Product demo trends: Can you have too much tech?

Product demo trends - Can you have too much tech

Product demonstrations have come a long way since the days of someone simply handing out samples or extolling the benefits of a product. Now, you can expect to see everything from augmented reality and online gaming to digital replicas of products – all good news for brands.

Technology has the power to draw people in, to engage them and to leave them with a memorable experience. It allows brands to be creative in the way they do their demos, and in some instances can even help them overcome problems. For example, if your product doesn’t easily lend itself to a simple, easy-to-follow demo, why not try using an interactive, digitalised demo instead?

While there’s no disputing the many positives technology has to offer the world of live demos, it’s crucial that tech doesn’t overshadow or replace the biggest benefit of product demos: real-time, face-to-face human interaction. Here’s why tech is no match for personal communication…

The power of the human touch

We live in a world where time and distance are no longer barriers to people interacting. You can click a button on Zoom or Facetime and speak to someone on the other side of the world within seconds. 

As convenient as this is, nothing beats real-time, in-person interactions. Extensive research from MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab found that the most valuable communication is done face-to-face, and a recent PWC survey of 15,000 global consumers revealed that 75% of shoppers are looking for more human interaction. This is why our approach to product demos has always been – and will remain – people-centric. 

When people are visible, eye-to-eye and in real-time, we engage in a way that allows us to develop trust. There are no barriers and nowhere to hide. It’s a dialogue rather than a monologue – an authentic experience which is invaluable in sales and marketing.

Experiential commerce agency, SMITH, conducted a study which found customers experience a range of eight emotions that influence their buying choices. The most common emotion experienced was ‘needs validation’, something which was felt by almost 20% of shoppers. So, what does ‘needs validation’ mean?

It means they’re undecided; they need more information, reassurance, anecdotes, someone to resolve their doubts or fears. The solution? Face-to-face, real-time interaction. No amount of technology can replace a two-way conversation or convince someone that they should give something a try like direct interaction.

Building trust

The purpose of product demos is for people to see the benefits of using your product. They need to see the value, they need to believe your product will make some part of their life easier or better. That’s why we believe the biggest asset a brand can have is its brand ambassadors. The way in which they engage your audience, communicate your product’s features and benefits, and answer any questions, is the single most important part of any demonstration.

One of the potential pitfalls of allowing tech to take centre stage is that this human touch is lost. With this in mind, we’re always careful to use technology as a support act for our ambassadors, rather than making it the star of the show. 

Using smart technology to organise demo logistics, catalogue event photos or capture feedback serves a specific purpose: it gives the ambassadors more time to communicate with customers. Interactions are more fluid and seamless because the tech is taking care of all the other stuff. 

Even if you’re using tech in a more interactive way, such as digital product interaction or gamification, it’s likely it won’t be much more than a fun experience. It needs the backup of a brand ambassador who can talk about that experience and answer any questions the customer might have.

Our approach is simple. Our demos and samplings are people led, and we never rely solely on the tech. Instead, we take the time to ensure that our brand ambassadors are knowledgeable, approachable and engaging, because we know that brand ambassadors are our biggest asset.

Technology is here to stay, and it’s certainly changed the world of sales and marketing for the better. However, in a time where tech is everywhere, face-to-face communication has never been more powerful. The simplicity of a person standing in front of you, available to talk, has become the gold standard customer service. Human interaction is a product demo’s greatest strength. Technology is simply a tool that allows us to add even more to your customers’ experience.

If you want to find out how we can help you bring the human touch to your product demonstrations, give us a call today on 01306 644665.