What is Experiential Marketing?

Published on 28 March 2019

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As the name would suggest, experiential marketing is an activation-based campaign that is created to provide an ‘experience’ for a target audience. These activations are something that current and potential customers can get involved in e.g. sampling campaigns, immersive experiences, pop-ups etc.

View the examples below by clicking on the images…

Experiential activations are much more engaging than other, more typical styles of marketing and creates a longer lasting memory of your brand and products in the heads of your consumers.
The main idea behind it is to impact your target audience on a deeper, more meaningful level so that they feel some kind of connection to your brand and what you offer.

Activation Audience

Experiential activations can be both open to the public or closed to a select group of specifically selected guests. Both pools can be equally as successful if done right.
Public activations often receive high footfalls in the right location and cause a buzz amongst your audience. It’s important that you never underestimate the power of the people, especially not in the ‘viral’ age where anything popular can become a worldwide phenomenon in a matter of days.

Inviting specific guests can have a similar effect in terms of ‘creating a buzz’. In the modern era, social media influencers are a highly effective marketing tool to increase exposure amongst certain demographics. Inviting them to an experiential activation and having them share their experience online to their following can massively boost brand awareness amongst a widespread group of people.
Having said this, try not to get experiential mixed up with content marketing. The content marketing being provided by the influencers is an addition to the experience that you have provided for your invitees. Experiential marketing is an activation that is physically engaged with rather than seen, read or heard.

You also have the option of inviting those within the industry which may not spread the name of your brand like wildfire, but what you will see is a gain in industry connections, partnerships and most probably grow your business from a behind-the-scenes perspective. There are positives across the board whichever avenue of experiential marketing you wish to go down, but it is imperative to have an idea of who exactly you want to target with your experiential campaigns and what they are being targeted for before you plan how to pull of an experiential activation.

Why Use Experiential Marketing?

In the modern era (with everyone having access to almost everything from all corners of the earth) brands and organisations have to keep continually raising the bar in order for their campaigns to resonate with their target audience and really excite the consumer. Now that smartphones, tablets and mobile, high-speed internet exist, we are able to see pretty much anything that is done publicly by most brands across the globe. With this being the case, the sheer volume of consumption means that it’s difficult to stand out above the competition and create a long-lasting memory in the mind of your consumers. This is where experiential marketing comes into its own.

For example; if you saw a visual advert on a billboard or in a magazine promoting a new snack brand, you may think “that looks appetising, I’d like to try that’ but, with the number of food chains advertising their products all over cities, you are likely to just forget or never bother to try it. However, if you can imagine walking by a public sampling campaign and trying the product for yourself, having seen all the branding, interacted with brand ambassadors and tasted the product for yourself, you are much more likely to remember the brand and its product, but also to go out of your way to purchase it for yourself because you now already know exactly what it is that you’re getting.

How Effective is Experiential Marketing?

When consumers who’ve interacted with experiential marketing activations feel that a connection has been built between themselves and the brand, they are more likely to show loyalty towards that brand. This loyalty will result in repeat purchases and also the increased likelihood of them recommending the brand to their circle of friends, family and colleagues who are then also more likely to consider spending their money on those products and/or services.

Experiential is much harder to measure in terms of the number of conversions it creates because the activation does not directly influence a sale. However, in order to reap maximum benefits from experiential marketing, you need to target the right people with a suitable activation and execute the plans with precision but, most importantly, you need to engage with the consumers on a more personal level as a brand.
Keeping tabs on all the different components involved with an experiential marketing campaign can be a headache and a half. It’s never a bad idea to get a professional agency involved.

Experiential Marketing Agency

There are a number of key elements to nail in order to pull off a successful experiential marketing campaign. These include; target audience, location, intended outcome and more… knowledge and experience will really help your campaign hit the ground running and that’s why it’s always beneficial to enlist an experiential marketing agency; to make use of their skillset and understanding.

Here at Sketch Events, we specialise in all things experiential. Why not browse through some of the experiential campaigns and activations we have put together on our ‘What We Do’ page and see for yourself. If you’re looking to create your own experiential campaign, please do get in touch with us and we’d be more than happy to help. You can call us on 01273 749 000 or, alternatively, send an e-mail to [email protected]