How is the Phygital Revolution Impacting Advertising?
By Saheli Roy Chowdhuri
When it comes to the channel mix for brand building and promotions, marketers have a plethora of options these days. It could be digital media, print media, radio, or even a combination of all of them. But how exactly are these mediums connected? How seamless is a customer’s experience while moving from one medium to the other?
To find answers to these questions, you need to understand the Phygital Revolution. The term ‘phygital’ (which is a combination of physical plus digital) is a marketing term that is best described as the blending of digital experiences with physical ones. This was the focus of Manipal ProLearn’s recent webinar which featured Advit Sahdev, a renowned marketing guru and author of books such as ‘Thirst for CRO: The Best Book on Conversion Rate Optimization in the Digital World of Websites’. The topic of the session was ‘The Phygital Phenomenon – How Phygital is revolutionizing advertising’.
Advit covered various aspects of phygital - the general definition of phygital marketing, why it is so important for budding marketers in the digital age, his perspective on the phenomenon and how it can be implemented as part of a brand’s overall digital marketing strategy.
Right then. Let’s dive in, understand and reflect upon some of the learnings from the webinar, and of course, the insights shared by Advit.
Phygital - what exactly does the term mean?
In simple terms, when digital and physical marketing is combined, it becomes phygital marketing.
“Phygital is the world that we live in.”- Advit.
Today, a normal audience is immersed in a combination of the online and offline world. Accordingly, it’s hard to segregate both and hence developing marketing strategies that combine them is essential. The boundary between the digital and physical world is thinning by the day, and that’s exactly why marketers need to jump on to the phygital bandwagon.
How does digital influence physical decision-making?
Advit demonstrated the impact of digital mediums on physical decision-making through a video showcasing a retail innovation by C&A, an international fashion retailer. They introduced racks with special hangers that displayed the ‘Likes’ given for the respective pieces on Facebook, in real-time. When a user liked a piece on the fan page, that ‘Like’ instantly showed up on the hanger in the physical store. This ‘phygital’ innovation made it easier for thousands of indecisive women to find their ideal outfit.
This example illustrates the need for marketers to move towards the mediums where their consumers spend most of the time. Consumers are becoming seamlessly digital, even using smartphone screens to control the physical world through IoT technology.
“It’s a myth that physical is not growing. Digital is growing and physical is also growing hand in hand” - Advit.
Furthermore, the speaker touched upon why SoLoMo (Social, local and mobile), which is the convergence of collaborative, location-based and on-the-go technologies. SoLoMo applications allow advertisers to geo-target potential customers and send out notifications to them. Hence, it is emerging as one of the most effective marketing strategies for local store owners. A great exponent of SoLoMO is Swiggy, wherein local restaurant owners use the platform to advertise their dishes to customers in the vicinity of the restaurant.
As you can see below, the benefits of SoLoMO are expounded upon clearly, and it’s safe to say that marketers will be leveraging this strategy a lot in the near future.
Importance of physical marketing
Large companies like Amazon are investing in digital and physical together. They understand that consumers still take decisions based on their sensory perceptions like touch and feel. Also, consumers tend to physically engage in high involvement high price products before purchasing them. In addition, consumers don’t look at brands as their primary source of information. Hence, it becomes important that brands employ peer validation in the form of testimonials, user experience stories, and ratings.
Phygital for improving performance
From then on, Advit led the session to another interesting aspect of phygital - improving performance. In an experiment, JWT connected the timesheets of every employee to an electronically controlled refrigerator filled with refreshments. If the employee filled in 100% of their time sheet, the fridge door automatically opened every Friday for them to access the refreshments. The experiment turned a rather dull chore to fill a timesheet into a reward-based activity, thereby improving the organization’s performance.
Different types of objectives that marketers can use phygital for
Digital marketing is constantly evolving
The session enriched the participants’ knowledge of digital marketing with fundamental concepts as well as practical strategies employed by marketers today. As a concluding exercise, the speaker challenged the participants to come up with a phygital strategy that will make the life of people around them easier.
Think you know it all in digital marketing?
With marketing strategies evolving constantly, it essential for every digital marketing aspirant to proactively learn and stay updated with concepts like phygital marketing, which is impacting the advertising industry in quite a comprehensive way.
More and more retailers have started utilizing customer data from their apps to recommend items based on a customer’s interest, thus enhancing their in-store experience. They have also implemented advanced technologies such as AR/VR to enhance the overall shopping experience for their customers. This is important considering the fact that 61% of consumers prefer stores that offer AR experiences
Upskilling programs are a good way to stay updated and earn certifications in upcoming and in-demand marketing skills. Manipal ProLearn’s Post Graduate Certificate Program in Digital Marketing aims at equipping students and professionals with the most up-to-date industry skills. The program helps you crack 6 Google Certifications and 3 HubSpot Certifications along with interactive live web sessions by industry experts. What are you waiting for then? Go out there and make your digital voice heard.