Experiential Marketing, also referred to as engagement marketing, is an advertising strategy that focuses on helping consumers “experience” a brand. It’s certainly not a new form of advertising, but it has evolved over the years with marketers taking advantage of new technologies, such as the rise of social media, virtual reality and consumers’ desire for more personalisation.
It may be comprised of a variety of marketing strategies geared toward immersing customers within the product by engaging them in as many ways as possible. Ultimately, companies using this strategy want to help customers form memorable, emotional connections with a brand to foster customer loyalty and improve customer lifetime value (CLV).
Rather than being passive, experiential marketing allows individuals to connect with a brand. In turn, these interactive experiences help to make the consumer feel more connected to the business. It is engaging, compelling and appeals to the consumers senses as well as creating an emotional response.
Essentially, all experiential marketing campaigns involve an activation. Examples include:
- product sampling;
- road shows;
- digital campaigns;
- immersive experiences such as VR; or
- stunts which help to bring brands to life.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Research by McKinsey found that experiential marketing is the powerful catalyst for word-of-mouth marketing, with branded experiences accounting for 50-80% of all word-of-mouth activity.
A recent report by Event Marketer found that eighty-five percent of consumers are likely to purchase after participating in events and experiences, and over 90% have more positive feelings about brands after attending.
In an increasingly crowded market, brands are becoming more and more aware that the key to edging out the competition is to build a strong, lasting and engaging relationship with every one of their customers. And, by far, the most effective way to do that is to take advantage of experiential marketing.
Delivering an extraordinary experience is no longer a nice-to-have option, but rather an integral part of any successful marketing strategy. Take some time to think about how you can reach out and connect with your audience in a meaningful way and the different ways you can interact with them.
The premise is to create a closer bond between the consumer and the brand by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience.
If a brand event stirs genuine positive emotions within people then they are more likely to associate those emotions with that brand, which is more effective than just showing them an ad online that can be easily scrolled past, for example.
When have you seen experiential marketing done well? Share your favourites with us in the box below.