Experiential marketing is an effective strategy designed to engage consumers and encourage direct participation with a brand and/or its products. This form of marketing includes event marketing and street marketing, which aims to allow consumers to experience something tangible, creating a fuller, more interactive, and more appealing brand perception.
According to the Freeman Research Global Brand Experience Study, more than a third of CMOs plan to allocate between 21% to 50% of their budget to experiential marketing in the coming years, as it provides a great opportunity for consumers to interact directly with brands and build positive associations.
Experiential marketing is different from traditional marketing channels that tend to stimulate only some of the five senses, such as sight or sound. In contrast, experiential marketing has the capacity to target all five at the same time, increasing engagement.
Why is Experiential Marketing so Effective?
Experiential marketing opens up avenues that were previously off-limits to marketers. While digital media like videos and email marketing give marketers the opportunity to help establish a brand voice, the voice is only ever speaking to the consumer, rather than with the consumer. Experiential marketing brings that voice to life, establishing a more interactive and appealing brand perception.
The more interactive and engaging an event is, the more memorable it will be to a consumer. Engagement is a standard of measurement for a variety of marketing mediums, but no engagement is quite so meaningful as those of experiential marketing, as the engagement is in-person or face-to-face. Experiential marketing creates a conversation with the consumer, providing marketers and event planners with an extreme advantage.
Experiential Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing Channels
Experiential marketing—using immersive event experiences to market a brand or product to consumers—continues to surpass traditional marketing techniques in terms of effective marketing strategies. Between traditional marketing media and digital media, experiential marketing has a variety of mediums to compete with, but in terms of consumer satisfaction, engagement, and brand loyalty, none compare to events.
One of the reasons why so many marketers are turning towards experiential marketing is because there are issues with the effectiveness of some of the more traditional methods of marketing and advertising. In simple terms, traditional channels are now reaching a smaller audience than in the past. Moreover, modern consumers are more aware of advertising, adopt a more cynical attitude towards it, and are harder to please.
According to Fergus Rooney, the co-founder of AgencyEA, 89 percent of ad content is now ignored by consumers. Television advertising has been hurt by the ability to watch shows on-demand and skip ad breaks, while the majority of consumers have ad-blocking software installed, limiting the effectiveness of online advertising.
Although some of the other traditional methods, such as billboard advertising, are not affected by these technological changes, their reach is far more limited, they cannot be engaged with directly and, generally speaking, people are unlikely to take a photo of a billboard advert and share it with their friends.
These challenges have caused marketers to search for other marketing methods, which can help them to become more effective at putting across brand messages and can allow them to reach an audience that is not currently engaging with traditional channels. One of the most promising methods is experiential marketing.
Trends Driving Experiential Marketing
Experiences are the foundation of so many connections: relationships, friendships, and partnerships. Within the last decade, consumers across all industries have begun to demand relationships with their brands. Knowing how powerful experiences can be to foster meaningful relationships, marketers have begun to host experiential marketing events to help companies build these connections with their audiences.
But all experiences are not created equally. What type of experiences do audiences want? What types of experiences will help audiences connect to a brand and create brand loyalty? To stay ahead of the game, experiential marketing is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs and preferences of consumers. Here are some of the trends driving experiential marketing today:
Personalization: Consumers are looking for personalized experiences that are tailored to their preferences and interests. Brands are leveraging data and technology to create customized experiences that resonate with individual consumers.
Social Media Integration: Social media has become an integral part of experiential marketing, with brands encouraging attendees to share their experiences on social media platforms using event-specific hashtags. This helps to amplify the reach of the event and increases brand exposure.
Immersive Technology: Brands are using immersive technology like virtual and augmented reality to create unforgettable experiences for attendees. These technologies allow brands to create immersive and interactive experiences that transport attendees to different worlds.
Sustainability: Consumers are increasingly concerned about sustainability and are looking for brands that share their values. Brands are responding by incorporating sustainable practices into their experiential marketing events, using eco-friendly materials, and promoting sustainable initiatives.
Influencer Marketing: Brands are collaborating with social media influencers to reach new audiences and create buzz around their events. Influencers can help to promote the event and generate excitement among their followers.
In conclusion, experiential marketing is a powerful tool that allows brands to connect with their audiences on a deeper level. By providing immersive and engaging experiences, brands can create memorable moments that foster brand loyalty and advocacy. As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, experiential marketing will remain a key strategy for brands looking to stand out and make meaningful connections with their audiences.