The world was once flat. Or at least that was the prevailing belief. Of course, we know better now. But the fact is, this idea used to be incontrovertible. It was confirmed by the direct perceptions and experiences of every (or nearly every) human being that bothered to give it even a second thought. Disagreement was punishable by death. This belief became a truth and that truth defined our reality.
So what happened?
Over time, our collective experience expanded to include more data. As a result (with some help from open-minded thinkers like Galileo Galilei), our perceptions followed suit. The common belief was called into question. And eventually, the truth changed. Reality adapted. The experiences and perceptions of the entire species shifted and grew to accommodate new truths, new realities. To the point where, today, you would probably find it difficult to fill a room with people who still believe the world is flat.
And yet, the after-effects of that old belief still influence our perceptions to this day. In many ways, we still approach our collective reality as a two-dimensional object. From the brittle paper where Galileo scribbled his observations to the backlit computer screen where you are reading this blog post, our experiences (and expressions) of the world have been limited to flat surfaces for hundreds of years. In fact, for the past two decades, it seems as if technology has made a concerted collective effort to become even MORE flat. From telephones to televisions and every other reality-delivery device in between…
That’s all about to change. Perhaps it already has.
Because while it’s true that the world around us is not flat, it’s not exactly round either. If the new digital reality that all those screens strive to capture has taught us anything, it is this: The world we live in today is a complex, multi-layered and multi-dimensional thing capable of containing a virtually limitless array of perceptions and experiences.
Just like the B2B buying process.
This may seem like a daunting thought for marketers who are used to the relatively simple safety of a round world depicted through flat screens and two-dimensional printed collateral. The good news is that, for the first time in human history, we are increasingly well-equipped to capture, communicate and share this multitude of perceptions and experiences.
The even better news? All of those screens, sell sheets, trade show booths and brochures are still relevant. But the time has come to look at your tactical marketing toolbox a little bit differently. The new reality requires us to go deeper.
By now, you’ve probably seen at least one movie in 3D. And whether you like it or not, it changed your viewing experience forever. The addition of a relatively simple lens, combined with new digital projection techniques, allows filmmakers to create multi-layered visual narratives that draw the viewer in to a more immersive experience.
Same flat screen. New reality.
While this is a great example of how new technologies and materials are changing the way we interact with the world, you don’t need a movie theater to deliver a truly multi-dimensional experience to your audience.