What is Experiential Marketing?
Today’s customers want to buy experiences rather than just products. They’re constantly being bombarded with marketing campaigns from different companies. As such, holding their attention and securing their loyalty has become a real challenge for business owners and marketers.
Experiential marketing can help you to cut through the noise and reach your target market. Experiential marketing outdoes conventional advertising by crafting memorable and immersive brand experiences.
Experiential marketing, often dubbed engagement or event marketing, draws audiences by actively involving them in bespoke and varied interactions. The crux of its success lies in developing emotional connections, alongside favourable brand associations, and creating lasting customer engagement.
At its core, experiential marketing gives consumers interactions that resonate with their values, aspirations and goals. This enables businesses to build stronger connections and make a significant impression and a lasting connection.
What to include…
Storytelling can be a pivotal pillar of experiential marketing. By relating stories that resonate with their target audience, businesses can enhance their connection. If the stories are chosen and communicated well, they’ll create trust and loyalty, enhancing their customers’ brand experience.
We’ve all heard stories that make us feel aligned with the teller; that’s what you’re looking for! The right stories can also give you a chance to show more of your personality or experience, adding a more human and rounded side to the business.
Adding technology can make the impact of experiential marketing campaigns much larger. Things such as augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR), that many people are yet to experience, are way more affordable than they ever have been, and can increase the impact of the experience and generate buzz around your event and your brand.
- Social Media
Leveraging the power of social media around your event or campaign, with hashtags, photos and all of the other options, allows consumers to share their experiences, extending the reach of your efforts to a much wider audience.
It’s a hugely positive influence if you see your friends having fun or benefiting from a relationship with a supplier. That’s why google reviews are so powerful.
Where to start…
The key to success with experiential marketing is to allow your target market to experience your brand, your business and the benefits of your products or services.
A simple example would be to run an open day where potential clients can visit your premises to see what your business does.
- Can you have happy customers on site, or video testimonials running, as social proof of how you help?
- Refreshments, goody bags and a smiling team to greet visitors and show what you offer is a great starting point.
- Can you find an activity that visitors can enjoy that links to your business in some way, that’s fun and that will make an impression? Even a prize draw of some description, for some relevant reward, can be a great way to keep in touch later.
- Whatever you do, be sure to collect contact data (and permission if appropriate) to follow-up later!
Other options might include taking a stand at a trade show or conference, to show potential customers what you do and how you do it. Be creative about your stand and messaging and set yourself apart from your competition. Be bright, bold and make an impression!
If executed well, experiential marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses seeking to build meaningful connections with potential customers, and to maintain the relationships with existing customers too. It’s your job to keep them coming back, so don’t leave them out of your efforts!
By engaging customers in memorable and engaging experiences, it’s possible to create and enhance brand loyalty, generate positive reviews and attention, and ultimately convert leads to new business. It won’t necessarily be a ‘quick win’, but as with so much around marketing, consistency will pay dividends.