Advertising and branding have become so omnipresent and intrusive in recent years that they have started to turn into background noise and no longer cut through to the consumers they’re intended to reach. Brands are fighting for an increasingly overcrowded spot in an ever more fragmented market place, and that’s just one reason why experiential marketing and events look set to be ever more popular in the next 12 months.
The key to experiential marketing is that it creates individual experiences for consumers or would-be consumers which reach would be well beyond the impact of printed, broadcast or online copy. A recent study done by the Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic showed that respondents were 96% more likely to purchase a product after participating in a live branded event and 74% will have a more positive impression of your brand.
There is also, it should be pointed out, a crossover between experiential marketing and more traditional forms, in as much as a brand can create an experience for a specific group of people, and then use the reaction of said group as the basis for further content. If the content created appears to be, and is regarded as being, genuinely ‘experiential’, then it will impact with viewers in a way which traditional scripted talking heads can’t hope to replicate.
The cost of experiential marketing has been seen as expensive when compared to more traditional marketing. Speaking of spend, the idea that experiential marketing represents the more costly end of the spectrum is one which is only true if the right amount of imagination and thought is not applied.
However, experiential marketing doesn't have to use high cost/high tech to be successful - sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones that consumers love and engage with the most, as was the case when the Essex branch of Ikea organised a sleepover for 100 people in response to the Facebook group ‘I wanna have a sleepover in Ikea’.
It is also important to mention that even with the surge of augmented and virtual reality, not only will individuals be able to re-live the experience via any digital record, social media will also offer the perfect platform for sharing the excitement and details of the experience, garnering the kind of individual customer advocacy that traditional marketing spend simply can’t buy.
The key to making sure that your experiential marketing works, in fact for any marketing campaign to work, is that you have a fully integrated strategy across all of your marketing channels that are focused on the same core objectives and the same overarching brand strategy. It allows your audience to really engage with and understand your brand.
2015 was a great year for experiential campaigns, and as brands struggle to stand out above the noise companies will continue to look for innovative ways for customers to take notice, and bigger, bolder events will be at the top of the list.
Read Boas' previous blog on 'Why experiential marketing will boost your brand engagement'.
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