I took my boys to see Star Wars today with one of my dad friends. We had to travel ~45 minutes away to the theatre we wanted to go to. All along the highway were traditional and digital billboards.
My friend is a CFO – he’s not one that likes to think that he thinks like a marketer or even a connector, whatever those two might mean. He’s a very practical thinker and self-proclaimed non-creative. But all of that really doesn’t matter – he’s a person who’s in tune with the effect of technology on our lives today.
So, we were talking about – as a brand – connecting with consumers through technology. And he said, “look at these – (pointing to the billboards on the side of the road) – will you remember what you saw a mile back? Much less ten minutes ago?”
We riffed on that and then he said more that stuck with me.
“I mean, they’re just not…personal. Even when you want to mass market to people, it’s really critical for it to be personal nowadays.”
This, from someone who doesn’t breathe this every day, someone who doesn’t try to solve problems around this very thing, someone who could care less, at the end of the day, how or what is done, as long as it’s profitable. But even this kind of someone understands the simple tenant to creating engagement – it’s got to be personal.
So, we can throw all the technology in the world at any sign or billboard or poster or other real-world object, but that technology is not realizing its full potential if it’s not doing something to create personal engagement.