What Is Experiential Marketing and Why Is It So Critical?
Today customers are seeking out experiences more than ever before. The brands who can facilitate customer experiences will be the ones that will differentiate themselves. As consumers become more set on experiences, many brands are turning to something called experiential marketing to facilitate those experiences.
But just what is experiential marketing, and how do you do it? Let’s take a deeper look at what it is, uncover some of its advantages, and talk about what to consider if you’re planning on doing experiential marketing.
What is experiential marketing?
Also called engagement marketing, experiential marketing is a marketing strategy that immerses customers within a product or deeply engages them. In short, experiential marketing enables consumers to not just buy products or services from a brand, but to actually experience the brand. Emotional connections between the brand and the consumer are created through memorable and unique experiences.
What are the benefits of experiential marketing?
- 1. Personalized engagement
Customers want to feel a real human connection with your brand. Customers like to be treated like a person, not a number. There’s perhaps no better way to treat your customers like people than to immerse them in an exhilarating human experience. Let them see firsthand how your brand elevates them.
- 2. Stronger connection between product and emotion
People want to know what your product does. More importantly, though, the driving force behind why they choose you over your competitor may come down to how your product makes them feel. Your experiential marketing should amplify the feelings that come when they use your product. Make sure the experience you provide creates a strong positive emotional response.
- Creation of a positive touchpoint
The more positive touchpoints you can have with your customers, the better. And the more connected those touchpoints, the more powerful and compelling they become. A cohesive experience is key to winning customer loyalty.
- Social shareability
Experiences are compelling and powerful, and it seems people love capturing interesting experiences through video, and then sharing them on social networks. You may find social media is there to spread the word for you, so long as you have an experience worth sharing.
How do you get started on your own experiential marketing campaign?
Getting it right when it comes to experiential marketing is easier said than done. There are a number of steps to take to put on your own experiential marketing event or campaign. Here are some considerations.
- Observe and gather inspiration
What are other brands doing to foster incredible experiences? In order to create a memorable experience when it comes to experiential marketing, it helps to be observant and understand which current brand experiences are resonating with consumers. Keep your eyes open when you’re out in the world.
- Get to know your customers
What do your customers love most about your brand? What emotions do they associate with you? What products or features do they most enjoy? These are all insights that will help you share the essence of your brand and the emotion behind it. Learn through reviews, social media, and short surveys.
- 3. Know your goal
Why are you carrying out an experiential marketing event? What tangible results do you hope to accomplish? How will you know you’re successful? You’re likely looking to create positive brand sentiment that leads to new customer acquisition and loyalty.
Be sure you know what you want to get out of the event and make it clear to participants. Chances are good they’ll be willing to interact with or promote your brand if you provide them with an exceptional and unique experience.
- Determine the value you’ll provide
What type of value will you give those who are involved in your experiential marketing? Will it be an unforgettable photo or video? Or will it be an amazing experience? Will you give away some of your product? What emotions do you want people to feel? Aim to provide value in as many ways as possible to create memorable experiences worth sharing.
- Engage as many senses as possible
What do you want people to see, touch, and hear when it comes to your brand experience? What colors will you use? Will you incorporate music? How will you give people a hands-on experience with your brand? Immerse them in a sensory experience that engages more than one of their senses and it’ll likely have more impact.
- 6. Go to your audience
Your event should take place in a location where your audience already is regularly. If possible, a place in their natural world. Trade shows are great and they provide an easy opportunity to connect and engage, but unexpected experiences in the real world might be even more impactful.
- Create a unique experience where the spirit of your brand shines
To craft a good experience, you’ll want to take considerable time to really determine what sets your brand apart and how you want it to make people feel and act. A truly impactful experiential marketing event will help others remember your brand and become part of your powerful mission.
- 8. Measure, analyze, and improve
In order to determine how successful your experiential marketing efforts are, you need to have a way to measure effectiveness. Often, social media is a great place to uncover just how far reaching and impactful your experience was. Create some kind of platform where people can easily interact with the experience. When you look at the data, you’ll learn a lot about what consumers resonate with and you’ll be able to further delight them in the future.
Use experiential marketing to elevate your brand and retain loyal customers
Experiential marketing is a terrific way to engage current and potential customers and connect with them emotionally. On top of your experiential marketing events, utilize online channels to amplify real world experiences and always aim to deliver amazing experiences across multiple touchpoints. Be clear in your objectives, continually strive to understand your customer, and measure results. If you focus on experiences, you may grow to become a brand that does much more than just sell products. You’ll be a brand that fosters connection, sparks emotion, and creates and retains loyal customers. Contact us today for more information on a campaign that is tailored to your business and brand.
Benefits of Experiential Marketing Campaigns
In this day and age, consumers are generally being marketed to online through social media, search engines etc. An experiential marketing campaign takes your brand and creates real, face-to-face interaction with consumers. If you’re a new company looking for a fast and effective solution to getting your name out in public, there are a wide range of benefits experiential marketing can bring you:
- Standing Out
- Media and Influencer attention
- Social media exposure with Insta-worthy installations
- Consumers can experience your product or service
- Memorable exposure