By Lisa Major
Experiential marketing has proven itself to be more than just a trendy buzzword. It’s here to stay, and for good reason…it’s insanely effective. Experiential is different from other marketing strategies because it utilizes several tools to create experiences that are individualized, memorable and powerful. Furthermore, it allows brands to tailor campaigns to a hyper-targeted audience allowing them to create personalized experiences that reach consumers on a deep and emotional level.
Experiential has an advantage over traditional strategies because it not only cuts through all the advertising clutter that people experience on a daily basis but also creates something that people want to experience. And that’s just the beginning of what experiential has to offer. Below we outline the key benefits of experiential marketing and data to back them.
Brand awareness goes beyond brand recognition, and as a brand, you want people to know your story, your values, and mission. Experiential marketing tactics are a great way to get boots on the ground and start creating relationships and connections with consumers. Experiential provides a unique opportunity for brands to make authentic connections with consumers, thus creating awareness for the brand. To ensure that your message is heard, you’ll want to pick out several key talking points for your brand ambassadors to convey.
What does this mean? To begin with, it’s comfortable and more importantly, it’s not intrusive. Experiential reaches consumers where they are most content, in places where they want to be. And when you engage with consumers in their comfort zone, and on their terms, they are more likely to respond, interact, and engage with what you are doing, resulting in more impressions and increased ROI.
The sights, the sounds, and the conversations found at a brand activation all play an integral role in how consumers perceive your brand. We all know that first impressions are everything and experiential marketing events give brands the opportunity to make an amazing first impression. From visual elements to interactions with your brand ambassadors to activities and giveaways that you offer, this all factors into how consumers will remember your brand. And when done right, it will leave a positive and memorable impression on consumers.
It doesn’t get much better than “try before you buy.” Allowing consumers to experience a product first hand can have a huge impact on sales, not to mention it gives you valuable, real-time feedback. And this strategy isn’t limited to a physical product. Service providers can use this tactic, too by offering demonstrations, discounts, free trials, exclusive content, ETC.
In the connected world that we live in, word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful tool. When consumers enjoy something, whether it be a product, an event, a conversation, or an experience, they often tell the world about it (the same goes for negative experiences). Experiential fosters word-of-mouth marketing both face-to face-and digitally which expands your efforts beyond the event itself.
Experiential is unique in that you can pair it with other marketing strategies for even more exposure. Incorporating some type of social media strategy into experiential generates unique content from consumers and will extend your reach to an even broader audience. Presenting them with something worth sharing is the key here, whether it’s a shareworthy design or a fun, personalized element.
A step beyond brand awareness is nurturing brand loyalty. Unlike traditional strategies where companies spout off whatever they think consumers want to hear in hopes of winning them over, face-to-face experiences allow consumers to have a real-life moment with the brand which creates an emotional tie. It ’s that emotional connection that leads to brand affinity, which ultimately leads to repeat customers or brand loyalists.
Sensory experiences are widely believed to play a huge role in what we remember. And the beauty of experiential marketing is that it has the ability to engage all five senses giving brands a prime opportunity to make memorable moments with their target audience. When brands create an enjoyable experience, they create a lasting and impactful impression on the consumer. You don’t have to limit yourself here, aim to engage multiple senses to maximize results.
Authenticity is key in today’s marketing world, but it is hard to achieve with most types of advertising for several reasons. For starters, most traditional ads are impersonal. Additionally, due to the constant bombardment of ads we see and hear each day, we tend to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to those ads. But with experiential marketing, brands can create two-way conversations with consumers, engage them face-to-face, and offer them a feel-good experience that humanizes the brand and resonates far more than traditional methods.
Experiential attracts people to brands, creates awareness, generates leads, increases sales, and boosts brand loyalty, and as a result, this ultimately leads to growth. According to the 2015 EventTrack study, events and experiences provide a clear boost in brand perception and, ultimately, drive purchases.
To sum this article up, when consumers feel happy and drawn to a brand, it’s a win-win for everyone. Experiential marketing gives consumers what they need to cultivate long-lasting relationships.
Since 2002, ATN has been the experiential event staffing company of choice for brands and marketing agencies. We work tirelessly to raise the bar and provide impactful solutions for our clients’ specific needs and challenges. ATN would love to be your experiential marketing staffing partner for your next campaign. Contact us at any time to discuss your upcoming staffing needs.