Think about an infant and their relationship with a picture book or magazine. They chew on the edges, pat the images; rip the pages, and tear each piece apart, just hoping that the magazine will impress and do something new and exciting. They’re usually left disappointed with the literature’s lack of interactivity. What if adult consumers are disappointed by the same lack of interactivity, the same lack of touch capabilities with their experience with different brands and products?
Pretty much every where you go you see people utilizing touch screens; whether it’s on their phone, the soda machine at the movie theater, or the kiosk at McDonalds, “touch” technology is everywhere. With this improvement in technology there should and will be an increased need to implement interactive content, “touchable” content, into marketers’ content strategies.
Interactive content allows its participants to physically take on a role within the content by swiping left or right, dragging products to the numbered slots in brackets or in interactive lists and offering their opinion and choosing their favorite products. It allows them to be challenged, engaged and listened to while also letting them physically touch and understand the products featured by the interactive content. This allows this style of content to reach a new level of depth in marketing for its consumers and re-create their customer experience to be a more fun, inspiring and overall entertaining.
It can further self-identity, self-esteem and inner pride within the consumer when giving the consumer options, allowing them to make choices, predicting winners and losers, announcing their opinion or tapping into “psychological ownership”.
In a 2014 study published by the “Journal of Consumer Psychology” consumers who found a product advertised on a touch interface were willing to pay a significantly greater amount for the said product than consumers who found the same product on a desktop computer without a touch screen.
Touch platforms allows consumers to tap into “psychological ownership”. The consumers feel that they already own a product, whether or not they already do. Imagining or physically touching a product implies some kind of existing ownership due to the increased vividness of the mental image of the product and the “direct” touch of the product. Touching the image on a screen is a more direct touch or relation with the product than indirectly clicking on the product via a mouse or a touch pad, similar to the infant patting the image on a page of the magazine.
Touch also leads to increased mental stimulation as the consumer is actively and directly choosing a product rather than going through a third party channel to pick the product. Interactive content encourages this mental stimulation as it fosters consumers’ need to participate, share and challenge themselves even in the simplest of situations.
Combining the directness and relationship building abilities of “touch” marketing with the mentally stimulating, entertaining and relationship building abilities of interactive marketing, marketers will gain a new, blended strategy built on modern technology and backed by the older understanding of human psychology.
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