The future of marketing: Blurring the lines between physical and digital | HCLTech

The future of marketing: Blurring the lines between physical and digital

In marketing, the lines are blurring between physical and digital spaces with emerging technologies enabling the delivery of new experiences
 
6 minutes read
Nicholas Ismail
Nicholas Ismail
Global Head of Brand Journalism, HCLTech
6 minutes read
The future of marketing: Blurring the lines between physical and digital

In today's fast-paced and technology-driven world, the lines between the physical and digital realms are becoming increasingly blurred. This phenomenon is particularly evident in marketing, where organizations are leveraging advancements in technology to create new and innovative marketing experiences.

The shift toward blending online and offline experiences

Traditionally, online and offline experiences were seen as separate entities in marketing.

Companies had their corporate websites and retail stores, each catering to a different set of customers. However, there has been a gradual shift towards merging these experiences and creating a seamless integration between the physical and digital worlds.

Today, customers, sales teams and audiences expect a cohesive blend of online and offline interactions.

“Organizations leading the charge are no longer thinking about how online and offline experiences meet, but rather how they overlap and intersect,” said Dan MacAvoy, VP, Digital Marketing at HCLTech, speaking at Adobe Summit.

This shift has been driven by changing customer expectations and the desire for continuity in their interactions with a brand.

Embracing emerging technologies in marketing experiences

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the key technologies driving the transformation of marketing experiences.

“In particular, generative AI has been a huge source of excitement and a huge source of change within customer experience for individual experiences,” said MacAvoy. It has revolutionized customer experiences by creating personalized and tailored interactions.

“By combining the power of machine learning, large language models and spatial computing, like we’re seeing with Meta and Apple Vision Pro, marketers can leverage AI to engage customers in fascinating and new ways,” he continued.

These technologies, when integrated with wearable devices like smart glasses and smartwatches, create endless possibilities for marketers to create unique and immersive experiences.

Integrating technology into the marketing organization

While adopting these new technologies brings exciting opportunities, marketing organizations must also consider the challenges and considerations that come with them.

According to MacAvoy, one vital aspect to address is establishing trust between the organization and its audience. The use of technologies like AI and data collection raises concerns about privacy and security. Organizations that prioritize building trust with their customers and partners are more likely to succeed in incorporating these technologies seamlessly. Trust allows for a more open dialogue, where customers are willing to share data, enabling organizations to personalize experiences and deliver value.

Measuring and tracking marketing success

Measuring the success of marketing investments in technology can be a complex task.

By understanding what customers find valuable and ensuring that value is delivered, organizations can drive success and create value for themselves.

“The key to effective measurement lies in focusing on the output created for the customer. But it is more challenging when measuring in both online and physical environments compared to in a digital or physical context,” said MacAvoy.

However, by demonstrating the value to the customer first, organizations can establish a strong foundation for measuring and tracking success.

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Aligning tech-driven strategies with organizational culture and change

Incorporating tech-driven strategies into organizations requires a balance between innovation and a supportive company culture. Leaders must align their strategies with the overall culture and drive a mindset of continuous growth and adaptability. By fostering a culture of innovation and change, organizations can build experience-led marketing organizations that are equipped to navigate the evolving landscape of technology and customer expectations.

“Digital marketing teams are no longer limited to website updates and email campaigns. I've had to choose my team's approach and focus more on innovation and experiential change,” said MacAvoy.

Marketers now play a crucial role in driving innovation and bringing digital technologies, like cloud and personalization, into marketing strategies. Building an organizational culture that embraces these changes and encourages employees to explore new opportunities is vital for staying ahead in today's competitive marketing landscape.

Looking ahead, the line between physical and digital spaces in marketing will continue to blur. This will give rise to new possibilities for creating innovative marketing experiences.

By leveraging technologies like AI and smart devices, organizations can bridge the gap between online and offline interactions. Establishing trust, measuring success based on customer value and aligning tech-driven strategies with organizational culture are key considerations for organizations looking to embrace these advancements successfully. With the right approach, marketers can create seamless experiences that captivate audiences and drive their business forward.

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Artificial Intelligence
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