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'It's not you, it's we' - Why you & your business should be using 'Experiential Marketing'
Based on current trends, brand experience is expected to surpass price point and product as the key differentiator of brands by 2020. Contemporary markets have moved away from simply wanting a product or service, they want an experience. Claiming to be the ‘best’ or the ‘cheapest’ no longer has the same allure as offering genuine and immersive customer experience, whatever your industry. Cue experiential marketing, also known as engagement marketing or events marketing, this strategy directly involves clients and consumers in the development of a brand, products and the marketing itself. This strategy hinges on building genuine relationships between business and client, through connection. Proponents of this strategy suggest that it is in the live, shareable and intimate interactions with a business that clients develop this relationship, and when used effectively, it is this relationship that will drive brand loyalty and return business.
Live events lend themselves perfectly to this aim, providing a platform to cultivate relationships, share experiences and begin to nurture a three dimensional dialogue with clients. However as with any relationship, quality should be sough above quantity, with give and take a crucial aspect of engaging meaningfully with clients. A traditional sales approach may see a salesperson approach a client, inserting themselves into their experience often creating an intrusive and disruptive atmosphere. Experiential marketing is the opposite of this, it is understanding the experience of the client in a ‘customer-centric’ approach, communicating in meaningful, relevant and of course interesting way. By doing so, not only is the traditional 1D ‘shark attack’ style sales approach left behind, but the 2D dialogue has the potential to develop into a shared 3D experience which is less transactional and more about the journey for both provider & client.
In recent years there have been a growing number of great applications of the experiential marketing approach. As part of the Molson Red Leaf Project an illuminated sustainable dance floor was used to create an alluring spectacle which linked participants to a wider theme of sustainability. With each step generating 24 watts of electricity, crowds were encouraged to twist, tango and tap across the floor whilst branded digital energy meters tracked the energy generated and celebrated the achievement of targets. Jones Soda invites regular customers to send in photos which they feature on personalised packaging, or if particularly jaw-dropping can even make their way onto a limited run of mainstream packing too. Japanese snack company Tohato launched two competing snack flavours in an award-winning advertising campaign in 2007, calling on customers to engage in an online multiplayer game to decide the winning flavour. Experiential marketing strategy can clearly be implemented across many mediums, with technological advances increasing how far offline and online tools can be leveraged.
Live events have long formed the perfect touch-stone to consolidate relationships, with IoT and immersion technology bridging real and digital worlds simultaneously so no member of your growing community is left out. Since the 90s we have advocated strategies that are now recognised as experiential marketing. From the ‘terawatt challenge’ at The Energy Event to an award-winning build incorporating an ‘IT Disaster Recovery’ off-road safari at BCI World conference, we take pride in developing meaningful, inventive and relevant experiences for our clients. If you would like more information on how we can help you or how to bring experiential marketing into your events, let’s get in touch.