It’s no surprise that interactive technology benefits the education, marketing and advertising, and healthcare industries. From turning the buying and learning processes into an experience to providing professionals with insight on what their customers want and need, technology is reshaping how individuals plan and experience events.
However, despite the obvious success stories experienced in these sectors, there are disparate industries that can also benefit from experiential marketing campaigns and interactive technology. From the burgeoning marijuana and craft beer scenes to retail and real estate, here are some examples.
1. Medical Marijuana
As of late 2016, eight states and Washington, DC, allowed adult-use recreational marijuana, while 28 states have approved medical marijuana programs. Not only has the cannabis industry spawned thousands of new jobs in states where medical and recreational consumption is legal, it has also produced exciting, new technology. While the industry has already leveraged technology to improve agricultural and security output, numerous startups have emerged with a mission of selling cannabis in a convenient, compliant fashion.
GreenRush, a patient-centered platform that offers an on-demand delivery service for medical marijuana, isn’t too different from delivery services such as GrubHub and Postmates. On the other end of the spectrum, FlowHub works to simplify the cannabis inventory management process by offering a user-friendly experience through applied technology. And as the cannabis industry continues its evolution, it only makes sense that companies are choosing to engage with the customer. MassRoots is a social media platform that is designed to connect cannabis consumers with local businesses.
“Like alcohol and tobacco, cannabis has an incredibly diverse spectrum of both qualitative and experiential values,” said Leo Stone, CEO & chief breeder at Aficionado Seeds, Inc., “In light of this phenomenon, I'm convinced that in the near future, cannabis distribution channels will parallel the likes of cigarettes, beer, wine, premium cigars, and craft spirits.”
2. Craft Beer
When asked to think of the correlation between marketing and beer, images of in-your-face Super Bowl ads and ice-cold lager generally come to mind. However, as craft beer becomes increasingly popular—it now represents a 12 percent market share of the overall beer industry—small producers are shunning traditional marketing techniques and choosing to connect with consumers on a more personal level.
Just ask Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and New Belgium Brewing Company, the nation’s second- and fourth-largest craft breweries, respectively. Every summer, New Belgium hosts Tour de Fat, a festival that celebrates bicycle culture and advocates for local charities. In 2015, the brewery hosted events in 10 cities between May and October, attracted 112,000 attendees, and raised $647,668 for local nonprofit organizations. Similarly, Sierra Nevada leverages experiential marketing by hosting Beer Camp, an annual festival that highlights the craft community in the form of limited-edition collaborative beers.
Much like these experiential events, interactive technology aims to capitalize on camaraderie and community within the craft beer industry. Apps like Untappd and Next Glass connect craft beer enthusiasts and recommend varieties that drinkers may enjoy. Similarly, TapHunter enables bars, restaurants, growler filler stations, and other beer-centric businesses to connect with consumers by allowing them to track availability of their favorite beers.
3. Real Estate
Although the commercial real estate industry is valued at $12.6 trillion, it can be argued that, up until recently, the industry lagged behind others in terms of integrated technology and marketing. In the past, experiential marketing campaigns in the real estate industry generally meant 3D renderings being played on large-format screens or miniature-scale models being portrayed on iPads.
These days, experiential marketing campaigns in real estate emphasize the buyer’s experience. Thanks to interactive, multi-touch tables, customers can actively engage with brokers, landlords, and developers. Floored offers software that turns 3D data into interactive virtual worlds. Similarly, Matterport creates VR renderings that allow users to develop 3D models using special depth-sensing cameras to share across the web.
Thanks to big data, companies are exposed to more information about their customers than ever before. And smart retail companies are choosing to use this information to push personalized messaging through the emerging technology of Bluetooth beacons.
What are beacons, you ask? In a nutshell, they are small, battery-powered, always-on devices that use Bluetooth low-energy technology to transmit signals to devices—such as smartphones and tablets—within a range of about 300 feet. As we’ve mentioned before, by 2020, it’s estimated that 1.6 billion coupons will be disseminated to customers using beacon technology.
By pushing contextually relevant messaging, companies have the opportunity to increase sales and revenue. In 2017, we predict that companies will become much better at targeting and delivering these messages. In fact, it’s expected that nearly 400 million beacon sensors will be deployed by 2020, and retail will be the industry front-runner, with 70 percent of retail companies adopting the technology.