What's All The Buzz Around Experiential Marketing? Experiential marketing is rapidly becoming the tactic of choice for brands that wish to ensure their customers and potential customer’s view of their brand is a match for their desired brand image. But what is experiential marketing, and why is it so popular?
Experiential marketing is a form of marketing that engages the public with a brand, whilst at the same time creating an emotional response from those involved. Such campaigns are designed to drive as much brand advocacy and loyalty as possible, and leave those who 'experience' the campaign desperate to share this experience with others.
1) Faced-pages and hard-hitting stunts like such as the 'big red button' campaign. Although not pushing sales in an obvious way, PR stunts like this can be a great way for a brand to connect with its target audience, driving organic word of mouth marketing. The buzz generated by campaigns like this can easily be carried over from the real world, to the internet. For example, the first 'big red button' video now has over 46 million views - giving it far more reach than the number of people who experienced the campaign in the 'physical' world.
2)Sampling & demonstration based campaigns. Less 'high energy' campaigns can include tactics like product sampling of food & drinks, helping consumers gain direct experience of a product, with brand ambassadors promoting the products, and answering questions. This can also include demonstration of non-food products to drive an understanding of a new product or service and promote purchase. If sampling campaigns are coupled with an 'experiential' angle, then the effectiveness of the campaign can be amplified, by creating an emotional memory with the products in the consumer’s consciousness.
As mentioned previously, the internet allows experiential campaigns to reach a much wider audience than would otherwise be possible. This helps the brands message reach many, many more consumers, who experience the excitement of their outrageous experiential campaigns 'virtually', from the comfort of their living room sofa.
Although experiential campaigns can appear to be 'spontaneous' a lot of planning is needed for a successful campaign. At the early stages of planning an experiential campaign, is to ensure the ideas being developed match both match the target demographic, and portray the desired 'brand image'. One example of how an experiential agency can ensure a good demographic match for their client’s needs, is with campaigns that involve product sampling schemes, such as those in supermarket car-parks promoting, say, a new soft drink range. If the agency has the right contacts, then by effective use of EPOS data it's possible to determine which store sells a larger number of soft drinks in comparison with other stores in the area, meaning there is a much greater chance of product up-take and sales as a direct response to the sampling campaign, especially if an experiential and product sampling campaign outside the store is coupled with prominent product displays inside.
No matter what the campaign specifics are, just about all experiential campaigns have a similar goal... To raise awareness of the brand and help its chosen demographic 'identify' with the brand message, driving engagement and, if sampling or demonstrations are involved, increase product uptake.
This guest post was authored by Claire Pickup, Business Development Manager for experiential at Cosine (Cosineuk.com), an industry leading field & experiential marketing agency. Connect with Cosine on Twitter.