When asked to describe an innovative or engaging marketing experience, most of us talk about the experience itself: the interaction of a customer with a website, with a mobile device, with a kiosk, interactive display or a rich, omnichannel journey that spans multiple devices, touchpoints and interactions.
But that is a view of an experience from the inside. But how will a customer connect to that experience? What is the trigger that launches that experience? We call this customer experience “contextual connectivity.” The demand for contextual connectivity is growing. Just two years ago, more than 13 million barcode apps, QR scanners and pricing apps were downloaded by the first wave of smartphone enabled consumers. Today, merchants are racing to meet the demand. According to Multichannel Merchant Outlook 2012-2013, the number of merchants using QR codes as part of their marketing strategy has more than quadrupled to nearly half (47 percent). In 2012, just 8 percent of sellers reported employing them.
As digital experiences extend from virtual to physical (and back again), it’s essential that tools are available to bridge the experiential divide. Contextual activation – which can incorporate everything from QR codes, NFC tags, Bluetooth Low Energy, and sensory and gestural recognition – is a practical bridge between a customer and an experience.