Moving Experiential Marketing Beyond the Event Center

The main goal of embarking on an experiential marketing campaign by any brand is to connect the brand and consumers in more tangible, lasting ways than the traditional, old-way of advertising. Experiential marketing is driven towards three fundamental goals: driving consumer action, increasing sales, and fortifying brand loyalty.

Nielsen’s report which says that 92 percent of consumers seek recommendations from friends and family while only 33 percent trust ads when considering a purchase should be a blueprint for any brand to leverage on and work out strategies on how to embark on marketing campaigns. If the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics prediction that conferences and events will jump by 44 percent from 2010 to 2020 is also taken into cognizance, any brand that refused to catch on deliberately stabbed itself at the back.

The Freeman Global Brand Experience Study also reports that 1 in 3 CMOs expects to allocate 21-50 percent of their budget to the brand experience. This goes to show that more brands are taking the experiential marketing campaign more seriously. Given that an overwhelming data roots for experiential marketing, it will boil down to a colossal waste of effort and shellacking if, after the event, the brand does not experience a phenomenal growth in sales.

It’s absolutely necessary to make sure that the excitement created by the event about the brand is sustained and even made to bubble over rather than being allowed to simmer down. The following steps should be taken to keep on the frenzy that has already been built around the brand.

  1. Get the timing and context right

When you schedule the event to take place and the message you are sending across, are of utmost importance. You must find out if there are any other events you can leverage on or that will cause a distraction. What precisely do you want to showcase and what could be the disposition of the people at that time? These are factors you must put into consideration.

You could only have got it right when your potential customers leave the event center with a lasting impression of what they have seen otherwise, they dump everything at the gate of the event center. Campaigns that become imprinted on the mind are designed around the lives of your customers and fit into the product seamlessly.

If the timing of the 25-foot-tall, 17.5-ton treat of frozen Snapple juice was properly articulated and not on an 80-degree, first-day-of summer heat, the impact would have been absolutely sensational. It’s very important you plan out every detail about the event and this could take months.

  1. Amplify the impact after the event

An event does not start and end one day. If you have the mindset that you won’t incorporate social campaigns, email, and out-of-home advertising after the real event then you are in for a devastating blow. Even for the invent, you need the reach out for influencers that are brand-lovers who will whip up the tempo until a crescendo is reached.

Your influencers will shore up a sensational organic interest around your event. They will create a sense of loss to customers who may ordinarily have wanted to miss the event. To effectively utilize this opportunity, you may have to go for smaller, more niche influencers rather than allowing an influencer’s star power to bulldoze you into making decisions. These micro influencers according to a study by Hello Society are able to provide their followers with quality interactions that are 22.2 times more significant.

After the event, they will be on the ground to play an advocacy role for the brand. Questions must be asked and the fact that they love the brand will guarantee correct answers are given even if they are not able to provide all the answers at any given point.

Where your influencers are not well grounded in facts and figures regarding the brand, a conscious effort must be made to keep them abreast of happenings about the brand. No effort should be spared in training and re-training influencers where it’s necessary.

  1. No shortchanging on investment

It’s the attitude of founders and CEOs of businesses to want to make huge ROI on a little spend, inasmuch as this makes an economic sense, it may be your undoing if you decide to cut corners in your experiential campaign programme. There is the need to continuously fund the marketing section so far it’s an established fact that the campaign must not stop at the event center.

Any amount that is budgeted for the campaign will be whoppingly recouped. Going by the study from Mosaic and the Event Marketing Institute, 72 percent of consumers say they view brands that provide a quality experience more positively. The quality of your event depends on how much time and expertise you are ready and willing to invest.

Unlike the traditional, mundane way of advertising, experiential marketing tends to connect with consumers from a deeper, more emotional angle. You must endeavor to personify your experiences for an amazing and meaningful impact.

Photo Credit: Dunedin City Council Archives Flickr via Compfight cc

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About John Ejiofor

John Ejiofor is a curious life-researcher, whose quest to finding answers to life's pertinent questions has led to founding Nature Torch. This blog aims to debate and explore many questions about our earth -- including those a lot of people are uncomfortable with asking. He has been published on some of the internet's most respected websites, which you can find online.
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