Understanding Immersive Interactions: Marketing to Complex Generations
“The children are our future”. Businesses need to take note of this ancient adage to establish long-term relationships with their prospective consumers. After all, millennials who were born between 1982 and 1996 are now in their mid-20s to 30s. Moreover, Generation Z was born between 1998 and 2016 which means that its oldest members are just entering their 20s. It is predicted that by 2020 millennials will make up 35% of the global workforce and that Generation Z will make up 24%. This means that, within the space of merely three years, over half the working population will be made up of young, tech-savvy individuals.
To stand out from their competitors, brands need to create marketing campaigns which instigate immersive interactions with these young consumers. Millennials and Generation Z are incredibly active on social media, they predominantly use mobile devices to consume content, and they prefer personalised, multimedia content which caters to their specific interests. Consequently, immersive interactions enable these young consumers to establish trust with a business. To help you connect with this increasingly important consumer base, we have created the following article on how to implement immersive interactions within your existing digital marketing strategies.
What are immersive interactions?
The term ‘immersive interactions’ refers to the practice of enveloping consumers within a brand; creating an all-encompassing experience for the user across any channel which encourages them to interact with a brand’s products and services. As the Harvard Business Review aptly explains:
“The term interactive, as we interpret it, points to two features of communication: the ability to address an individual and the ability to gather and remember the response of that individual. Those two features make possible a third: the ability to address the individual once more in a way that takes into account his or her unique response”.
Some examples of successful immersive interactions include installing a chatbot on your company website which enables consumers to receive targeted answers to their queries. Similar instances of immersive interactions include a live chat session on your site where users can discuss their queries in greater detail with a brand representative. By asking customers these few fundamental questions and swiftly matching them with products and services that would best suit them, you can create personalised experiences for new and existing consumers.
Moreover, once a customer has purchased from your company, you could send them emails with product recommendations and other personalised content such as suggested articles or videos based on their individual preferences.
You could even implement this personalisation in your adverts. Creating an ‘If/Then’ scenario wherein customers answer questions which direct them to different advertisements that would best suit their choices. For example, if you are a food chain, you could ask users if they prefer hot or mild recipes and then direct them to appropriately flavoured products which suit their palates.
You can also host immersive interactions via social media in the form of ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions, questionnaires or opinion polls. These types of immersive interactions are solely focused on resolving the customer’s needs; identifying their concerns as soon as possible and responding with a bespoke solution that is most suitable for their particular interests and requirements. In this manner, immersive interactions establish trust between consumers and brands which converts into return custom and recommendations.
Benefits of immersive interactions
Immersive interactions which provide consumers with increasingly personalised experiences can prove extremely useful for boosting long-term custom and securing loyalty with your brand. In fact, a Pure 360 highlighted how 93% of companies see an uplift in conversion rates from personalisation, 80% of consumers like it when emails they receive from retailers recommend products based upon their previous purchases, and 50% of consumers would be more likely to use retailers again if they were presented with personalised offers and information. Furthermore, this Pure 360 study also warned that 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not customised so neglecting to implement these immersive interactions within your brand’s existing strategies could significantly hinder your progress in the future.
Another significant benefit of immersive interactions is that they transform your client/business interactions into a two-way conversation. The advent of social media and smartphones enable businesses to instant message to their clients and receive immediate feedback on their products and services. Not only does this system allow brands to improve their services continuously, but it also ensures that customers feel that their concerns have been heard, valued, and used to improve their service.
Facilitating these types of immersive interactions with your consumers creates a sense of community and collaboration between brand and customer as well as fostering the reassurance that your brand is actively working to solve their problems in an optimum way. When using these immersive interactions, always include a call to action at the end, such as encouraging users to opt-in to a business email newsletter, download your app or like and follow your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram profiles.
In essence, immersive interactions put the user in the centre of their own ‘story,’ i.e. purchasing experience. Doing so creates positive engagement with your brand because your company and its staff appear more relatable and easily accessible online or via social media. Immersive interactions help you to understand customer behaviours more accurately so that you can facilitate a seamless experience between browsing for products, choosing their ideal service, and returning after recommending your services to others.
Looking forward, it is clear that these immersive interactions will continue to expand and evolve in response to the introduction of new technologies.
For instance, Vimeo has recently launched the ability for users to upload and watch 360-degree videos so that filmmakers can showcase and sell incredibly immersive content. Similarly, cosmetics chain Estée Lauder have collaborated with ModiFace to launch a lipstick chatbot which helps consumers to choose their ideal lipstick shade by merely posting selfies. As VR and AR technologies become an increasingly integral part of the lives of millennials and Generation Z, we can expect to see even more advanced examples of immersive interactions in the future. By embracing these new types of marketing strategies, your business can stay one step ahead of your competitors and secure long-lasting, incredibly rewarding relationships with a new generation of tech-savvy consumers.