In marketing, rules constantly change as advertisers and businesses discover new and fresh ways to market to their right people, and consumers respond, react, and engage with their favorite brands. One strategy that’s getting bigger is experiential marketing.
You might get the gist just from the name, but basically, you’re creating an ad strategy that helps consumers experience your brand. Some call it an immersive experience, while others call it engagement marketing.
Whatever you call it, think of it like this. Why listen to your favorite singer on YouTube if you can see them live, in action? Because we all know there’s something special about seeing a live show that you just can’t convey adequately through a video or an mp3. It’s immersive, and you have to experience it firsthand to really get the full effect.
The goal of experiential marketing is to craft a targeted, interactive experience that will help your customers and clients form memorable, emotional connections to your brand. Emotional connections create brand loyalty, and brand loyalty creates brand ambassadors.
It’s the most successful word-of-mouth marketing that can give you the competitive edge you need to drive home your revenue goals. The best part is that it doesn’t “feel” like marketing. No one likes feeling as though they are being “sold” on something. With experiential marketing, consumers actually enjoy themselves and it goes far beyond merely handing out samples and making an offer. It’s also not a PR stunt. Some businesses make the mistake of making their experiential campaign transactional, rather than inspirational.
The true goal is more about providing a service or experience that is relevant to your customers, something that is unforgettable and generates an emotional response. That emotional response is what drives connections and repeat business. It’s more about pushing your message over your products or services. People that connect and resonate with the message will naturally become curious about your products and services. Experiential marketing encourages participation over time.
Types of Experiential Marketing Campaigns
Pop-ups are all the rage right now. But experiential marketing isn’t relegated to pop-ups alone. Savvy business owners are also doing things like hosting events, offering product tests and tastes (kind of like taking a test drive of a car), designing classes and workshops, participating in competitions, giveaways, and even offering tours of headquarters or factories, depending on the market. Some brands find they have a lot of success with pop-up concerts, street art, and pranks. Though these methods are considered a one-time phenomenon, depending on your audience, they can be extremely effective.
The best way to help your experiential marketing campaign succeed is to really zero in on how your audience will interact with your brand during the planning stages before you ever deploy anything. You should also keep in mind that these campaigns should be paired with other marketing methods as well that are more sustainable. Though an experiential marketing campaign is a one-time event, and you can plan different campaigns on a regular basis, you shouldn’t rely on them as your sole form of marketing.
Vary your methods, use tactics that work well over the long-term in conjunction with experiential marketing, and reap the rewards of more brand awareness, engagement, and enthusiasm for your products and services.