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Is Holographic Storytelling The Future Of Social Media Marketing?

Marketing

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We already know Gen Z will be behind the emergence of holographic social media. The only question is when.

They’re not old enough to buy alcohol or apply for a credit card, but they’re already influencing household buying decisions. According to a 2015 Deep Focus study, 93% of parents say their Gen Z children influence the family’s purchases.

Unlike Millennials who grew up under the influence of television commercials, Gen Z is growing up under the influence of social media marketing. Unlike with some Millennials, if you’re not marketing on social media, you’re not reaching Gen Z. Period.

Generation Z responds best to interactive stories

Although highly motivated by money, careers, cars, and success, Gen Z can’t stand celebrity endorsements and they don’t respond to standard marketing. Instead, this new generation displays a keen interest in storytelling and narratives, specifically told through social media.

They don’t want to be handed a flyer about their favorite band’s upcoming concert. They want to see a promo video posted on the band’s official YouTube channel where they can engage in conversation with other fans. They want to see the same video posted to the band’s official Facebook page so they can interact with the band members.

Direct mail is on its deathbed

Don’t tell Dan Kennedy, the “king” of direct mail, but direct mail might actually die, thanks to Gen Z. It’s not that direct mail isn’t effective; it is, provided you can get someone to read it. The problem is this new generation doesn’t live in the material world. They were born into, and remain in a digital culture. They don’t want to check their mailbox; they want live interactions with their friends, family, and their favorite brands, even if it’s over the internet.

By the time Gen Z becomes the majority of consumers, homeowners, and head of household, we’ll see the successful ROI of direct mail fade.

There are only a couple ways you can use direct mail to capture the attention of this new generation:

  • Reach out for special occasions and holidays. Used sparingly, sending your contacts a personalized greeting for their birthday or a special occasion is always thoughtful. Unless you’re rich and your customers expect gold-trimmed holiday cards, don’t pay for printed greetings. Use a free app like Smilebox to print your own designs.
  • Mail them something that gets them on your website. Don’t try to get Gen Z to lick stamps or scratch off a bingo card to uncover a 20% off coupon code; they won’t do it.

  • They probably paused a fun interaction with a friend just to open the mail, so don’t disappoint them. Give them something they don’t have to work for; something they can immediately use on your website.

Marketing has always been about storytelling, but…

All arguments about the long-form sales letter aside, successful marketing has always hinged upon telling a good story. Formerly, those stories were told in two-dimensional arenas: through emails, in sales letters, and direct mail.
Today, the most successful marketing stories are told across social media platforms in real time, creating an interactive experience for the consumer. Still, these interactions are somewhat flat since they take place over 2-dimensional devices. There’s only so much you can do with an iPad or a smartphone.

Holographic technology, however, has the power create more intimate interactions with brands.

Holographic storytelling is “what’s next”

via GIPHY

Holographic technology in marketing isn’t new; Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s have been using it successfully since 2009. In fact, Kellogg’s saw a 60% increase in sales while exhibiting a holographic display.

Holographic marketing is effective because it deeply involves the consumer in the marketing message itself. Many of these messages work by displaying a product surrounded by a holographic projection that appears to interact with the product, making it come alive.

Interactive holograms are coming

Scientists at Bristol University have created an interactive hologram that responds to human touch through ultrasound. It’s exactly what this new generation wants.

“In the future, people could feel holograms of objects that would not otherwise be touchable,” said the University’s lead researcher, Dr. Benjamin Long, “such as feeling the differences between materials in a CT scan or understanding the shapes of artifacts in a museum.”

Surely this technology could be used to allow consumers to feel your product before they buy it. A brand could even broadcast a live YouTube video and give fans a real high-five.

We already know Gen Z will be behind the emergence of holographic social media. The only question is when.

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