Going Retro and Reaching Consumers Face to Face
In a digital age where technological advances have given us more convenient methods of communication, it’s tempting to rely too heavily on digital means for promotional or even social purposes. The evolution of technology has in many ways better connected us to our target audience and yet, the sheer volume of online activity can leave people feeling isolated and ultimately disconnected.
The internet allows consumers to communicate with their favourite brands, providing feedback and commentary through online correspondence, but it overlooks the individual, often reducing them to a statistic. A good online presence can be a valuable, and in most cases, essential tool, but it relieves the brand of much personality.
Recently businesses have rediscovered the value of going ‘retro’; by engaging its audience face to face and appealing directly to the five senses for a more tangible experience. Roadshows help give brands a physical presence by exchanging the computer screen for real-world, human interaction, where the campaign can travel and meet consumers from locations all over the world.
This retro approach has often yielded promising results in forging a relationship between brand and consumer. Studies have shown that engaging the consumer’s senses provokes an emotional response and ensures long-lasting product recall. One famous example of using the sense of sight to market a brand is McDonalds’ ubiquitous golden arches logo, which is instantly recognisable and influences the consumer to recall McDonalds’ food products.
Giants of the film industry, 20th Century Fox wanted to market the benefits of Blu-ray to movie fans; they achieved this with an engaging roadshow tour that allowed consumers to experience the product first-hand. During the tour consumers were invited to see the difference between regular DVDs and Blu-ray, in particular the quality of the visuals and sound. The on-board roadshow technicians also aided the experience by talking to the consumers themselves and explaining the features of Blu-ray. They offered interactive facilities such as a green-screen where consumers could immerse themselves in their own film scene, which could then be uploaded to various social media sites.
Face to face interaction also works in a business to employer arrangement as well. Royal Mail took their vital safety training roadshow to over 8000 employees across the UK. They created a comfortable environment where employees could ask questions and take part in training sessions, making them feel better connected to their employer. The 24 hour roadshow truck was also out-fitted with hi-tech, interactive training equipment, which allowed employees to give feedback on their experience. The campaign received a measurably successful response with over 350 employees visiting each day, changing their perceptions concerning health and safety.
The company AB Sciex really took advantage of the roadshow truck format to bring their high-tech equipment to the attention of other businesses. Their campaign saw a truck converted into a ‘Lab-on-wheels’ where they could demonstrate the uses of the products in a controlled and safe environment to representatives of the pharmaceutical and food industry. This approach allowed employees to channel their expertise, into talking VIP guests through the benefits of their products in a clear and concise way.
With more and more companies realising the benefits of face to face interaction in a digital age, the need for convenient transport and innovative environments have made roadshow trucks invaluable. This method of communication can be tailored to target businesses, employees or consumers, providing another opportunity for a much needed reconnection.