How Your Brand Could Benefit From Experiential Marketing
Think about the last time you listened to your favorite song. Now, think about that time you saw your favorite song performed live in concert. Odds are, you don't remember when you last heard the track. But the night of the live performance is forever etched into your memory. Why?
There's a significant difference between exposure via technology and the full sensory experience of actual participation. That's where the power of experiential marketing comes into play.
Commercials don't resonate with consumers like they used to. In fact, in some cases, the ads never make it to the intended audiences, thanks to DVR and ad blockers. In today's world, one of the best ways to cut through the clutter is to create an authentic experience that your target audiences want to be a part of and will talk up to others.
While experiential marketing can sometimes be more expensive than other marketing strategies, it's the most beneficial when it comes to reaching and engaging with consumers.
How do you know if your business could benefit from experiential marketing? For starters, your company doesn't have to be a high-profile consumer brand.
For example, to increase brand awareness and consideration, Farmers Insurance partnered with country music trio Rascal Flatts. Their goal was to create a connective experience for fans that further extended brand awareness, nurtured existing customer relationships, and promoted retention and new business. They were able to achieve these goals by presenting fans with "The Farmers Fan’s Zone." The Farmers Fan’s Zone took place in concert venue parking lots where patrons tailgated and featured corn hole and ladder golf challenges, a digital photo booth inside of a tricked-out Polaris ATV, archery targets, a putting green and more.
By presenting the Farmers Fan’s Zone, Farmers Insurance allowed consumers to experience their brand in a creative and fun way, making a bigger impact on each guest.
The brand was able to take insurance — a topic that can be dry — and make it engaging and interactive. Experiential marketing worked for Farmers Insurance, and it can work for your company, too. Every brand — regardless of its industry — could use experiential marketing. You just have to get creative with your strategy.
Approximately 65% of consumers claim that they best understand a product when introduced to the concept at a live event or through a product demonstration. By implementing experiential marketing, you're not just advertising a product to consumers; you're allowing them to see what their lives would be like with it. Once that association is made and the experience is lived through, it's not easily forgotten like the commercials you fast-forwarded.
With that said, the key to achieving success with experiential marketing is by tailoring each activation to an audience and creating fresh and creative activations that are intriguing and new to your audience. If you're going to pay to be present at events, you'll need a pretty compelling idea that speaks directly to the audience. But to successfully do that, you must know who you're talking to first.
A study by Eventbrite found that 72% of Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things. (Opens as a PDF) And with Millennials in control and craving unique experiences, that makes experiential marketing an important marketing tool in your belt. Now, it's up to you what you do with it.
For example, our team recently led a client activation that was held outside in the wintertime. Instead of running from the harsh cold temperatures, we embraced them by inviting guests to personalize their hot cocoa. One-by-one, we met with attendees and asked them to choose a word or short phrase, and we imprinted it along with the client’s logo into the whipped cream that topped their hot chocolate. At this particular client activation, we created an unforgettable experience for consumers, and we were able to do so by tailoring the activation to make it appropriate for the audience we wanted to reach.
Social and digital components are very important to successful experiential marketing because they allow each campaign to live beyond the event. Lucky for you, Millennials — perhaps your main target audience — love capturing photos and sharing them with their social media followers, automatically increasing brand awareness and exposure.
To easily reach additional consumers — even outside of the event itself — provide event-goers an Instagram-worthy opportunity for photos and selfies. Do this, and guests will line up at the chance to raise brand awareness for you.
The goal of experiential marketing is to create lasting impressions on consumers so that they'll voluntarily help spread word of your brand, ultimately leading to brand loyalty. By not adding a digital component, you're doing your campaign a disservice.
Experiential Marketing Is Worth It
Regardless of industry, your brand could benefit from experiential marketing. It's an investment, but it's one well worth it, as you're able to reach consumers in a way they're mutually as excited about as you are.
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