The tech-fuelled age of experience

Patrick Reid, CEO EMEA at Imagination, on how technology and experiential go hand in hand.

2016 has been disruptive in many ways, both politically and economically, with traditional models being challenged and overturned. We live in an age where the death of deference reigns supreme and consumers’ attention spans get shorter and shorter. Telling people what they should do or think doesn’t work anymore.

We truly believe that this brave new world is the new age of experience. The trend we see in the report is encouraging and the upward lift for the industry can only accelerate as brands gain confidence to move their spend to more non-traditional forms of engaging and connecting with their customers.

In an article I penned earlier this year I said “We believe that, in this new experience-valuing world, brands must progress from transactional relationships to transformational relationships.” Over the last year our Imagination Experience Platform (IXP) which powers experiences that connect with consumers, before, during and after has shown consistently the positive commercial impact of experience over traditional forms of advertising. The Platform’s blending of the physical and digital worlds engages the consumer intelligently at multiple touch points; personalised moments, transforming their desires into physical realities, in turn creating shareable and memorable content, with value for both brand and consumer at heart.

So how do we keep moving forward? By continuing to deepen both our understanding and use of smart tech to enrich, surprise and delight. Even at its most basic level, the use of smart technology increases the quality and measurable nature of our work, helping experiences we create for brands connect with consumers more meaningfully across multiple channels, online, offline, now and in the future. This is a powerful opportunity for a brand marketer who is seeking consumer engagement that delivers more than just fleeting impact. Looking ahead to 2017, wearable technology with simpler yet more sophisticated UX capabilities is one example of smart tech that is gathering pace and greater possibility for experience design.

We talk a lot about data, but quality is paramount and it is vital that our sector can demonstrate with credible hard metrics the commercial results it delivers. Additionally, proactive and intelligent integration of measurement from our fellow channels will contribute to our bid to move even further towards the heart of a brand marketer’s plan.

In summary, the report’s data shows that marketers are increasingly turning to experiences to engage meaningfully with their audiences. This is promising, but we cannot let the momentum drop. By combining the power of technology with a culture that is demanding emotional, human, purposeful experiences we can truly demonstrate we are the sector that can actually affect real relationship transformation versus just present it.

Patrick Reid is CEO EMEA at Imagination and comments on the IPA's quarterly Bellwether Report

Last updated 21 January 2022