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The Future of Outdoor Marketing: Integrating Technology for Better ROI

outdoor marketing

 

New and emergent technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are changing how customers engage with products across all sectors of the outdoor industry. 

 

Outdoor brand marketing agencies can use these technologies to offer outdoor and lifestyle brands new opportunities to market their products, increase customer loyalty and boost sales figures. 

 

Augmented and Virtual Reality: Creating Immersive Experiences 


Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) offer innovative ways to engage customers and provide brand experiences. For example, a customer with an AR device can see virtual billboards and branding elements superimposed on the real world. VR devices allow customers to enter digital worlds showcasing an outdoor brand’s products, values or future projects. 

 

  • New video marketing opportunities. An outdoor marketing agency can use AR and VR to bring an outdoor environment to life or showcase products to viewers without leaving their homes. For example, AR can be used to let customers visualize how outdoor products, such as clothing, shoes or tents, might look or fit. VR lets customers experience virtual outdoor activities from their homes, such as climbing a mountain or exploring environments.
  • Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising. AR and VR allow you to create and display virtual billboards. In AR, a connected device can display your outdoor brand over real-world imagery. In VR, 100% digital billboards can be placed in virtual worlds to showcase your brand. Digital billboards have fewer limitations than their real-world equivalents; they can play personalized animated or video content or connect customers to interactive experiences.
  • Elevated inbound marketing. AR and VR are immersive solutions offering new avenues to convert potential prospects into paying customers and establish brand loyalty. Your outdoor brand can tailor your marketing around the immersive experiences you provide, helping to inform, educate or entertain viewers, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Personalization at its Best 


One of the fastest-growing new technologies in recent years is the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Practical applications relevant to outdoor brand marketing include generative AI, ML-powered data analytics or AI-powered analytics to create personalized advertising. An outdoor marketing agency can use AI and ML to: 

 

  • Refine paid advertising. Artificial intelligence can analyze viewer and consumer data to improve advertising efforts and refine targeting methods. For example, if one of your customers has recently been researching hiking experiences, AI-powered advertising can use the data to create and display ads for relevant hiking products.
  • Improve data analytics and strategies. AI and ML are designed to process, analyze and identify patterns in large data sets. They can perform cross-channel analysis, gathering and analyzing data from stores, eCommerce platforms and social media pages. Outdoor brands can use this information to identify emerging outdoor activity trends and adjust their marketing campaigns accordingly.
  • Create content that connects. AI tools can analyze customer data, such as preferences, purchasing habits and feedback, to help outdoor brands understand their impact. This data is critical for creating brand stories and narratives that connect with customers and reflect their real-world experiences. For example, if the data reveals customers are primarily drawn to a brand’s products for environmental reasons, that brand can capitalize on its commitment to conservation efforts.

 

Spotlight on Innovators: Brands Leading the Way with Tech-Driven Campaigns 


Several top brands in the industry were quick to adopt these cutting-edge technologies, launching unforgettable advertising campaigns and customer experiences. Check out these examples: 

 

  • Merrell: TrailScape VR experience. Merrell partnered with Framestore VR Studio to produce Merrell TrailScape, an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience. The TrailScape experience is a marketing campaign for Merrell Capra hiking shoes and a technology showcase. It was the first commercial use of the Oculus Rift VR headset to deliver a multi-sensory marketing experience, giving potential customers a realistic simulation of exploring a virtual mountainside.
  • The North Face: Expert Personal Shopper (XPS). In 2018, The North Face partnered with IBM to use its Watson artificial intelligence and create the Expert Personal Shopper (XPS). XPS is an AI- and ML-powered personal shopping assistant that can help customers find the right The North Face gear and products. XPS can also educate customers on a particular product’s suitability for a desired activity, time or expected weather conditions, offering highly personalized advice.
  • Adidas: AR and the Adidas Running app. The Adidas Running app, formerly known as Adidas Runtastic, is a fitness tracker for mobile devices. In addition to standard health and fitness tracking features, Adidas Running supports Augmented Reality (AR) Events. They allow runners from anywhere worldwide to participate and compete with others in Adidas-branded and sponsored running and fitness events, regardless of their physical location.

 

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Use Tech to Drive Brand Growth 


New technologies like AR, VR and AI offer innovative ways for outdoor brands to grow customer engagement. Practical applications range from creating engaging marketing campaigns to providing customers with a highly personalized shopping experience. Outdoor marketing companies can help your company implement new technologies to drive brand growth and stand out in a highly competitive market. 

 

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