Drone marketing is being embraced in practical use cases as marketers embark on testing their ability to tell new stories and gather data.
In recent years, drone technology has been the subject of intense experimentation among hobbyists and commercial enterprises alike. Now drones are being embraced in practical use cases as marketers embark on pilot programs that test their effectiveness.
Drones, the common name for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), offer many qualities that marketers look for in a technology investment. They are lightweight, easily deployed and cost-effective; plus, they require little project infrastructure to operate and have a broad range of use cases. These potential cases have already manifested themselves in the following four ways:
Drone Usage Survey Says…
Drone usage currently involves capturing video footage for media and communications purposes. While drone videography is an effective media tool, the biggest opportunity seems to be in the ability to survey more than just beautiful landscapes. Drones can single-handedly accomplish data-gathering tasks in moments compared to what would typically take a team of humans several hours or days to do.
Marketers hungry for consumer data can use this capability to learn more about the physical world. For instance, foot traffic patterns at shopping centers and vehicle traffic patterns in high-value neighborhoods can inform optimal placement of retail locations. This type of information can quickly become a competitive advantage or fuel the market for third-party drone survey data.
Drone Marketing Takes Cities by Storm
Just like consumers may be clueless about what a company’s product offers, city residents may be in the dark about city events, facilities and parks. Therefore cities, just like companies, have to market themselves. Instead of paying for expensive aerial photos, cities can opt to use a drone to shoot new and updated photos and videos for marketing purposes.
Advertising Comes from Above
In countries like Mexico, where drone usage is far less restricted than current U.S. regulations allow, advertisers have gotten creative with their ability to place a UAV in the right spot at the right time.
A large global ride-sharing company took advantage of this capability to encourage drivers in standstill Mexico City traffic to cut congestion, smog and travel times by employing their services. The messages provided not only a surprising moment of brand exposure to traffic-trapped commuters but also fodder for subsequent content in digital media campaigns.
Agents Can Close the Deal with Drones
Drones do make excellent camera operators when they are in the right hands. Travel agencies can use drones to promote destinations by taking pictures or videos for clients. If travelers were on the fence about whether to visit Versailles, a quick drone video could help them decide.
Real estate agents use drones to market home listings in a whole new way. The biggest plus is they allow buyers to see the home’s surroundings.
All of these applications just show the tip of the creativity iceberg when it comes to making the most of UAV technology for marketing. As the ability to capture data through aerial drones expands, though, expect the frontier to push ahead not on drones’ high-flying abilities but from the data they capture at such great heights.