What is experiential and how can your brand harness it?
Experiential marketing is generally understood as being “the use of sound, ambience, emotion and activity to get customers interested in the merchandise and in the mood to buy”. This is a quote from American Sociologist, George Ritzer and dates from 1999, and so it pre-dates the rise of the kind of digital technology which now enables experiential marketing to take place as part of any multi-channel branding experience. It could now encompass everything from simple product sampling up to QR codes, touchscreens and Bluetooth being used to create personalised experiences for consumers within retail environments, and larger-scale one-off events designed to entertain first, and market second.
When building a brand campaign that centres upon experiential, you should consider the following:
- Interactivity – creating authentic memories which are linked to your product
- Originality – a way of looking at the product, or indeed the world, which will surprise consumers and keep them guessing and coming back for more
- Attachment – get the first two factors right and your brand will be able to use experiential marketing to create a genuine attachment in the mind of consumers
Why choose experiences over “stuff”?
The effectiveness of experiential marketing is directly linked to what consumers are looking for when engaging with brands. According to Eventbrite, for example, 78% of millennials prefer spending money on an event or experience as opposed to an item, and this valuing of “events” over “things” feeds into the way in which experiential marketing is able to cut through to consumers.
The weight behind experiential campaigns speaks for itself; 70% of customers become repeat customers after attending experiential marketing events. And not only that, but experiential marketing generates longevity and reach which is harder to create with a more two-dimensional approach. For instance, 98% of consumers create their own digital or social content when attending events and experiences. Simply creating a photo-sharing moment at your activation could generate millions of impressions for your brand.
What is the future of experiential like?
Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the delivery of experiential marketing over the past 18 months or so, driving agencies to find digital or hybrid solutions. The signs from our industry peers are that no matter what form the experiential marketing will take, businesses are planning to reignite their investment in experiential marketing as restrictions on public interaction gradually lift. And here’s what that will look like…
According to Exhibitor Online, 64% of B2B marketers expect to increase their event marketing budgets by 64% in 2021 when compared to 2020. This reflects the fact that, for the decade leading up to the pandemic, marketers increased their spending on experiential marketing year on year, reaching a global total of $84 billion in 2019.
The millennials referenced earlier, who are more likely to value experiences over possessions, are also, according to Marketing Week, the most likely to have altered their purchasing behaviour during the Covid crisis, with 85% stating that they have tried a new shopping behaviour. This is likely to have created a large cohort of potential customers for any brand, with a willingness to try something new and an appreciation of experiential interaction.
Finally, how can you create an effective experiential marketing campaign?
Here at Marble, we’re constantly aware of the trends governing the sector, and in particular of what modern consumers are looking for. In addition, we’re leveraging the power of data to create experiential marketing which directly taps into customer expectations. This data includes that which is provided by the social channels of target consumers and decision making which takes place during a customer journey toward purchase. Fusing all of this enables us to create experiential marketing which is engaging, personalised and interactive.
So, combine the data with the creative juices and bam, you’ve got a fully realised, juicy marketing campaign that connects your audience ecosystem and harnesses the power of experiential.
In an era in which increasing numbers of customers and potential customers seek to curate their own lives online, the brands which succeed will be those which can create experiences that chime with this approach, offering one-to-one interaction which cements the brand as a part of the consumer’s life. Partnering with an experiential marketing agency will help your brand to make this happen, delivering results that can be measured on the bottom line. Contact us today to see how we can elevate your next marketing campaign by incorporating experiential marketing.