Using multiple devices is changing the way consumers' brains work, said Ben Gaddis, chief innovation officer of Austin-based digital agency T3.
He mentioned a UCLA study that looks at neuroplasticity. As people check their phones 150 times a day, the hippocampus -- the section of the brain thought to be the center of emotion and memory -- is enlarging, not shrinking, Gaddis said. The brain offloads unimportant tasks (such as remembering phone numbers) to devices, so consumers change their expectations.
If you go deeper, Gaddis said, it's interesting what channels are doing to consumers.
"We live in a time when consumers have higher expectations than they ever had," Gaddis, a speaker at MediaPost's Cross-Channel Marketing Insider Summit, said. It's less about cross-channel marketing and more about cross-channel experiences that are useful.
The word "useful," according to T3's research, can be broken down to 14 elements. At the lower end, the elements focus more on utility -- and at the higher level, the elements were more about how the product makes you feel when you use it.
Gaddis highlighted three trends in cross-channel marketing:
1. Design for the moment. That's been the holy grail for marketers, Gaddis said. It's about context -- the same customer may visit a 7-Eleven three times in the same day, and he or she wants three different experiences each time. (That customer might buy a coffee on a cold morning and a Slurpee in the afternoon when it's hot.)
2. Design for the interaction. Step away from the channel, Gaddis said, and see if you can conform some cross-channel experiences to the way consumers live their lives.
3. Design for the human. For example, Gaddis mentioned a new bed at Four Seasons Resorts that changes firmness based on the kind of day and how much physical activity you've had.
Consider your brand's usefulness, Gaddis said, and go through future state journeys with your team. Gaddis added that there's probably someone in each IT department who's passionate about the trends above and could talk about the core technologies you're trying to use.