Despite living in a hyper-connected world, it can still feel difficult for brands to communicate effectively with their customers.
This is because consumers are more cynical of brands than ever before, and tend to favour meaningful experiences over more traditional, one-sided marketing methods.
In order to keep up with changing consumer trends, many businesses are aiming to connect with customers through experiential marketing.
But what does experiential marketing mean? In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the most frequently asked questions about experiential marketing, as well as our top tips for creating a successful campaign.
What is Experiential Marketing?
As the name suggests, experiential marketing (sometimes also known as ‘engagement marketing’) is when a brand looks to engage with consumers by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience.
When done correctly, experiential marketing campaigns can be a great way of engaging with customers and creating a buzz around your brand; both through word of mouth and on social media.
The key to experiential marketing is offering consumers an opportunity to interact with your brand in a tangible, real-life way. This means creating an environment where consumers can try out your products, interact with your team, and most importantly, have fun!
Examples of Experiential Marketing
How does experiential marketing work in practice? The possibilities really are endless, but some examples include:
- Appearances at festivals and events.
- Pop-up shops.
- Product sampling – the more creative the better!
- Interactive experiences such as competitions or challenges.
- PR Stunts.
Why Experiential Marketing is Important?
If you’ve had a great experience, you’re likely to post about it on social media, tell your friends, and have a favourable view of the brand that facilitated the experience.
If someone has associated your brand with a positive experience, it’s more likely that you’ll be at the forefront of their mind when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
A successful event can also result in plenty of organic shares on social media, which some might argue is far more effective than paid posts by social media ‘influencers’.
How to Measure Success in Experiential Marketing
As all marketing professionals understand, it is vital that you’re able to measure the success of a campaign, especially as experiential marketing campaigns can be a big investment.
There are a number of different ways to measure the success of a campaign, such as:
- Encouraging attendees to use specific hashtags and to tag your brand when posting about an event – that way you can easily see how your event is being talked about on social media.
- Setting clear KPI’s (key performance indicators) pre-event, such as a target number of new customers, social media followers, sales generated or sign-ups to mailing lists from the event.
- Measuring consumer attitudes to your brand pre and post-event through surveys.
Creating an Experiential Marketing Campaign: What to Bear in Mind
Consider Brand Alignment
It’s important to create an experience that will leave a lasting impression on consumers. Equally, it’s also necessary that your experiential marketing campaign fits in with the wider values of your brand.
Ask yourself: is this experience going to be something your customers will be interested in and enjoy? If your idea doesn’t fit your target market or doesn’t align with your brand, it probably won’t have the desired effect.
Choose the Right People
Experiential marketing is about letting customers experience your brand first hand, so it’s important that the people you choose to represent your brand are able to give customers the best possible experience.
Make sure that the customer-facing team at an event understand the brand and your objectives inside out. In addition, they should also be aware of any specific targets that need to be met during the event.
Do Your Research
If you’re planning your first foray into experiential marketing, it is important to do your research. Take a look at a number of different experiential marketing campaigns, especially those by competitors, and consider what you think worked well and what could do with improvement.
You can use this research to inform decisions in your own campaign and save yourself from making the same mistakes down the line.
Consult the Experts
To make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible, you should consider enlisting the help of an event marketing professional that aligns with your brand and understands your vision. This is especially important if you’re new to experiential marketing or are planning a large-scale event.
Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and it’s likely that an expert can help you to avoid many common pitfalls associated with organising and coordinating an event.
At Skyline Whitespace, our exhibition and event specialists are experts in bringing your brand to life. To find out how we can help with your event, get in touch today.