Most, if not all, activities people do online originated from a similar offline behaviour. See the comparison table below.
|Making photo albums||Uploading photos on Flickr|
|Talking on the phone or in person||Communicating on Twitter or instant messaging|
|Sending letters||Sending emails|
|Traditional group buying or group rates||Groupon – group discounts|
|Going to a friends house to see a home video on VHS||Watching home videos on YouTube|
|Shopping at a store||Shopping on an eCommerce site|
There are still many offline experiences that have not yet transitioned to online. I see these as the seeds for new ideas. Imagine how the following offline experiences could be taken online…
|Visiting an amusement park roller coaster ride||What if you created a video, shot in first-person view, and posted it online for customers to see?|
|Visiting a haunted house||What if you created an interactive video where viewers could choose how to move through the haunted house? Certain choices would trigger “unexpected” events.|
|Taking a fitness class||What if a fitness class or yoga class was conducted online? You would stay home and connect to a real time stream of an instructor providing guidance. 30 different people could connect to the same video feed and the instructor would be able to see and speak to each of the 30 people.|
|Eating dinner with friends||What if a restaurant provided video conferencing kiosks at each table. Customers would be able to Skype in a friend from another city or country who was unable to physically attend the dinner. What if a restaurant chain, with restaurant locations in different cities, allowed friends in each city to “sit” at the same time and have a dinner together via video conferencing?|
|Running outside to exercise||What if the often isolated run became a social run? For example, a watch or smartphone could connect two friends who are running at the same time, but at different locations. Or, the device could track and report the performance of two friends, running on the same trail, but at different times.|
If you’re creating a digital marketing strategy for a business that is not traditionally seen as an online business, it’s good to imagine how customers may receive the same experience online (even if it does not appear realistic right now). It might just spark an idea to hit a strategy out of the park.
- – - – - – - – -
What If …Series (5 most recent posts)
In the calm, eerie silence before the epic battle begins, Vancouver is beginning to stir in a sea of blue, white and green. Today, is Game 1, Round 1 for the Canucks and the army of Canuck fans is gearing up.
Taking a step back, it is amazing how the Canucks, as an organization, have been able to build such a strong online? community. What is it that makes these fans feel such a sense of belonging, such a sense of identity?
Traditionally, people watched an NHL hockey game either live at an arena or through a TV set, passively consuming the entertainment. Nowadays, fans have many more opportunities to participate and interact with the hockey community.
The Vancouver Canucks has an official Twitter account @VanCanucks that tweets about contests, news, and most importantly, speaks directly to its fans.
On April 12, the Canucks held a contest called the Canucks Playoff Race, where 10 contestants competed to win playoff tickets. There were 4 challenges held around the city. The Canucks leveraged Twitter by announcing the competition via @VanCanucks and then used the hashtag #playoffrace to allow Twitter users to follow along with the competition, online. As you can see in the Google Realtime chart below, the number of #playoffrace Twitter mentions picked up during the race.
On April 7, during a TV broadcast of the game. One of the commentators announced, “Tweet @VanCanucks to tell them where you’re watching the game for a chance to win a Canucks shirt”. As the Google Realtime chart below shows, there was a huge spike of Twitter mentions of @VanCanucks during the game. This is a great example of successful offline + online integration.
Building a community is difficult. The Canucks have a 40 year history to achieve what it has today. What these examples show is that there are great synergies between the online and offline worlds. Consider where your audience is gathering and see what synergies can be created to reach your company’s objectives.
(Photo Credit: iwona_kellie)