“Once you have tasted flight you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward”
In a world of brands debating the widescale reach of digital marketing VS. the reliability of traditional marketing, experiential is one element of the marketing mix often left out of the conversation altogether. Squeezed from ever-tightening budgets in favour of low cost, digital communications, brands are only now recognising that it often provides longer lasting results compared to impersonal, throw the net out wide, approaches.
Instead of reaching out to 10,000 people at once online and hoping for a 10% uptake on a call to action, when it comes to connecting with consumers brands should look to real experiences to create a long-lasting impact on the brand-consumer relationship.
Experiential marketing uses these real experiences to immerse consumers in the brand story, allowing them not only to ‘live’ the brand but also help build it. By enlisting consumers as co-collaborators in the brand journey, brands ensure they are meeting the needs of consumers, creating mutually beneficial relationships, unlikely to be achieved through one-way marketing pushes.
At the core of these experiential events is content generation; content, which consumers will enjoy, retain and share and social media is littered with digital memories of these physical experiences. Rather than sharing content directly, experiential marketing brings brands to life through the eyes of consumers. By hosting live events a brand can recruit communities of brand ambassadors to spread its message organically.
Despite these benefits, many brands still see experiential as a risky strategy with difficult to measure return on investment. In reality, it can provide one of the best opportunities to gain feedback on what is and isn’t working for a brand’s audience. By providing audiences with content, which provokes conversation, brands are able to access instant feedback, which can be used to adapt and shape the brand moving forward.
Measuring the ROI ofthe activity is a different, but wholly achievable, process for each brand depending on its understanding and expectations of engagement. Whether via social media discussion, sales or consumer interactions on the day of event, measuring the benefits of experiential requires understanding the brand and its customers. Ultimately, experiential is about building meaningful relationships with consumers and creating brand advocates, increasing the reach, influence and longevity of a brand message.
For brands that have already recognised the value of experiential it has acted as an investment in the long-term development of their brand, hence why brands such as Heineken, 20th Century Fox and Red Bull have invested into it significant budgets and energy. Advertising tells customers what a brand can do but experiential shows them… and as the old adage goes. ‘Actions speak louder than words’.
If you think it’s about time your brand was heard then give us a shout: firstname.lastname@example.org