Capture Attention, Enhance Engagement, Build Community

Remember Pokemon Go? It was just about a year ago, July 6 2016 to be exact, that it was released. Within weeks, millions of people had entered a world where digital and real had become so commingled that they became one. Augmented reality took over their existence.

Think this was just a fluke involving people everywhere gazing down at their cellphones as they walked to the farthest reaches of their neighborhoods capturing tiny virtual creatures? Think again. Augmented reality is just that, the new reality.

So, what is this augmented reality? It is the integration of the physical world with the digital one, an integration that we control and manipulate for ourselves.

It uses location-based information accessed via Bluetooth and GPS, and knowledge about our interests culled from our history and whereabouts to create totally engaging, personalized stories and experiences. Stores can offer coupons targeted to products you like as you wander their aisles, museums can have historic figures join you and speak to you about their times, cities can present you with visitor information and personalized tours keyed to your interests.

It all can be gamified, a la Pokemon Go, so that you’re part of a community playing together as you search for clues. Clues to whatever it is that awaits you when you win the game.

And all of it is connected in real time through social media to everyone you know.

I’ve been thinking about this since I became a board member of Artifact Technology some months ago. Artifact Technology, a company creating location-based games, guides, and apps that deepen brand engagement and deliver content when and how it’s most effective.

Clever companies and organizations have realized that they can grab an advantage over the competition by building a digital environment that works in unison with the physical world and grabs the attention of their prospects and customers. The personal customization enhances engagement and strengthens connection. Since it’s all connected in real time to everyone via social media, it builds community while expanding awareness and interest in you. Community composed of those most likely to become your next customer.

Have you thought about what the digital environment will do to your business?

Have you thought about how this will change your life?

But more importantly, are you doing anything other than thinking? Have you begun to develop your ideas for taking advantage of the digital environment? Most importantly, are you implementing your ideas? Or are you being left behind as competitors rapidly race forward, already capturing the attention of the connected world? And your customers.

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