Why are Experiential Marketing Experts Warning Against Technology?


When marketers rely on technology to improve their experiences, they often fail to make the important connections with their customers.

James Sundstad, VP of Branded Environments for brand agency CBX, cautions retailers about this in particular. “Smartphone addicts pay more attention to incoming texts than they do to the living, breathing human beings standing in front of them. Many retailers focus overmuch on tech tactics such as video walls or geo-fencing, or on big-picture analytics about customers and markets.” He concludes by saying, “The speed of life is always moving faster and faster, but it is time to slow down and connect — human-to-human, brand-to-customer.” (See article here)

Though Sundstad’s words feel like a prophecy for a dystopian future covered in screens, fear not. Tech is not your enemy.

Striking a Balance

Here’s the hard part. You HAVE to incorporate technology at some point in your event marketing strategy. Without it, you will likely spend more time, more money and more effort to develop the same level of experience and, subsequently, meaningful connections. If focusing on technology is too overwhelming in your strategy, you’ll never be able to pull the addicts away for long enough to develop a meaningful connection. If it is completely absent, you’ll probably be disappointed with your results. So how do you bridge the gap between technology and the people using it?

Know your Audience

Ultimately, some markets will prefer tech-rich environments and some will prefer a back-to-basics approach. Part of your job as a marketer is to know where your business falls on the spectrum. While some experts are calling for a tech doomsday others are seeing how properly-integrated applications can improve experiences, gather meaningful data and produce a significant return on investment. The secret is knowing your audience and HOW they are using technology. Then, you can create a truly seamless connection between your tech and your real-world experiences.
Contact one of our experiential professionals for more information about developing memorable events with expertly-integrated technology.