I came across the term “engagement marketing” recently through Twitter (hey, it even has a Wikpedia page, maybe something I can create for product sim marketing once I figure out what to say!). Through Wikipedia, then I saw an entry for “experiential marketing“.
Of course anyone could have made up those pages, but the materials seem somewhat credible and they gave me some interesting directions to consider in the proper placement of product simulation marketing. The ‘experiential marketing’ term came closest, with the opening phrase/definition “Experiential Marketing is the art of creating an experience where the hoped-for result is an emotional connection to a person, brand, product or idea.” Sounds like a winner.
A thought struck me while reading the engagement marketing entry. It talked about a two-way conversation, but when I think about simulation, it sounds awfully one-way–the prospect uses the simulation to explore the product and its uses. Since simulation would be great for aligning a context and desired feature set between the prospect and the product (something I indirectly referred to in an earlier post about using context to create a compelling call-for-action), it occurred to me that the advertisement or presentation ought to do a bit of ‘push’ marketing by offering the prospect I way to find out when new things happen related to what the prospect is interested in. There’s nothing earth-shattering here, this is done all the time — the checkbox that says “send me more news and info about related stuff”. However, having the prospect engaged in simulated product use contexts may be able to help the prospect get information he or she really wants, not just the email blast about any new product from that manufacturer. If the ad/presentation can identify features of the prospect’s context, for example, what stage they are at in the buying cycle, what elements of the products are most relevant to the prospect, and other stuff, the manufacturer can send the prospect very relevant information on new products, or changes to existing products.
For example, if I am looking at new cars and honing in certain features, it behooves the manufacturer to send me information (opt-in, of course) about new cars that share those features. Something to help the shopper make sense of all the specs.
Again, nothing hugely new in concept, but simulation could let us be more precise about the information we send back (the other way in the conversation, from manufacturer to prospect), and could even identify why the new information is relevant. A true personal shopper that is learning what is important to the prospect. Hence the prospect would feel that the manufacturer is being more helpful rather than simply trying to sell more of its stuff.