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on’t you just love the word phy­gi­tal? i do! it sounds so cool and sexy. and you know what? it ab­so­lutely is!

The word Phy­gi­tal marks the dawn of the age of ex­pe­ri­en­tial mar­ket­ing and was coined by our global coun­ter­parts at Mo­men­tum World­wide. But the Phy­gi­tal ex­pe­ri­ence doesn’t just be­long to Mo­men­tum, rather, it be­longs to brands that un­der­stand the power of build­ing re­la­tion­ships with peo­ple both in the phys­i­cal world as well as in the dig­i­tal one. It’s tak­ing ad­van­tage of the fast evolv­ing world of tech­nol­ogy and ap­ply­ing it to real world ex­pe­ri­ences, en­gag­ing with peo­ple seam­lessly in both their phys­i­cal and the dig­i­tal lives.

Now that we’ve cleared what it is, let’s get into a bit more de­tail into the ‘how’ it works when it’s done right.

I’m very lucky to have worked along­side mar­keters who value the power of tech­nol­ogy, and chal­lenge my team to ap­ply it. Al Hi­lal Bank would be a prime ex­am­ple. Rather than donat­ing to a char­ity ef­fort­lessly, they took a leap of faith with their #DonateMySmile Ra­madan cam­paign that ran last year. And pro­vided me with a clear ex­am­ple to il­lus­trate my point.

Ra­madan, be­ing a time of giv­ing, of­ten meant donat­ing food, money, clothes or time. How­ever, in Is­lam it is said that even a smile can be char­ity. So, Al Hi­lal Bank l aunched t he # DonateMySmile so­cial cam­paign ask­ing peo­ple to share a photo of them­selves smil­ing onto their so­cial me­dia plat­forms, us­ing the hash­tag #donatemysmile. In the phys­i­cal world, spe­cial in­ter­ac­tive stands were set up in prom­i­nent malls invit­ing peo­ple to do­nate their smiles right there and then. For each smile, Al Hi­lal Bank do­nated AED 1 to char­ity. Sim­ple, yet mem­o­rable and pow­er­ful. Sug­gest­ing that a small act every­day, as small as a smile means more than drop­ping money into a box. The very simplicity of the ac­ti­va­tion, in that it didn’t ask much of peo­ple’s time, and the mes­sag­ing of it, a small act go­ing a long way, al­lowed for it to quickly be­come the most trend­ing topic on so­cial me­dia and it gar­nered huge at­ten­tion on­line while stay­ing true to the bank’s vi­sion of be­ing a bank of the fu­ture.

Be­case tech­nol­ogy is so fast mov­ing, it is im­per­a­tive that our in­dus­try con­tin­u­ously keeps on learn­ing and ex­per­i­ment­ing. If you can think it, chances are you can do it.

The simplicity of an idea does not im­me­di­ately equate to simplicity in ex­e­cu­tion. This is where hav­ing a cre­ative tech­nol­o­gist within the team can open up the con­fi­dence to try new things, know­ing that you will al­ways be able to de­liver a bul­let­proof ex­pe­ri­ence. We live in real time and we have to cre­ate, re­act and im­pro­vise, in real time.

Rules for the Phy­gi­tal world

1. Start with a brave client. A client who you know is al­ready tick­led with the idea of ex­per­i­ment­ing with his or her brand in a space that is new and in­no­va­tive. 2. Sug­gest a ‘big idea’. Make sure your idea is scal­able and can evolve. 3. It’s key that your ‘Big’ idea solves a com­mu­ni­ca­tion prob­lem for the brand you are rep­re­sent­ing, and make sure it’s within the brand’s over­all tone of voice and po­si­tion­ing. 4. Be aware of new trends in tech­nol­ogy and ac­cess what’s rel­e­vant to the idea. At the speed of change, almost any­thing is pos­si­ble. 5. Keep in mind the types of tech­nol­ogy that your au­di­ences are us­ing – make sure what­ever you ask them to use is sim­ple and to their level of tech in­volve­ment. 6. Play with tech­nol­ogy! Ex­per­i­ment. Have fun with it. This is the best way to gain a deeper un­der­stand­ing of its po­ten­tial. Cre­ate pro­to­types, test them and sug­gest new ap­pli­ca­tions rel­e­vant for your clients. 7. The cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence needs to be seam­less. Cre­ate as many touch points as you can think of so that they can in­ter­act with your plat­form with ease. 8. Don’t use tech­nol­ogy for the sake of us­ing it. Use it be­cause it would add value – ei­ther in terms of util­ity, en­ter­tain­ment or greater brand affin­ity.

To con­clude, my two cents to agen­cies – Hire a cre­ative tech­nol­o­gist to­day. He or she will be a huge as­set in sup­port­ing your ac­ti­va­tion. You need a com­bi­na­tion of cre­ative and tech­ni­cal teams to ex­e­cute a project prop­erly. To mar­keters – Take a leap of faith. Yes, ideas may seem a bit crazy and far-fetched at times, but our au­di­ences need a lit­tle crazy from time to time! Be in­spired by brands like Al Hi­lal Bank, Fanta and Sony who have taken that leap with great re­turns.

The Phy­gi­tal revo­lu­tion is here. Our in­dus­try has never been more ex­cit­ing and more par­tic­i­pa­tory. It’s richer than ever with the voices of our con­sumers el­e­vat­ing our brands. Viva la revolu­cion!! Martin Yofre is GM business unit at Mo­men­tum Dubai

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