Conversation Marketing: The Conversation is the Thing

Christine Fife

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You Need to Get Their Attention

If you read my blog often you may have noticed that I rarely talk about traditional advertising as a great way to market your company or business. There is just so much noise out in the on and offline world now that few people even see things like billboards or print ads, and I certainly don’t watch commercials. These things just don’t grab my attention.

That’s the real issue today for marketing professionals–getting your audiences attention. Even with new communications approaches, getting your target audience to not only notice you, but to stay interested long enough to be engaged and then look at what you have to offer is tough. Companies are looking for the next best thing to wow their audience and one of those things is augmented reality. I had the pleasure of visiting the San Francisco office of one of the leaders in augmented reality software solutions earlier this week, Metaio.

The Wikipedia definition of augmented reality is “a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated imagery.” But this description falls flat of conveying he business use possibilities for augmented reality.

Metaio offers a suite of products called Unifeye that allow companies to rethink advertising, promotional and user interaction ideas, not to mention potential service applications. There is definitely an eye-catching wow factor that initially grabs audience attention and with a great idea behind augmented reality you can definitely engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.

One of the uses I found incredible was done by JCPenny. It’s a virtual dressing room that allows site visitors to see how they might look in clothes for purchase online. This was featured on Seventeen.com.

Or how about this mobile application that allows someone to visualize new furniture in their home? Very cool.

And one last example. An in-store kiosk allowing the customer to view  what a Lego set will look like once it’s built! Christmas shopping takes on a whole new concept!

The applications for this type of technology in both business product aspects and marketing are practically endless. As a consumer myself, I’d like to see more companies offer these types of interactive use cases that allow me to make a more informed decision on what I’m purchasing. There is also a terrific entertainment factor.

For these types of marketing uses the most important follow up a company can do is to ensure they have a great system for allowing consumers to talk back to them. These types of applications provide a great opportunity for companies to invite more consumer feedback, but they have to be ready to listen and respond if necessary.

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As I drove off to college I never would have guessed I would end up here! But it’s been a fantastic journey. My career has been richly diverse giving me an advantage over marketers who are siloed into niche positions. I strive to be a true Renaissance person—I love to learn about everything and trying new things comes naturally. My career has been no different; I’ve successfully launched enterprise software and medical device development startups, improved communications processes for the regulatory department of a major financial exchange, increased client business and product development for several international exchange program companies and founded an international educational non-profit organization. My master’s degree in Integrated Marketing from Golden Gate University gave me a broad understanding of traditional marketing best-practices, but my BA in theater gave me the skills to understand how people communicate with one another and the importance of promoting a brand in a voice that is right for the audience.