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Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing is about providing a brand experience where consumers can interact directly with a brand.

Through allowing consumers to directly engage with a brand it is a much more personal form of marketing than traditional media.

“Experience marketing defines the future of marketing. We live in an increasingly consumer controlled marketplace… the only way to maintain an adequate degree of relevance as a marketer is to provide the consumer an experience in the self-defined and controlled sphere in which he lives,” Erik Hauser, Founder and Creative Director, Swivel Media

Top brands are extremely optimistic about this form of marketing, with 62% predicting that experiential marketing will be one of the largest areas of growth over the next five years.

Why is experiential marketing becoming so popular?

One simple reason – it gets results. Consumers are increasingly alienated and turned off by traditional forms of advertising. Experiential marketing is different in that it allows consumers to interact with products and make up their own mind, rather than being told how good they are.

Over recent years word of mouth has become the marketing buzz word, and when it comes to proactively encouraging word of mouth 74% of brands believe that experiential marketing is the best way to do this.

In addition, an astoundingly high 87% rate experiential marketing as one of the top 3 most cost-effective marketing activities.

Creating an experiential marketing campaign

Experiential marketing includes field working, in-store promotions, roadshows, promotional events, exhibitions and street performers. In essence, any form of marketing that allows consumers to sample and interact with your product is experiential marketing.

The first step when creating a campaign is to know your target market. You need to know who they are and where they go. Experiential marketing is all about going out and interacting with consumers – you can only do this when you know where they are.

Think about where your target audience is likely to be, such as sporting events, music festivals, local fairs, town centres, and even airports.

Once you’ve identified a range of suitable locations you can start developing the idea. This requires real creativity and don’t be afraid to be adventurous. Remember that the display or event must be interesting and stimulating. The last thing you want to do is to put on a dour display.

However, keep in mind the image that you wish to portray about your brand – the display should be relevant.

“You can’t put entertainment out there just for entertainment’s sake. It won’t create a lasting impression on the consumer. You must provide an experience that connects meaning and relevance to your brand,” Erik Hauser, Founder and Creative Director, Swivel Media

Experiential marketing may be experiencing a rapid growth in its popularity but it’s not suitable for all products, particularly for those products that are targeted at the elderly or a fragmented niche audience.

Also, it tends to be more suited to products rather than services as consumers can directly interact with products, something that is harder to do with services.

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