How To Integrate New Technologies With Your Brand
Campaigns are going high tech. What was once the domain of gaming companies and risk-taking brands is now becoming more commonplace. Today, organizations are leveraging cutting-edge technologies online and in real life to stand out from the crowd.
We’re entering an age where the length of time between when a technology that is considered cutting edge becomes commercially affordable is shorter than ever. Smart organizations are getting savvy and jumping in just as these technologies catch on.
If you’re interested in emerging tech, how do you get started with leveraging it for your brand?
Where to Find Out About Emerging Tech
The most important thing you need to do is research (unless you are lucky enough to have a very tech-savvy team or a creative technologist on payroll). But, where do you even find out about emerging technology?
- Tech Blogs: Sites like Gizmodo, Boy Genius Report and GDGT report regularly on new technology. You can easily add these sites to your RSS reader or check them once per day.
- Engineering Blogs/Science Blogs: Sites like Popular Mechanics and Popular Science do a great job of breaking down how technologies work for lay people and can help you understand new technologies and be able to explain these technologies to executives and clients.
- Future Forward Magazines: Sites like FastCompany and Wired often discuss new technologies in depth and make it easy for you to connect with the journalists behind the stories, and even the companies themselves directly.
What to Do When You Find a Technology You Like
If you find a technology you like, there are some basic questions you need to answer before you proceed:
- Goal: How does this technology enhance your marketing goal? It can’t be all about the gimmick – how does this technology further the story you’re trying to tell?
- Availability: Is this technology something you can get in ample-enough supply when you need it for your activation? If something needs to be built, don’t count on it. Does this technology require security personnel to monitor it?
- Ease: Can everyday people understand it? Can consumers understand the technology enough to have a positive experience from using it? Is it easy enough to use that many people can use it in an hour? Make sure you have these answers.
- Lead Time: How much time does the provider need to satisfy the demands of your project? If it’s going to be a tight turnaround, it might not be a good idea.
- Cost to Customize: You will likely want as much customization as you can muster – what’s the cost of doing this? Does it add a lot of incremental time to your project lead time?
You should also consider what your contingency plan is if something goes wrong with your new technology along the way (for instance, if the technology company gets bought and shuts down open projects).
Before You Get In Touch: Put Together a Plan
Before you reach out to a technology company, make sure you’ve thought through all of the logistics of your activation. Get it down on paper with timelines and a budget. This will save everyone time and money going forward. Take this opportunity to involve IT people and staff members who need to vet new technologies.
Getting in Touch
Don’t use the info@ company email address. This is likely not staffed, and you run the risk of never getting an answer. If you aren’t able to find contact information for a human being, research the marketing, PR or sales person who can help sell in your idea. If you can’t find that person, look for a V-level person listed anywhere and reach out to them.
Be Clear About Your Plan
It’s important to make sure you’re 100% honest with a technology firm on needs, timelines, and budget. If there are any pieces that feel unanswered, be proactive and make sure you have your needs met.
Doing the Deal
Do not assume that because a company is new they will be willing to work for free. People incorrectly make this assumption about start ups all the time, and the truth is that many start ups are under pressure to bring in cash to soothe investors.
Promoting the Tech
Creating high tech activations gives you the benefit of promoting two stories: the promotion itself, and the technology behind it. Do not forget this when pursuing PR opportunities. You can sometimes realize cost savings by agreeing to promote the technology. Make this part of your negotiation. Don’t forget to film behind-the-scenes.
Technology can be an exciting way to get your organization noticed and to deliver a brand-new experience to your customers. It just takes planning and perseverance to get started.