Published on November 12, 2019
Augmented Experiences (AX) are the love child of data, creativity and technology. They’re designed to deliver personalized brand-moments that satisfy relevant individual needs, desires and experiences. By leveraging insights and technology to unlock specific products and services, we can create experiences that resonate emotionally while delivering value.
Brands activate media campaigns in a permanent quest for performance results by optimizing interactions at every step of the consumer journey. AX amplify campaigns by stimulating more empathy with users, increasing the complexity and relevance of interactions and gathering more meaningful consumer data and insights to generate even better results. AX help optimize budgets by adding the extra layer an engaged user provides through more purposeful interactions with the brand.
When all else is created equal, creative is the most powerful optimization tool we can work with. This includes the opportunity to truly leverage technology, including artificial intelligence, to activate data and deliver highly relevant value to the individual.
We recognized a shift in how users preferred to access information; texting and conversations in platforms like Facebook Messenger were taking precedence over other means of communication. Applying this insight to Starwood Hotels, we created a chatbot within Facebook Messenger to provide users a service—satisfying their Cuba travel information needs, while giving them access to key SPG property information—all to drive booking. It was also no accident that this effort happened in the wake of the First American Hotel opening in Cuba in 50 years.
What could have been just a simple landing page with external links became an intuitive gateway to key information, along with a variety of articles and itineraries relevant to Caribbean travel. The nature of the SPG chatbot questions and interactions allowed for important data capture of users’ behaviors and interests, allowing for a more thorough customization of ongoing interactions.
One of the many great things Artificial Intelligence can offer is immediate gratification. Giving the user instant feedback for their actions makes the exchange more personal and stimulates their need to come back for more.
Using the Google image recognition API, we invited travelers to engage with Copa Airlines and share their experiences to garner points toward an Orlando sweepstake. What was the currency? Happiness. Travelers were asked to upload their family photos and we would measure how much of a good time they were really having.
The results included over 150,000 photos shared, with multiple repeat visits—all enhancing the information in our CRM database.
For Hertz, we invited users to make their own holiday-themed, digital family “snow globe” by simply uploading a picture. Customization included selecting their favorite theme to share their digital greeting.
Sometimes giving the audience something for the sake of fun can be very rewarding. The brand becomes present in such an emotional time of year and they appreciate the tool for enhancing their shares.
Tap into the impulsive desire to act right where it happens. Here we can add layers of relevance based on location, intention, device, etc. Understanding that these activations will vary depending on their stage of need, allows us to assist in situations like in-store comparison, at-home or commuter entertainment, social sharing, and more.
For example, when KFC launched “Chick’n Share,” their first product made for two, it was a timely campaign. By activating it right before lunch time, this effort prompted users to invite a friend to share their meal. Each user would receive half of a coupon and select a nearby KFC restaurant to meet. They could only redeem their discount by physically joining their mobile phones, matching each half, at the select KFC. This location data augmentation gamified the experience of driving product trial, gathering user data and measuring actual traffic to restaurant.
When brands succeed in adding value to the consumer experience each step of the way, they immediately initiate a pivot for users to connect with the brand on a different level. Brands can benefit from this connection but must make sure that not only real value is provided, but also that certain boundaries are respected. It should never cease to amaze us how long and how often people are willing to engage—and what they’re willing to share—when the promise is a better, custom, and more personalized experience.
Some of the key opportunities and benefits include:
Offering journey shortcuts: Tapping into real needs by providing tangible value stimulates users to advance in the journey.
Provide more depth to media engagement: Move from views to interactions that increase an authentic value exchange while building on customer satisfaction and brand equity, creating deeper relationships.
Personalize content and the experience: Initiate the cycle by catering to experiences, information and actions based on available data that can personalize the experience, enhance its relevance, and take the exchange to an individual level.
Facilitate social currency creation: Empower users to amplify their experience and bring others along the way. By making it easier for users to share and participate with others, brands improve the quality of the social experience they are actively looking for.
Sergio Barrientos Chief Strategy Officer – M8
Joaquin Lira Chief Creative Officer – M8
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