Does experiential marketing play a pivotal role in helping brands satisfy growing customer demand for digital detoxification?

Real experiences will always be relevant because they ensure the inclusion of human interaction in the conversation between brands and consumers writes Ranjit Raina, CEO, Geometry Encompass.


In recent times a much-discussed topic is the relevance of the ‘real’ experiences in a digital world. The real versus digital debate has a fair few supporters on either side. There is much debate on which is more fulfilling or how one is more effective than the other.

I for one have never understood our deep fascination with the need to differentiate. I say this because the average human (also our consumer) doesn't . Pause for a moment, think of your own day, separate the digital experiences that touched you from those that were real. Breaking down the day into real and digital doesn't come naturally to us. What we remember are experiences that touch us, real or digital. A human interaction that forced you to think, a meme that made you laugh or a piece of content that caused instant rage.

We navigate and engage with all these experiences seamlessly. And if the average human chooses not to compartmentalise their lives into real and digital, I find our fascination of little value. Even as people engaged in the act of marketing we don’t need to focus on the differentiation between the two “touchpoints”, instead we need to understand that “real” has changed.

As a creative commerce agency that operates in an omni-channel world we constantly see the modern consumers seamlessly move between the real and digital worlds, a single purchase or transaction is not just about where it was made but the entire journey that led to it.

As experience creators who are tasked with influencing, guiding and impacting consumer behaviour, we should be most focussed on what makes an experience engaging what makes it memorable. What makes it prompt the desired action.

The real experience is of value only if it makes an impact, it's as simple as that. Till such time it does, it will always hold great value. Our digital life is an extension of our real world, it doesn’t exist in isolation. Real experiences that make an impact will almost always find an extension in the digital world. And conversely, digital engagements have the potential to manifest as real experiences.

The most successful experiences are the ones that become a connective tissue that binds our omni-channel world. Like a seamless relay the baton moves from the real world to the digital world and vice versa. To believe a real experience is more fulfilling than a digital experience is an oversimplification. We consume each experience in a different manner and each has the potential to make a profound impact. Each has a different role to play.

Real experiences will always be relevant because they ensure the inclusion of human interaction in the conversation between brands and consumers, at the same time we need to understand our new digital reality.

According to a report from online aggregator Medium, nearly 34% of consumers surveyed said they would post about an interesting experience on their social media pages.

Today the conversation extends beyond the “real” contact, and the interaction on the digital plane is just as human. So instead of focusing on the difference between the digital and real , experience creators need to focus on how to create engagements that get extended to other platforms.

In the digital age as technology advances and new social media platforms emerge the relevance of the real experience continues to increase. It is real human interactions , engagements and creation that drives digital conversations between brands and their audiences.

We need to understand that the true nature of customer engagement has changed dramatically, Experience creators will need to adopt more of a bricolage approach while crafting experiences to deliver impact and results.

So till the human race doesn’t get plugged in a matrix we don’t have to worry about the diminishing importance of “real” experiences. We just need to upgrade to the new the reality.

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