There are many different types of marketing strategies, each with its own unique advantages and uses. Some marketing strategies have been in practice for decades, while others are a bit newer to the scene. One such strategy that is relatively recent is experiential marketing. Though this marketing strategy has not been in use as long as some more traditional methods, it has still made incredible waves in various industries. The below examination of experiential marketing vs. traditional marketing explores the main differences between each strategy and the effect each has on consumer behaviors.
It should come as no surprise that traditional marketing strategies tend to rely heavily on mass media. Companies that utilize a traditional marketing strategy tend to utilize print and mainstream media as the main line of communication between their business and consumers. Television and radio commercials, print ads, and mail coupons are all mass media formats commonly used in a traditional marketing strategy. Though slightly more modern, email and social media advertisements are also commonly used in traditional marketing strategies. These mediums allow the company to advertise directly to many consumers at once, which can sometimes cause advertisements by traditional marketing strategies to feel somewhat impersonal.
Traditional marketing believes consumers to be mostly rational, believing that most purchasing decisions are based on a product’s practicality and functionality. As such, advertisements that follow a traditional marketing format tend to mainly rely on the facts and figures of a certain product or service. The copy used to market the product tends to be very straightforward and focuses on the most important product facts. This can cause traditional advertisements to feel a bit impersonal and slightly unnatural at times. The company is attempting to market to consumers as a whole, rather than focusing on the needs and emotional desires of each individual consumer.
Unlike traditional marketing, experiential marketing utilizes media formats that encourage face-to-face marketing and allow for a more personalized marketing experience. Experiential marketing utilizes pop-up shops and immersive events to engage consumers directly and allow them a unique opportunity to interact with the products and brand representatives. Through experiential marketing displays, the consumer can tailor their marketing experience to their specific wants and needs. By engaging with the company and products in a more personalized and immersive environment, the consumer forms a stronger association and bond with the company and products at hand. Experiential marketing also lends itself to more versatile communication methods. Unlike traditional marketing, which is inherently impersonal, experiential marketing can communicate with consumers in either a one-to-one, one-to-few, or one-to-many method. This allows the company to tailor their marketing to the correct audience every time.
Companies that utilize an experiential marketing strategy recognize that emotions play an essential role in the purchasing patterns of consumers. Companies that utilize experiential marketing encourage the formation of strong emotional ties to their company and products by attending events and creating experiential displays that entice all five senses. Emotional responses are greatly tied to external stimuli, and many of these associations are often subconscious. Choosing certain colors, smells, or images that invoke particular emotions, therefore, encourages the consumer to make certain associations with the brand and its products. Utilizing an experiential marketing strategy enables the brand to interact with each consumer on a more personal level, allowing them to tailor their marketing strategy to each individual consumer’s wants and needs.