Marketing is entering a completely new era. At the forefront of this change are interactive campaigns that engage consumers on a completely different level. We see this change in the form of gamification, wearable technologies and smart interfaces that redefine the marketing landscape. But these innovations can’t exist without consumer insights. And while the output of these interactive marketing campaigns may seem complex, the input that must happen first is actually quite basic.

There are three methods through which any brand can begin to unveil customer insights that can lead to unique interactive market marketing campaigns.

1. Simplify, like Disney

It would be an understatement to call the Disney World experience multifaceted. Parking alone is an adventure! Not to mention the journey to the theme park, navigating all the rides and features of the park and corralling your friends and family to agree on a restaurant and who will grab the bill. From a brand perspective, it sounds like an insurmountable customer experience nightmare.

Yet, Disney’s insight into the wildly complex experience of their park-goers led them to innovate an element of continuity that is revolutionary in the industry. Disney’s MyMagic+ bracelet technology enables people to have their park passes, room keys, loyalty status and even credit card information all stored on one device. The technology is complicated, but the solution resulted from a simple observation: Consumers are inundated with touch points, so how can we make their lives easier and connect them all? The bracelet acts as a unifying device to all Disney experiences and is a marketing element in and of itself. Much like wearables similar to the Nike+FuelBand and Jawbone’s UP, the Disney bracelet is a constant reminder of the brand and something cool enough to share with your friends. Asking where you can simplify the navigation of your brand’s touch points can lead to fertile ground for potential marketing solutions.

2. Open the door, like Orapup

Inviting your customers to tell you what they want is a surefire way to not only develop the right products but also engage your audience in the marketing effort. Orapup, a product developed by the former SVP of Procter & Gamble started from a crowd-funded Indiegogo campaign that raised $20,000 more than the stated goal. The product is simple enough; it’s a brush for your dogs tongue to improve the smell of their breath.

As an experienced businessperson at an innovative firm, Shekhar Mitra could have pursued other options for funding the development of this product. However, by raising the money to develop this product through Indiegogo he allowed his customers to play an active role in bringing the product to life. He was also able to stay informed of the thoughts of his customers regarding the efficacy or potential problems of the product. While every product or service should not (or cannot) be developed through crowd funding, Orapup is a great example of how you can involve your audience in the development and marketing of your next venture.

3. Connect to something bigger, like Hyundai

In 2013 Hyundai was recognized in two categories at the renowned Ex Awards. The awards are focused on experiential marketing excellence and recognize campaigns that go beyond TV and print to connect with consumers. Hyundai was recognized for two campaigns that both accomplished something very unique. It won by connecting their brand to something larger than itself.

Their most dynamic campaign, the RE:MIX Lab, featured events in five major US cities that explored culture, music, art and technology in unexpected ways. With their vehicles as the centerpiece, Hyundai customized interiors and exteriors to feature their their understanding of their customers. By outfitting their vehicles as the perfect road trip travel companion, highlighting the awesome audio capabilities of their sound system and crafting unique interior designs to showcase their artistry, Hyundai created interactive, multifaceted events that included social media and other digital touch points.

Hyundai’s Show Your Loyalty program connected the brand to the energetic world of college football. They hosted 151 on-site events featuring interactive games, contests and prizes that connected fans with their cars in unique ways. Once again, each event featured multiple digital and social connection points.

Both campaigns highlight a crucial consideration for any brand: What else is your product connected to? Every brand can connect itself to the larger world in which it exists. Hyundai connected their youthful drivers to the art, music and sports that they love. Using your brand to connect your audience with the things they are passionate about is a sure-fire way to increase engagement.

Gaining customer insights is essential to any brand’s success. From R&D to marketing, the opinion of your consumers matters. And there are a few simple ideas that can get your gears moving towards great insights. Ask how your brand can simplify, co-create with consumers when possible and connect to something bigger. You’ll nail down just the right kind of campaigns that will succeed, time and time again.


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