Let me preface by stating that both myself and my Marketing firm LuxuryReach Inc love advertising technology. There are few things that make me more excited. It seems however, that in the rush to adapt and accelerate into the future of advertising, many marketers have forgotten time tested measures for success. We have personally witnessed many companies who bulk up their general “Cool factor” high tech marketing spend while downgrading their interpersonal or in-store initiatives to their own detriment. In the rush to create the most advanced social media campaigns, many have forgotten what the word social even means.
The other day I had been shopping at a few boutiques to buy some shirts to match a few suits. The first store had an amazing system where a computer screen took my picture to visibly show what personalized outfit pairings from their entire line might go well with the shirt. This was in replacement of a sales staff . It was cool, but all I ended up buying was one shirt. I was given my receipt which had all their social media links printed on it. I joined none- being a marketer it takes a lot more than a receipt for me to willingly be immersed in brand messages.
The second store was a well known and branded boutique yet had no in-store tech. I was however greeted instantly by a girl who took me around, asked what I liked and gave me in-store suggestions. I ended up buying two shirts, a pair of pants and a new tie. One week later I received a phone call from the exact same girl who asked me how my purchases were working out; not an email, not a tweet, but a call. I asked if they did this for everyone and she responded “Of course“ She also told me about their social media options. I added them on twitter and even joined a mobile campaign of theirs. I became a fan because they made me feel like a person who mattered and not just a “like“ on facebook . They also were clearly embracing technology without hiding behind it.
This is why one needs caution when implementing the “cool factor”. It is easy to implement new advertising and marketing technology and it is easy to provide a wow effect. A shallow “ wow “however, is temporary and not lasting. Marketing is reliant on far stronger factors, which many marketers have forgotten to put emphasis on. In my shopping experience both stores made use of technological marketing in some way, but the store that actually provided with me with a person-to-person experience not only received more of my business, but also prompted me to WANT to become a follower of their brand.
Companies and brands need technology, but it alone does not create increased sales nor loyalty. People create loyalty and people will always create a better sale, technology should be used to enhance this effect but never to replace it.