Experiential marketing is a great way to grow your brand by interacting with consumers, leaving them with a positive experience and wanting further engagement with your brand. If you’re unsure of how experiential marketing will work for you, this article will help outline for you how and where you should incorporate experiential marketing.
Why Experiential Marketing?
Experiential marketing is a great way to create a unique brand experience. Experiences that are created with experiential marketing are a fun and memorable way for customers to engage with your brand. There are many ways to explore experiential marketing and finding the experience that portrays your brand and its value will give the best results. You can use experiential marketing in a wide variety of ways, whether it’s an exhibition space, a special event or a pop-up shop.
Experiential marketing offers a way for customers to experience your product, whether this is through touch, sound, taste or sight. Even service-based businesses can benefit from experiential marketing, there is no need to discriminate that this form of marketing must only work for businesses who have a physical product to offer. There are many ways to use experiential marketing for service-based businesses, all that is required is some thought outside the box.
There are some great and varied experiential marketing examples that can really highlight that experiential marketing is for any brand. Any type of marketing should always focus on being entertaining or educational, and if you can combine the two then that’s even better. We often forget as we grow older that entertainment and education can co-exist, like they do in children’s shows, such as Doc McStuffin. To boost sales, large toy stores in the UK recreated Doc McStuffin’s clinic. Children were given an immersive-opportunity to be a doctor, like Doc McStuffin, and diagnose what was wrong with Big Ted. While the children waited for their chance to participate in the experience they were encouraged to play with merchandise or watch clips of the store. 8,000 children participated in this experience, and 75% rated the experience as “excellent”, and the experience contributed in an increase in merchandise sales.
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Using Experiential Marketing to Generate Sales and Leads
Engaging with a brand, and experiencing products or services in a positive way encourages your customers to buy from you. They are more inclined to want to continue their positive experience. Installing an activation on your exhibition space or event can lead to increase positive experiences with your brand. A recent survey from EventTrack shows that 98% of users feel more inclined to purchase after interacting with an activation. The way this activation relates to your brand should be correlated with your goals. If you are wanting to sell more of a product, you will create an experience around the product, maybe a demo or a free trial of the product so that consumers can experience your brand for themselves. If you are promoting your brand for exposure and awareness of your brand, the experience doesn’t need to strictly correlate to your products or services.
Of companies who engage experiential marketing to enhance their brand, 69% surveyed by EventTrack said that it would help them increase sales. This is supported by a further 80% of brands that saw a return on investment of 3:1 for their experiential marketing efforts. Having these kinds of returns demonstrates how your marketing efforts are succeeding, however it’s important to note that these returns are obtained through carefully considered experiences, there have been some terrible events that have led to brands needing to publicly apologise. To avoid this, you really want to consider the experience and how it will be received by consumers.
Sensodyne launched a campaign called “The Great Sensitivity Test” which took consumers through 3 different stages to test the sensitivity of consumer’s teeth. As most people are afraid of the dentist, it was important that there were a lot of fun elements, as well as educational. Zone one had a buzzer game called “How sensitive are you” and the consumers were able to win prizes by participating. Zone two provided a photo opportunity with a giant molar. Zone three was an exciting zone, hoping to break a World Record of the largest group of people taking part in an oral hygiene lesson. In zone three, 6,500 free samples were distributed, and 232 people learnt how to take care of their teeth properly, which meant that Sensodyne had set a new World Record, and the consumers who participated helped make it happen. This campaign received wide-spread media attention and reach that spanned into the millions.
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If your goal is to generate sales and leads from your exhibition or event attendance, using experiential marketing is a great way to achieve this goal. It attracts attendees, the experience often intrigues people and gives them a way to engage without a pushy sales person encouraging them to buy your products. Letting consumers experience your brand demonstrates your confidence in your brand, products and services. This confidence allows consumers to trust you and ultimately buy from you.
Propelling Customer Interest in Your Brand
Experiential marketing assists in growing customer interest in your brand, products or services. Maybe you already have a good following or customer base, but you want to really solidify your branding. Or maybe you want to expand your customer base, this is important if you have large competitors and a large market for your industry.
Social media can propel your experiential marketing efforts. Creating unique hashtags for the event, encouraging consumers to post pictures or incorporating pictures as part of the experience. Social media organisations recognise the value in personalising your event or brand experience. You can purchase individual frames with your experience details on Snapchat, you can organise individualised hashtags for use on Instagram and Twitter. When creating hashtags or something similar you want to keep in mind that everything is relevant and linked back to what you are trying to convey.
Successful experiential marketing attracts earned media and appropriate influencer's, and this propels the brand further in the consumer market. If you’ve tried to gain attention in these ways previously you will understand how difficult it can be to be noticed. If it seems that influencer or media attention is forced, consumers will not be persuaded to try your products or services. They will see no genuine trust and will not be compelled to try your products. Attention that has been earned and deserved through a successful event experience will be convincing to consumers.
Conveying Your Brand Value Through Experiential Marketing
One of the most important aspects of experiential marketing is that it gives you the chance to portray just what your brand stands for, what your position is on current issues, and why consumers should trust you when they have a need for your products. It can be hard to cut-through the constant noise of our digital lives, everyone seems to scream their opinion louder than the next person and this means your brand could get lost in the noise. The best experiential marketing efforts are those which resonate with consumers. This could be because the experience was entertaining, fun, educational or positively memorable.
Ignoring experiential marketing as being part of your marketing mix could mean that you are neglecting consumers that would engage with your brand if they were exposed to your products. It has often been believed that the customer is always right, that all attempts to appease the customer should be made. We are now entering a time when there is a lot of loud competition vying for a customer’s attention. The way to cut-through this noise is to allow the customer to experience your products or services with minimal risk to the customer. The customer wants a positive and fun experience in every facet of life, it’s something that we have become addicted to. Providing this experience provides you with the highest platform on which to convey your branding message.