Experiential marketing is a way to connect with your audience in a genuine, meaningful way that allows you to gain their trust. It's an opportunity to get people excited about you and your business, and it all happens at a location they wouldn't expect. Experiential marketing is engaging, memorable, and creates an emotional, human connection with your brand.
Although not the most common type of experiential marketing, Outdoor experiential marketing can be an integral part of a brand's marketing strategy. You can reach many audiences through a static installation that is set up unconventionally. The possibilities are virtually endless: you can raise awareness for your brand and products with outdoor sculptures, in-store demonstrations, or a free trial period for your product with branded samples or coupons. If you are ready to create memorable outdoor experiences, this source is the go-to hub for experiential marketing products!
Experiential Marketing Defined
"Experiential marketing" is defined as "advertising and marketing where the message is delivered to customers by means of an experience, rather than traditional advertising or marketing channels." This definition includes any activities or programs that deliver your marketing or advertising message to your audience in a manner that they will not forget.
There are many different facets of experiential marketing, including:
- Physical spaces/stores
- Social media (#)
It's important to remember that there isn't one defined approach to experiential marketing – it can be done in many different ways. Small businesses don't have the same resources as larger corporations; however, they can still stand out amongst competitors.
Is it effective?
The question of effectiveness is still unanswered as brands and businesses try to figure out exactly the best form of experiential marketing. This is why it's so important to add an analytics layer to your campaigns.
Defined as a marketing strategy that has the goal of "actively creating a shared experience among consumers or customers," experiential marketing can be a difficult thing to measure. Many brands have tried, and for the most part, failed.
One of the more effective ways to do this is through the use of "audio tours" – essentially, headphones used for storytelling purposes. These tours tell a brand's story through its history and its products and allow visitors to connect with the brand. But without analytics, these tours can be used but not measured. The key lies in making sure you have an SDK in place that measures engagement.
What to Avoid
A successful experiential marketing campaign requires the right mix of creativity, space and time. However, it can be easy to get distracted by the shiny objects and forget to avoid these common promotional missteps:
1. Not being engaged with your audience
Participants need to feel included and active in your event. If you're engaging with them on a personal level, it will mean more to them. Context is key, so think about what kind of messaging will make the best impression and let your attendees know they're valued.
What to do instead:
Welcome them warmly, be polite and courteous. Also, ensure that you have enough staff to control crowds and offer help if needed.
2. Spending too much money on a venue that doesn't fit your brand
When planning your campaign, consider all of the details—even if it means staying away from flashy, expensive venues like hotels or nightclubs.
Here are 5 simple ways to make the most out of experiential marketing:
Underline what makes you unique.
What do you want people to know about you or your business? Where are you a good fit? That is where you should focus on experiential marketing efforts. For example, if you provide mobile application development services, create an experience that shows how your development process works for customers. Provide a hands-on experience with your product.
Plan Out Your Marketing Strategy
Experiential marketing takes planning. It's not enough to set a budget and hope for the best; you need to have a clear strategy for how you'll be incorporating it into your business. Focus on where your customer base is located and how they interact with you.
Engage people – when running an experiential campaign, adding a digital component can increase awareness of your event and get people to talk about it. Take an event like a concert. For example, you can turn it into a fully immersive experience by providing information on the artists, creating a social media hub for fans, and more.
Communicate value – one of the reasons why many brands choose to run experiential campaigns is because of how cost-effective they can be. But, not all experiential marketing campaigns are equal. When it comes to brainstorming ways to attract potential attendees, make sure you're thinking in terms of value.
Make the most out of your budget – Hosting an in-store event? You might not have as much time or budget to work with as you would like. That doesn't mean you can't create an impactful experience for your audience and your business, though. Consider these two well-planned steps are essential for success.
1. Know the goal(s) of the event
What are your overall goals? Do you want to build brand awareness, or are you looking to increase sales? What is your budget, and what do you hope to get out of holding an event? Knowing your goals will help you to plan an event that will achieve them.
2. Plan your messaging and visual assets
After determining the goals of your event, plan how you will achieve them during your event.
Experiential marketing is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal as a brand. It can bring you tons of clients, sales, and exposure that no other medium can. The most important thing to remember when you're doing experiential marketing is that you MUST deliver on the promises you make. If you promise an amazing experience, you better be ready to provide it. If you promise amazing things, you better be ready to deliver them. The old saying rings true: you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Whether you're a business owner looking to attract new customers or an employee who wants to make the best impression, experiential marketing is a great way to set yourself apart from the pack.
Long story short, don't skimp on the little details.