The concept of experiential marketing is turning the traditional notions of marketing on its head. A large part of its success is the idea that by engaging consumers with your brand, they will in turn market your brand for you. When people have a positive interaction with your company, chances are they will tell their friends and family about it. Whether that be via word-of-mouth, social media posts or hashtags -- the idea is that you can get customers to spread your message on your behalf.
These ‘positive interactions’ however, don’t necessarily pop up organically. They must be carefully choreographed by your company in the form of events. Let’s explore how you can use experiential marketing to make your company stand out from the rest. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Tip #1: Don’t just copy others
You’ll always notice trends and fads. Many companies tend to do the same things over and over. Whether it’s creating ‘interactive rooms’ or getting consumers to push buttons on giant touchscreens -- many experiences have been done before. Look at what the trends are, then see if you can push them one step further.
For example, Lean Cuisine’s marketing was always focused on weight loss. Like other weight loss products, they could’ve brought out the scales and asked people to weigh in. The company’s marketing team, however, decided to take it one step further.
Lean Cuisine wanted women to define themselves by more than just their physical bodies. The company wanted to erase self-doubt and boost confidence. So when Lean Cuisine laid out a bunch of scales in New York’s Grand Central Station, they weren’t asking women how many pounds they’re packing. Instead, they wanted passing women to write down what they’d like to be measured by. These strong females wanted to be measured by things like: Going back to college at 55, caring for 200 homeless children each day, or being the sole provider to four sons.
Lean Cuisine never tried to sell them anything. Rather, women walked away with a positive self-image and were quite touched by the overall experience. Next time they’re looking for a weight loss product or ways to lead a healthier lifestyle, you can bet many of them will think of Lean Cuisine.
Tip #2: Make it easy for consumers to share content during your event
The best way to get the word out on social media about your experiential event is to let participants talk about it online. When planning your campaign, be sure to invest in a high-quality Internet connection for your venue. Free reliable Wifi is crucial to spreading your message. Make it easy for consumers to tweet about it or upload photos to Instagram and Facebook.
Don’t forget to let participants know your event’s hashtag so you can gain more online traction. You could also consider hiring a photographer or videographer, and let consumers share these professional images with their friends as well.
Tip #3: Experiential marketing must tap into the senses
In an age of email apps, texting apps, and social media platforms, we’re all feeling a bit numb from the information overload. The goal of any successful experiential event is to tap into the senses that the digital realm cannot connect to. This means playing on people’s desires to touch, smell, and taste. Businesses must get creative to come up with experiences that grab people’s attention. Here are some tips on engaging the senses:
- Make use of light fragrances that evoke specific emotions
- Consider setting up ‘tasting booths’ with well-curated food to satisfy hunger pangs and keep customers interested
- Allow attendees to interact with various textures when it comes to touchpoints and decor; use soft carpeting that’s easy on the feet and seating made of smooth, comfortable fabrics
Tip #4: Keep the interaction going
Once your experiential event is over, your attendees will most likely walk away with a memento. Whether it’s a pack of product samples or a photo they can put up on the fridge -- you want customers to remember the interaction they had with your brand whenever they look at this physical item.
You can do this by ensuring the uniqueness of your experiential event lingers for customers. When they look at the photo they brought home, they’ll remember the food you put out or the use of texture in your decor. Pay attention to every last detail when organizing your experience. These finer points will certainly resonate with customers and keep them talking about it for a long time.
Experiential marketing is a fantastic way to cut through today’s digital clutter. Many modern-day consumers appreciate brand interaction over physical goods. So when organizing your event, focus on tapping into people’s emotions rather than selling them a product. This less aggressive tactic will ensure your brand stays memorable well after the event is over.