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Why Experiential Marketing Experts Will Rule 2017

Why Experiential Marketers will Rule 2017 - visualrevolt by Visualfizz experiential marketing

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Why Experiential Marketing Experts Will Rule 2017

What is Experiential Marketing?

and Why Experiential Marketers will Rule 2017

What is experiential marketing, you ask? And more importantly, how can you use experiential marketing to drive your brand in 2017?

Well, first of all, let us put your mind at ease. Experiential marketing is not just the latest buzzword in marketing, here today and sitting at the bus stop to Nowhereville alongside your 1D album tomorrow. The concept behind experiential marketing has been around for a long time. You might even say it’s the original form of marketing, just recreated for a modern market.

As with most long-standing originals, it is a simple, effective, and powerful form of marketing.

What is Experiential Marketing?

Experiential Marketing is engagement marketing which allows the target consumer to experience the brand. It is hands-on, event-heavy, P2P (person to person) marketing that allows the end user to be immersed in the brand identity.

Experiential marketing gives the end user a unique, face to face experience of the brand. As an experiential marketer, you are not just sending a message to the world and hoping they see it. You are interacting with potential end users on a personal level, in real time and in a tangible way. It is tactile messaging you can physically touch, hear, see, and feel.

So, what makes this any different from the old school cheese-sample-table-in-the-shopping-center approach? A couple of things, actually.

 

visualfizz experiential marketing cheese

Not exactly the best way to combine grocery store cheese samples and data, but who are we to judge?

The first and most notable element of experiential marketing which differentiates it from its past is that it is fully integrated into a brand’s complete offering – from social to organic presence, paid ads to content, store front to e-commerce.

Experiential has a uniquely holistic approach in that campaigns have a tangible, offline experience which drives an online dialogue and ultimately boosts both brand awareness and sales. It connects you with your market on multiple levels.

What marketers are doing with it is also pretty different from anything we’ve seen before.

Often, the product itself is never even used in the marketing. Rather than hand out samples (which, admittedly, does have advantages), brands are using their true brand purpose to market with. Say what? Let’s take a look at an example or two to make it clearer.

Some Super Cool Experiential Marketing Campaigns

In honor of the experiential strategy, we had better paint a picture for you.

Example 1: Lean Cuisine

In New York City, weight loss company Lean Cuisine recently hosted an Experiential campaign that managed to center on weight loss without any of the usual “change who you are”, “diet-centric” messaging.

The #WeighThis campaign entailed a gallery of scales in Grand Central Station, where women were invited to “weigh in”. But instead of being real scales that measure mass, the scales were boards where women were encouraged to write down how they really wanted to be weighed.

The #WeighThis campaign entailed a gallery of scales in Grand Central Station, where women were invited to “weigh in”. But instead of being real scales that measure mass, the scales were boards where women were encouraged to write down how they really wanted to be weighed.

This positive tactic allowed women to express their desire to be weighed by things like the fact that they were 55 and back at college or that they cared for 200 homeless children every day.

This left the participating women feeling proud of who they are. It created a huge online conversation, and it established the brand as caring about people, not just their aesthetics.

The product itself never came into play, and yet they were able to create an interactive experience that said Okay, we make a product that fits into a healthy lifestyle. But your accomplishments matters more than the number on the scale. It’s all about you.”

The end result for Lean Cuisine? Over 204 million impressions on the #WeighThis campaign.

 

Example 2: Zappos Cupcake Ambush

We love this one, it has cupcakes in it!

Google teamed up with Zappos and took to the streets of Texas for this one. They had a cupcake truck and a new photo app to promote. To get a free cupcake, people had to take a photo of it with the app (so they had to download the app). Then, as if free cake isn’t enough, Zappos “ambushed” the Google cupcake truck with its own experience: a box-on-feet which when fed the Google cupcake would produce a container with a watch or pair of shoes in it. Epic. You can imagine how popular that was!

 

So here we have a great example of not only experiential marketing but experiential affiliate marketing, too. Choosing the right company to do a bit of co-branding with can help you both to make a bigger splash.

What are the Business Advantages of Experiential Marketing?

Stats show that 49% of people attending branded events make and share mobile videos. Of these Videos, 39% end up on Twitter with a branded hashtag.

What this really means is that the people you engage with do your marketing for you. Which is why the ROI (Return on Investment) on Experiential marketing can be huge! It all comes down to making sure that the people you engage with have an amazing experience at the hands of your brand. These people then skip all the usual steps of becoming a lead, a conversion, and a customer and go directly to the “promoter” stage of the buyer’s journey.

Now while the inbound marketing strategy is still our bread and butter, using experiential marketing strategies to compliment your inbound strategy has obvious, fast hitting benefits.

The advantages of Experiential Marketing for your Business

  •         Meaningful engagement with potential customers
  •         Builds trust
  •         Creates an online dialogue around branded hashtags
  •         Converts strangers to Promoters – saving time and money on the in-between steps
  •         Drives organic web traffic which in turn…
  •         Generates leads
  •         High ROI
  •         Strengthens your brand identity
  •         Effective promotion of new products or services
  •         Can be used to tap into your brand purpose instead of the products themselves

(to name a few)

Experiential Marketing Best Practices

  • Define your true brand message before you start
  • Don’t interrupt your market – create a valuable experience that makes them peruse you instead
  • Think about what inspires your target audience, or what they aspire to, and build your experience around that
  • For B2B, think about what opportunities your market is looking for
  • Create a branded hashtag for your campaign and make sure it’s visible.
  • Plan your online integration and be ready to respond online
  • Keep it community-centric – a local campaign can go a long way
  • Find your audience in their natural habitat
  • Use strong visuals and infographics both in real time and online
  • Team up with other brands who are not in competition with you but do share your ethos or brand purpose – make sure you build an experience that encourages the audience to interact with you both
  • Nurture your leads – make sure your teams are ready for the follow up from your campaign
  • Shake things up – it’s okay to leave your comfort zone – after all that is where the magic happens, don’t be afraid of taboos, but do find a way to be respectful around them
  • You can build experiences that educate people about what you do or how your product works – especially if you are in an industry where people are not sure how your product can improve their life
  • Love the data – data is your friend, use it in fun, informative ways to back up your campaigns

Audiences are looking for more authentic brand experiences. They want a reason to get excited. It’s up to you as marketers to make sure you are creating experiences for them that work with your overall business strategy, tie in with your brand and ultimately make 2017 your biggest year, yet.

 

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