the world, while making a perfect pair of shoes.
In the third scenario, the customer is most vulnerable of getting poached by a competitor. James is out there is the market, free from the clutches of internet, how can a business possibly influence him there with the power of internet? Cloud computing combined with IOT can still win the game by applying emergent digital techniques of promotion!
The location apps in the customer’s phone could notify the digital billboard in the marketplace and trigger advertisements, directing customers to the specific store, ‘Power Shoes’ sells through. Also, he could be getting push notifications on his phone about special discounts if he buys this brand shoes from a market store in next few hours.
It is important to note here that digital campaigns would always be designed for not one but a set of customers. The above examples have been used to explain how customer purchase journey can be impacted / modified using an ecosystem built of emergent digital technologies for business promotion.
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