Brands most often use experiential marketing either to enhance and complement a traditional advertising campaign or to stand out at a popular event or conference. However, as honest internet virality gains more and more influence, many brands have begun executing experiential marketing campaigns that exist on their own.
Social and Digital marketing has one big disadvantage that it lacks lasting impact and has a its low “sticky value” in the consumer’s mind. You will have a hard time recalling any of the ads online you may have visited 10 minutes ago. It is fact that brand recall is often much higher in face-to-face marketing, especially when there is a “feel and touch factor” in any brand experience.
In order to stand out and earn a special place in the consumer’s hearts and minds, brands and agencies need to create viral and lasting impressions through connected, impactful experiential marketing programs.
Experiential marketing is about enabling personal connections between brands and consumers by creating real-life experiences that are worth sharing. These experiences combine digital and real-world connections to create stronger memories and emotional bonds between brands and consumers.
We are not talking about PR tactics but about connected experiences that put the user at the center, to not only connect with the brand but also share their experience through their own social networks. Like “build it and they will come,” if you make it an experience worth sharing, consumers will share it and you will find a place in their social networks.
With the advancements in technology, today we can create more integrated and connected experiences than ever before.
Here are a few that have proven to ensure success:
- Agency integration. One of the most common barriers to success is the lack of integration between the agencies. From creative to production to social and to media, agencies must to work in concert and support the bigger idea.
- Be real. Today’s consumers are often anti-advertising and want authenticity. Let the experience be more around and about the consumer than the product. If you deliver, the consumer will thank you and broadcast your message.
- Spark curiosity. We all have busy lives. If I see someone handing out samples, or offering tickets, I walk away. But if you set up an intriguing experience and spark my curiosity, I will participate.
- Use technology. Consumers love technology and innovation. Make these part of the experience and make consumers feel like they are the first to do something special.
- Appeal to their senses. If you can create an intriguing experience that looks, sounds, feels good, tastes or smells good, you have won the consumers heart. Make sure you are addressing at least two of these senses in any idea you have.
- Support it in all channels. The crucial component to ensure success is that your idea can live and be experienced across all channels. Only then you will become truly memorable.
- Make it last. Make sure users leave your activation excited and eager to share it. You want it to be something they will talk about for months or even years.
- Make it matter. Above all else, this is the only one that really counts. Any activation has to start with something you know about your consumers in order to matter to them and to create truly impactful experiences. (Show them some love!)
There are a lot of benefits that brands can gain through experiential campaigns. Brands that are already leveraging this strategy create impactful ways to stand out above the digital noise and show up in a crowded digital field. Does yours?