Experiential marketing, sometimes referred to as engagement marketing or XM (by the cool kids) is loosely defined as messaging you can touch, feel or view in a physical space. Creating a memorable and interactive experience makes customers feel as if they are part of a brand, which encourages a stronger degree of emotional engagement.
This growing trend has flipped traditional advertising on its head. Instead of viewing an audience as a passive receiver of information, customers are invited to actively contribute to the creation and evolution of a brand.
Research has shown that word-of-mouth created by experiential marketing is the most common and powerful tool available for businesses, generating 50-80% of customer activity. It is essentially about providing customers with the opportunity to share their experiences, which makes a brand’s story relatable and relevant to its audience.
A physical event only targets a limited amount of people directly, so the goal is to create an exciting and share-worthy experience. A cool activation on its own won’t have a massive impact unless it is supported by a well-prepared digital strategy. If you want content to be posted on Instagram for example, make sure you clearly communicate a unique and relevant hashtag. This allows the audience to easily share their content, and ensures they do it through the desired platforms. In turn, you have a great way of measuring increase in likes/followers/interactions etc. and therefore ROI.
New Beach has worked extensively with shopping centres, which provide a perfect environment for interactive experiences. But locations such as a supermarket, festival, train station or airport also lend themselves well, be creative! If you want to increase foot traffic, an interactive experience is a great way of engaging your existing customers and drawing in new ones.
A good understanding of your target audience means that you can tailor the experience accordingly. Is your product aimed at millennials? Grab their attention by creating a game-like interaction or by incorporating innovative technology such as virtual reality, big screens, iPads etc. On the other hand, if your brand is more directed at the not-so-savvy generation, leave out crazy complicated fast-speed technologies as this may only scare people off.
In a crowded marketplace it is crucial to stand out. Creating these noteworthy experiences gives a company a competitive advantage over competitors.
Through experiential marketing a brand can be playful, innovative, witty, fun and conversational. It’s a great way to build relationships and connect with people. By communicating on a more personal level, brands and audiences are shaping a story together.
Do you think experiential marketing could benefit your business? Hit us up and we’ll come up with some exciting ideas that won’t blow your budget!