Does Experiential Marketing Work?
Buyers aren’t sold on traditional marketing efforts any more.
No longer can you expect to sell them a product or service through a TV commercial.
How many people record a show on TV and fast-forward through the adverts? And what about those that don’t have cable and watch shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime that don’t have commercials at all?It doesn’t stop there. Think about those that pay for premium features like YouTube Premium or Spotify Premium just to avoid listening or watching an advert.
Plus, what about the people that use an ad blocker?
These are the sorts of problems marketers are facing and are having to come up with ways to overcome it.
Well, it turns out that one way to do reach these customers is by creating experiences that they actually want to interact with or be a part of.
This is known as ‘experiential marketing’.
But does it actually work?
The Goal Of Experiential Marketing
As defined by Business News Daily:
“Experiential marketing, also called engagement marketing, is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and encourages them to participate in a brand experience.”
Experiential marketing techniques aim to create brand loyalty.
The marketing doesn’t focus on the product or service being sold. Instead, it shifts towards letting customers know what it’s like to have the brand in their life.
Traditional marketing methods treat consumers as passive receivers of the company’s message. However, with experiential marketing, brands involve consumers directly.
This creates strong, long-lasting relationships with consumers by letting them see and be involved with the entire campaign from start to finish.
For example, Kool8 dedicate 20% of their profits to providing clean water to communities that don’t have access to it.
Benefits Of Experiential Marketing
The above gives a sense that it does actually work but without examples of where it can be useful, it’s just a theory.
Here are five benefits of experiential marketing to help back up the claim.
- It Builds Authenticity
Experiential marketing satisfies customers by being unique. Many consumers don’t want to just buy a product – they want to buy into a product. For example, in 2017, the NFL used the city of Houston to create the ultimate Super Bowl experience.
Experiential marketing allows customers to connect with the business on all sorts of levels, such as its values and how it differentiates from the competition.
This personal connection helps to create brand loyalty that businesses are craving from their marketing campaigns.
- Works Hand-In-Hand With Content Marketing
Next, experiential marketing works very well with overall marketing branding and marketing communications. In particular, it’s great with content marketing.
Businesses can boost their reach by creating branded content from these experiences. It can then be shared across social media and via websites in real-time.
The most popular forms of branded content are images and videos. Sharing the experiences through social stories on Snapchat or live streaming on Facebook Live increases the reach beyond regular audience members and gives the brand further shout to its story.
- More Data
Knowledge is power.
In terms of marketing, knowing how customers behave is the foundation of modern marketing techniques.
Marketers use data-driven tactics and analytics to understand how customers interact with the brand, how to make the most out of content and ultimately grow the bottom line.
This data is also important to experiential marketing. This is because as customers interact with the brand, learn about the product or service and enjoy the experience, they exchange their personal information in return.
According to ComboApp, big data is key to creating personalized and relevant consumer experiences. It enables businesses to deliver real-time data, create more value from content and increase engagement quicker than ever before.
- Customers Connect Better To Products
Marketing is used to tell customers about products or services. However, it only works if the business can keep the customer interested and on the page.
While customers like to avoid commercials, they enjoy seeing and interacting with new experiences. This is why experiential marketing is great.
When a business ties its product to a fun, engaging experience such as a live event or product demonstration, consumers are far more likely to understand the message.
They turn from passive viewers into active participants.
- It Works At Scale
The final benefit of experiential marketing is that it can be scaled well. No matter if the business is small or large and established, any brand can create a great customer experience, connect with their audience and start building brand loyalty.
There is no limit to what brands can do, as long as it delivers value to the customer; for example, with the advancements in technology, businesses can build an awesome experience through VR.
What To Avoid
While experiential marketing can be used to great effect, without the right strategy and implementation, it can go South very quickly.
Businesses must avoid creating an experience that feels too much like a sales pitch. This goes for websites, promotions, brand messages and live events. It will turn customers off and potentially leave them feeling like they had a negative experience.
Companies planning on using experiential marketing as part of their B2C or B2B marketing campaigns must take their time researching and developing their strategy.
Is it the right move at this moment in time? Is there a budget? Are the goals clear?
These are the sorts of questions that need to be answered so that once the experiential marketing campaign launches, it can expect to receive positive reviews and develop loyal fans.
Experiential marketing works and there are plenty of advantages to it, including integration with content marketing and the use of analytics to improve user experience.
It can build stronger connections with customers and as marketing becomes more personalized, this is more important than ever.
However, only use it after conducting thorough research and ensure the right systems are in place.