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How Experiential Marketing Encourage Sales

Brands Love Experiential Marketing: Here’s How They’re Measuring Whether It’s Working

Posted by | 04-06-2018

In a world where the average goldfish has a longer attention span than the average consumer (Time Magazine Neuroscience), you simply can't leave any part of your advertising and marketing strategy up to chance.

In case you're curious, a goldfish participating in research can concentrate for a full nine seconds. In contrast, its human research counterparts can only make it to eight seconds before getting distracted.

Experiential Marketing Keeps Consumers Engaged

Experiential marketing is the newest effort to keep consumers engaged past that critical mass moment of distractibility. The longer you have that set of eyes on you, the more likely an eventual sale then becomes. With experiential marketing campaigns, you are aiming to transmit an experience sufficiently compelling to not only ensure engagement and sharing, but also encourage sales.

So what exactly is experiential marketing? How does it work? And how do you know it is working? Read on to find out!

What Is Experience-Based Marketing?

As Forbes tells it, this type of marketing is all about creating a memorable experience, whether hands-on in person or online or both.

In fact, many of the top marketing efforts in this newer genre do incorporate both an in-person and online element to their strategy. This ensures the widest possible marketing "net" to attract local and online consumers.

Local marketing that delivers a bona fide experience can include everything from tastings and pairings to crafts and DIY projects to classes and courses and more. Often, marketing in this way can bring two or more corporate partners together to double or even triple their reach and engagement.

Not surprisingly, social media tools are key facets of an experiential campaign. With an impactful personal experience often comes the desire to share it. Many consumers today are also entrepreneurs in some way, whether in the gig sharing economy, with their online blog stores or as consultants and industry experts. They are looking for compelling content to share on their own social media platforms, and experiential campaigns can fit this bill nicely!

How to Get Started Measuring Experiential Marketing Results

The good news here is that experiential campaigns don't have to be fancy to be effective. It is possible to do small events right at your location to help customers experience your products and services in immediately practical ways.

The same holds true for online events on social media, inside your app, on your website and in similar locations.

Tracking Metrics Are Essential, As Always

What matters most is to set up metrics for how you are going to track results. Did the campaign work? How will you know for sure?

One of the easiest and most reliable ways to track experiential campaign results is to assign each campaign a hashtag. That little pound sign can be a powerful tracking tool on most major social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and others.

Beyond simple sharing and re-sharing, the next phase is to look at whether the experiential campaign is translating into an increase in your selected desirable outcome, whether that is more social media impressions, more product or service sales, more shares or more website hits to sign up for your email list group.

Once you decide what your desired metric or metrics will be, you need to somehow link the results to the campaign itself. This can be more challenging than it may at first sound.

A full 45 percent of corporate campaigners state that their ultimate goal is to increase sales and revenue. Yet, a whopping four out of every five companies that use experiential campaigns don't know how to track campaign results!

Trackable Experiential Measurement Metrics

Whether your goal is to make initial connections with new potential customers or launch a new exciting product, your ultimate goal is to identify how to tell whether that effort is paying off!

Otherwise, you risk what researchers often call a correlation.

A correlation is when two co-occurring events, such as an experiential campaign and a spike in sales, are assumed to be related when really they are not related at all. What you are striving for instead is causation, which is a clear link between each event. But with experience-based campaigns, you are the one who has to provide some kind of marker that identifies how one event is tied to the other.

Here are some real-life examples of how other marketers are tying experiential events to desirable outcomes in precise, trackable ways:

  • Assign a memorable hashtag that can be searched to track social impressions and shares for both in-person and online participants.
  • Create a special landing page for online participants to visit and interact with as part of their experience during your campaign.
  • Offer a special code or offer phrase that participants need to use to get perks as a result of their campaign participation.
  • Invite participants to check in at your website or social platform to receive a special code or offer phrase they can then redeem for freebies, perks or discounts.
  • Collect email addresses and ensure one required field is for the newcomer to say how they heard about your company (through the experiential campaign).
  • Create an event-specific loyalty program that can link the consumer back to the event with each visit or purchase.
  • Send out a survey to event participants or invite online reviews to gauge the emotional impact of an experiential campaign.
Hard Versus Soft Experiential Measurement

Contrary to many marketers' beliefs, measuring campaign results is not solely about calculating hard data. In fact, experiential campaigns are often more valuable for the soft metrics they generate versus the hard data.

In other words, it can be hard to completely standardize emotional impact. Whereas in the past, quantitative (hard data) research has been the reigning gold standard in marketing and life, today is finally ushering in a new era of valuing qualitative (experiential) research.

Emotional Connection Is Vital

It is one thing to watch an event participant purchase a product and leave the store. It is quite another to witness tears rolling down that participant's face just before she made the purchase. With the first scenario, all you really know is that you made a sale. With the second scenario, you know that the sale you made came about as a result of a vital emotional connection you just made with that new customer.

As a marketer in charge of driving not just revenue but brand awareness, loyalty and even love, which set of data would you rather have if you could only choose one? You can't quantify your new customer's tears, but you can certainly assign value to that emotional reaction, which is one reason why experiential campaign events are clearly here to stay.

Learn About Big Digital

Big Digital is a marketing and advertising industry leader for North American companies and entrepreneurs. With nearly two decades of proven expertise in crafting and deploying custom digital and interactive experiences at trade shows, retail spaces, off-site events and other key locations, Big Digital has the tools and know-how to take your marketing efforts from blah to brilliant.

To learn more, call us today 1-855-621-2842 or contact us here.

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