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Let’s Get Phygital: A Look at Phygital Marketing

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It’s no secret we’re proponents of cross-channel advertising and marketing. Let’s be actual—we’ve all however shouted it from the rooftops at this level. Our definition of cross-channel advertising and marketing has at all times included non-digital channels—like unsolicited mail, for instance—however a brand new time period is trending that highlights non-digital advertising and marketing channels as a lot as digital ones.

Phygital advertising and marketing, plainly put, is the mixture of bodily and digital advertising and marketing. But, greater than only a portmanteau, phygital advertising and marketing speaks to advertising and marketing that bridges the hole and blurs the road between on-line and offline to create a holistic expertise. But the place did this time period come from? And why is it vital in in the present day’s advertising and marketing panorama?

Phygital Marketing Isn’t New

When researching this time period, we have been stunned to study that it really first appeared all the way in which again in 2007. According to R&D Management, “Chris Weil, currently Chairman-CEO at Momentum Worldwide, [used it] to describe the inseparable connections between the physical and the digital worlds.”

The Experience Economy

In phrases of promoting, the thought of a bodily and digital overlap has been round even longer. Business Process Incubator likens phygital advertising and marketing to experiential advertising and marketing. They reference the expertise of seeing electrical energy at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Fair-goers would get popcorn and treats whereas at the truthful, however seeing the lights activate was actually the principle attraction. They went for the expertise, not one thing they may take house with them.

The Experience Economy

The Experience Economy is the candy spot between absorption, immersion, passive, and lively. Source: Business Process Incubator.

Business Process Incubator refers to this as “The Experience Economy.”

“While modern examples of viral marketing and pop-up events may not possess the same awe-inspiring effect as a (small) city being lit by electricity for the very first time, they do utilize the same technique: memorability, connectivity, and emotion.”

To put this in fashionable context, take into consideration for those who, as a buyer, stroll right into a retailer and get a textual content from that model with a coupon for a product you had left in your on-line purchasing cart. How handy is that? This model is creating an expertise by combining bodily and digital advertising and marketing channels. It’s memorable, constructed on connectivity, and certain brings you, the shopper, pleasure.

If this sort of advertising and marketing—advertising and marketing that creates an expertise—has been round for over 100 years, why is phygital advertising and marketing trending in the present day?

Why is Phygital Marketing Trending Now?

Blending of the bodily and digital additionally means incorporating digital experiences the place there have been beforehand none—injecting digital into the bodily. So, an apparent catalyst for the uptick in curiosity in phygital advertising and marketing is the pandemic.

Phygital as a trend according to Google

The time period “phygital” began to achieve extra traction in early 2020 and continues by way of in the present day. Source: Google Trends.

During COVID-19, shoppers have been avoiding in-store interactions and executing no matter duties they may on-line. As a outcome, manufacturers have been compelled to hurry up their timelines to include digital channels. In a 2020 report from McKinsey, they said, “Digital adoption has taken a quantum leap at both the organizational and industry levels.”

In the aftermath of the pandemic, manufacturers aren’t flipping a swap and reverting again to the way in which issues have been in 2019. As Forbes places it, “2020 became 2025 on the digital acceleration timeline.” A lot of capabilities have been realized on account of the compelled digital transformation and types are actually—for the reason that majority of covid restrictions have been lifted—reintegrating the bodily again into the digital.

Examples of Phygital Marketing

Phygital advertising and marketing is about exploring the connection between the bodily and digital. Historically, these two avenues might have been seen as competing with one-another—you both have an internet expertise or an in-store expertise—however, they’re really complementary.

QR Codes

One of the commonest examples of a phygital expertise is the QR code. Once eating places began to reopen post-pandemic, QR codes re-gained reputation as a result of they allowed eating places to offer a touch-free menu. Users scan the code with their cellphone cameras and the restaurant’s web site pops up.

Target Uses QR Codes for Phygital Marketing

Target makes use of QR codes to open up one other advertising and marketing channel, their app. Source: Fixtures Close Up.

Target makes use of their QR codes to 1) provide coupons 2) improve gross sales and three) encourage app downloads. This QR code is displayed in entrance of Pepsi merchandise and the code will give those that scan a $5 Target present card in the event that they spend $20 or extra on Pepsi merchandise.

Augmented Reality

Another bridge between the bodily and digital is augmented actuality. Specifically, cases the place digital “products” are displayed within the bodily world. Eyewear model, Warby Parker, provides a “virtual try-on” that’s the proper instance of augmented actuality phygital advertising and marketing.

Warby Parker allows for virtual try-on as a phygital marketing strategy

Warby Parker provides a digital attempt on by way of their cellular app. Source: Warby Parker.

Through their app, Warby Parker offers customers the flexibility to see what they appear to be in numerous frames. Then, customers can order the precise frames, attempt the true merchandise on, and ship again what they don’t wish to preserve. The preliminary step of a digital try-on takes out plenty of the guesswork and makes it extra probably the shopper will just like the merchandise they bodily attempt on.


The truth that almost all of the planet has a cell phone, outfitted with location companies, makes geolocation the proper bridge between the bodily and digital. Brands can, with permission, use their prospects’ bodily location to ship focused, hyper-relevant digital advertising and marketing messages.

Starwood Hotels sends keys directly to guests' phones.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts sends keys to person’s telephones, serving to to hurry up the check-in/check-out course of. Source: Business Wire.

In a earlier article on location-based cellular advertising and marketing, we point out the instance of Starwood Hotels & Resorts utilizing beacon advertising and marketing. “When hotel guests walk into a Starwood Hotels & Resorts location they would receive a digital room key sent directly to their mobile device via a beacon.” The expertise is seamless, touchless, and easy.

Creating a Joyful Experience

Phygital advertising and marketing is all concerning the full expertise. Brands can now not get away with a wonderful in-store expertise however a horrible on-line expertise, or vice versa. The two worlds have gotten increasingly intertwined, that means manufacturers ought to purpose to cut back the friction between them.

Don’t fear, making a seamless expertise throughout bodily and digital channels doesn’t must be overly sophisticated. It all boils all the way down to the instruments you will have in your advertising and marketing arsenal and the way you employ them. Building a joyful buyer expertise is a click on away.

To study extra about how Iterable can assist you energy a phygital advertising and marketing expertise, schedule a demo.

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