Using experiential marketing, businesses can generate more meaningful consumer engagement – but only if content is king, according to James Ingram, founder and managing director of Brisbane-based digital solutions provider Prendi.
Ingram spoke to Dynamic Business about his company, which was a 2016 Talent Unleashed Awards finalist in the ‘Best Digital SME – Tech Innovation’ category, and the power of immersive consumer experiences.
“We make brands come to life”
Ingram described Prendi as an eclectic team of designers, technology experts and business consultants who are “determined to transform brand stories into brand experiences”.
“We are neither a branding agency nor a communications agency – your image already exists, as does your voice – rather, we’re a full-service digital solutions company whose core focus is experience,” he said.
“We make brands come to life by seamlessly integrating digital technologies, content and interactivity into physical environments. With this vital combination, plus our professional support services, we can realise any vision – the possibilities are endless.”
“Moreover, we have broad mix of clients from a range of industries. We’ve helped schools integrate digital to create a modern classroom environment and we have retail clients who are seeking to create a unique in-store experience that will drive foot traffic and sales. We also service clients in the entertainment, real estate and QSR sectors.”
“We map out the user experience”
Ingram said Prendi works with clients from the initial ‘discovery’ and concept phase, where the aim is to understand their brand and objectives for integrations digital, before proceeding to build digital solutions, including installations, that meet, to the extent possible, those objectives.
“With our retail clients, for instance, Prendi is able to handle all areas of the in-store experience,” he said.
“We sit-down to map out an in-store customer/user journey with our clients. We ensure we are building concepts around their objectives, and advise them in the ways to do this and more. We work with architects to advise where digital solutions should sit in the physical environment, including multiple touchpoints at different phases of the user journey.
“Consumer expectations change and grow”
Ingram said the company has the ability to integrate analytics to track a wide range of data including number of interactions, dwell times and areas, customer demographics and customer moods.
“This enables us to review the process, continue improving the end-user experience and calculate the return on investment (ROI),” he explained.
“Having said that, quite often clients seek to integrating our solutions in order to simply build an immersive, engaging experience for their end-users. As such, it’s not always possible to track the ROI in terms of say number of sales or a rise in subscriptions. Instead, the focus is on user feedback: what they get out of it and, most importantly, how can the experience be continually adapted as end-user expectations change and grow.
“It’s not about doing cool things ‘just because'”
Ingram said he was encouraged to enter Prendi into the Talent Unleashed Awards by an ‘old friend’ who thought the company was a great fit for the ‘Tech Innovation’ category.
“What set us apart from other finalists was that we didn’t just sell one product or one idea,” he explained.
“What we do is different for each client and we are always adapting new technologies and new, creative ways of thinking.
“Making the finals of the Talent Unleashed Awards was an amazing achievement for the whole Prendi team and we’re all incredibly proud. We were also excited to see the work other finalists are doing. It’s not just about doing cool things with digital ‘just because’, it’s about using digital (for us, physical digital solutions via various technologies and engaging content) to support, educate, entertain and inform.”
“Content mustn’t be an afterthought”
Ingram said experiential marketing, including interactive, ‘wow-factor’ digital installations, will have a huge impact on consumer/user engagement when content is the core focus.
“When it comes to in-store digital solutions, for example, I’d wager that only 1% of customers care about the brand, bezel size and resolution of hardware, whereas 100% care about experiential content,” he said.
“It saddens me when brands spend $10k, $50k, or even $200k on hardware but content is an afterthought backed by no strategy. Customers will not be impressed by static images or incorrectly formatted low-budget content. We are passionate about the in-store experience and just want to see it done right.
The Wonder Room project
Ingram said a recent job which gave the Prendi team an opportunity to ‘fully integrate amazing content with cutting-edge technology’ and show off their innovation prowess was The Wonder Room project for All Saints Anglican School in Queensland.
“We worked with the school from initial concept creation through to technology procurement, installation, content creation plus ongoing support and development.
“The Wonder Room (Video 1/Video 2)brings together multiple technologies, the centrepiece being the seamless 1×5 Multitaction video wall. Multitaction screens are the next evolution in touchscreens. They have built-in infrared cameras and allow for unlimited points of touch, recognition of QR code markers directly through the screen, and seamless touch capability across any number of screens.
“The screens required custom-made content to bring them to life. We created multiple animated background themes (e.g. Under the Sea, Out in Space and The Jungle) that encouraged students to search and find information for themselves, without direct guidance or labels. The content features 9 categories and hundreds of learning items, hidden within numerous layers of interactivity.
“Teachers now have a dynamic educational tool, with endless amounts of information available through the custom-made content, enhancing engagement in the classroom.
“The Wonder Room also features – a slide from the upstairs library to the room, ambient projection, 2 x portrait displays, 4 x interactive white boards plus chill-out zones, all designed to provide information to students in different and more engaging ways.”