It’s the phrase on the lips of event planners across the globe, but what exactly is experiential marketing and how can you use it?
In the simplest of explanations experiential marketing – also sometimes known as engagement marketing – is a strategy that directly engages consumers by inviting and encouraging them to participate in the evolution of a brand or a brand experience.
Rather than looking at consumers as passive receivers of messages from a brand, experiential marketers believe that consumers should be actively involved in the production and co-creation of marketing programs, developing a lasting relationship with the brand.
This is achieved by using physical and interactive experiences to reinforce the offer of a product to make customers feel as if they are part of them, and experiences are positively related to a customer’s mood, behaviour, and attitude.
Experiential marketing is different to traditional marketing in that it focuses on providing sensory, emotional, cognitive and rational values to the consumers. It also requires a more diverse range of research methods to understand customers, to create synergies among meaning, perception, consumption and brand loyalty.
The widespread of the Internet and the increasing competition among online retailers has led to the rise of virtual experiential marketing, in which the web is used to connect with an audience.
Management consultancy, A.T. Kearney, deduced that there are four basic steps to experiential marketing in a digital age – develop a compelling customer value proposition, create the digital customer experience framework, use proven tools, and integrate the online and offline customer experience.
Experiential marketing can prove to be very successful for a business. If a brand event stirs positive emotions in people then they are more likely to associate those emotions with that company, encouraging brand loyalty and a stronger possibility of future sales.
But how can you use experiential marketing to your advantage? Well, there are many ways that you can get your audience to be hands-on with your event.
It is said that people are more likely to buy a new product if they can try it first, so product samples are a must in any experiential campaign.
If you can’t make your product or experience present at an event, you can use augmented reality and virtual reality so that an audience can still get hands-on with a product.
You can even use sensors alongside virtual reality and augmented reality to create real-world reactions such as air blowing, water spraying and moving objects to captivate a crowd with an even more immersive experience that your attendees can determine the outcome of.
Touchscreens are a great way to allow an audience to browse information at their own leisure, as well as using them to conduct surveys, opinions polls, host competitions, and quizzes, or even play games.
RFID chips can allow your attendees to directly connect with your brand by signing into an event, and using the chips to further unlock different information and offers using physical tags, wristbands and more.
The key to experiential marketing is to create an interactive experience that involves tour audience so that they will connect with your brand and remember you for weeks, maybe even years to come.
For more information on experiential marketing and how you can achieve it with your next event, contact ITR today.