By Samantha Reid, Senior Events Manager.
When marketing your brand, product or service in this day and age you have to be a little bit shrewd and very much clever to reach your target audience effectively. With today’s shoppers conditioned to block out much of the marketing noise communicated on the day2day it’s not surprising that more and more brands are turning their attention and their budgets to experiential, to deliver something a little bit special, to enrich the shopping experience in a unique and memorable way. Interestingly, several reports have been released this year which reinforce this trend among brands in what has become a very diverse market, revealing that marketers are expecting to increase spend on experiential by up to 50% in the next three to five years. We have seen a huge increase in companies big and small now starting to think past the standard ATL approach of traditional marketing and have a much sharper focus on how to connect with audiences on a more emotive level, to help forge true customer loyalty.
So what is Experiential?
To put it simply, experiential is a form of marketing that offers consumers an opportunity to engage with brands in a way that ignites the senses and allows brands to become tactile. Using clever creative and strategy, brands are now able to create emotionally driven experiences that leave the consumer feeling that they have become part of the brands story, leaving with an enriched shopping experience that is both memorable and ‘news worthy’ among friends, colleagues and family – therefore driving positive word of mouth in additional to promoting their experience online through social media. Of course, in reality strategy and supporting collateral play a big part in the overall execution, but in a nutshell, this does give an idea of what experiential is and how it works.
Facts don’t lie
There are definitely a number of great benefits of investing in experiential marketing and incorporating it into the marketing mix, but here’s a few facts that tend to stand out. 98% of shoppers interested in a service or product are more likely to convert to purchase following a positive brand led experience, while 65% will actually purchase the product or service directly following or whilst at the event. In addition to this, the EventTrack survey, the largest annual survey of the experiential marketing industry, indicated that 79% of brands are expected to increase their spending on experiential marketing. Interestingly 81% of brands who invest in experiential experience huge spikes in brand awareness among consumers in the market, resulting in 62% of consumers gaining a much greater level of product and/or service knowledge as a direct result of their experiential event. Quite impressive eh!
Want to know more? Here are a few more reasons to consider if experiential is right for you!
Experiential marketing events provide a brilliant opportunity to generate valuable leads as they put brands and service face to face with their market. In fact, over 50% of companies invest in experiential events every year for this purpose.
Nothing is more effective that allowing consumers to discover information about your company for themselves in an original way. Allowing consumers to feel, touch, taste, hear and smell a product, promotes ‘try before you buy’ and aids impulse purchases.
Positive Direct Interaction
Forging lasting relationships with consumers can be challenging. Experiential however helps to breach that gap, through branded face to face human contact, which is more likely to stick in consumers’ minds and keep them returning to the company.
Emotive experiential activity tends to draw audiences in naturally, who are waiting to absorb your brand’s message. Conveying brand values in this way, will help to create organic sharing of your messages, which in turn will bring a certain level of authenticity to the experience.
Word of Mouth
The fact is, that people trust people and with social media playing a huge part in brand awareness, ensuring your experience ‘news worthy’ and easily shareable is paramount. Memorable experiences really do pave the way for organic recommendations and exposure.
Experiential Is Fun!
Everyone likes events – experiential marketing campaigns are fun for the companies that host them, and fun for the consumers who partake in them. Combine the fun factor with the high ROI that can be had, and it’s hard to see how anyone can say that this isn’t for them!
Want find out more about how experiential can work for you? Get in touch today.