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Technology has fueled digital marketing. But is there a space for creativity and innovation beyond technology?

What does innovation in digital marketing mean to you? When we started writing this blog, we did a quick Google search and found that innovation in the digital space is usually synonymous with technology. A blog listed some 40 digital marketing trends to follow in 2020 and the first three trends were Artificial Intelligence (AI), Programmatic Advertising and Chatbots. All three meant—use AI!

But is technology all there is to innovation in digital marketing? Take a look at how companies are making an impact by using creativity to leverage the full potential of technology in the digital world!

A unique font

July 2020 marked the 116th birth anniversary of JRD Tata, better known to friends as Jeh. JRD was a prolific writer and wrote 40,000 letters in his lifetime. Apart from his writing, he was known for his unique and flourishing penmanship. To commemorate the occasion, the Tata Group launched a special font called the Jeh Font as a tribute to JRD and as a part of the larger campaign called #JourneyOfJeh.

The Group leveraged the website and traditional social media channels. A social media post spoke about Jeh’s penmanship and gave users a link to download the font. The link led users to the website where they could read about JRD, preview the font and download the font for their personal use.

Interactive experiences

Interactive content isn’t new to us. We have all taken umpteen Buzzfeed quizzes, calculated our carbon footprint, mental age and grammar knowledge, and taken Facebook polls to see what we like 20 years from now. An early example of interactive content is the Google doodle, which used interactivity as a core element of its brand. Google launched its first interactive doodle back in 2010 to mark the 30th anniversary of arcade game Pac-Man.

See the insert coin button? You could click it and the game would begin! Now that’s interacting with nostalgia!

Interactivity in content was taken to a new level when Netflix released Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. In a unique content experience, the user could make decisions for the main character which would dictate the course of the show and the ending. It was a first-of-its-kind experience which blew everyone’s mind!

Listen on!

Interactive voice ads are another trend with brands leveraging music streaming and podcast apps. Spotify began testing voice-enabled ads which wait for a verbal command from listeners to direct them to branded content in 2019.

Interactive voice ads open different avenues for brands. Voice ads are quick to strike an emotional chord helping every marketer achieve the most herculean task. And they give the listener the complete freedom to skip an ad by simply saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. So next time you hear an ad while listening to a podcast, check whether you can control it with your voice.

Leverage WhatsApp

WhatsApp for Business opened up a new channel for marketing. Now, brands are leveraging it to distribute content, such as WhatsApp newsletters which go straight to the user’s WhatsApp account.

An example is Read This Today, a WhatsApp newsletter by entrepreneur Palak Zatakia, who runs Sublist, a content platform. Read This Today offers one interesting article from the web to subscribers every day, with a small summary of the article and a link. The upside? Users who don’t have 12 mins to read the full article can just glance through the summary.

Create musical experiences

Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group, often uses his personal brand to encourage conversations about new product launches. Recently, he asked the Twitterverse to recommend songs for a road trip. Released right before the launch of the second-generation Mahindra Thar, the ‘Thar Playlist’ on gaana.com has 100 songs in Hindi, English and other Indian languages and one original song which will be revealed on the day of the vehicle launch.

While his followers are already excited about the 101st song, the interesting aspect of this social media engagement is the simple usage of user-generated content and two different platforms – twitter and gaana.com.

Innovating with the stars

All companies would like to take their brand to the stars and one is already planning to do it. Estée Lauder will be the first beauty brand to send its products to space. It is partnering with NASA, which is opening the International Space Station for business to enable a low-Earth orbit economy. While we wrap our head around the idea of living in space, Estée Lauder, a skin care brand of global repute, is sending its Advanced Night Repair serum to the International Space Station on September 29th, 2020. The serum will be photographed at the space station along with the resident astronauts and the pictures will be used on the brand’s social media website! A product launch in space is an absolute first for marketers.

The digital medium erases all boundaries and lets brands experiment with a free hand. It allows for mixing of channels and mediums, content and formats, and technology and creativity. It creates an exciting space which keeps evolving regularly and keeping marketers and users on their toes! And now that brands are gearing to land among the stars, we are thrilled to see what comes next in the race between creativity and technology!

Want to be innovative with your digital marketing strategy too? Contact us.

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