Whether you’re preparing to unveil a new product or simply looking to further your company’s brand identity, embarking on an experiential marketing campaign can be very beneficial. Like any marketing strategy, building an experiential marketing campaign requires a lot of research and planning. There are many factors to consider and many moving parts that need to work together to make the campaign successful. To make the planning and preparation process simpler, we compiled a list of helpful tips for building a successful experiential marketing campaign.
Understand your audience
The first and foremost step in the planning process is market research. Without thorough market research, your campaign will lack direction and will be less likely to reach consumers in the way you intended. When conducting your market research, be sure to pay special attention to your target audience. Understanding the demographics of your target audience will give you a better insight into their wants and needs as a consumer. This will also give you a better indicator of their typical buying patterns and behaviors. Consumer buying behaviors can vary greatly depending on gender, age, and cultural background. Older individuals, for example, prefer to shop in-store and appreciate more clear-cut marketing messages. On the other hand, younger consumers prefer a more unique shopping experience that incorporates popular trends or technology. Understanding your target demographic’s unique buying patterns and preferences will help you tailor the design and strategy of your experiential marketing campaign more precisely.
Select a strategy
Experiential marketing, sometimes also called engagement marketing, can come in many forms, each with its own applications and advantages. Choosing a strategy that complements your company’s overall brand identity and image and fits well with your organization’s overarching marketing strategy is crucial. Below are three common strategies utilized during experiential marketing campaigns.
Event marketing is perhaps the most well-known strategy for experiential marketing campaigns. This marketing strategy promotes an event far in advance, sometimes even requiring tickets to attend. Further, attendees will receive reminders in advance to garner more excitement and anticipation for the event itself. Experiential marketing campaigns that involve booths or mobile showrooms at a fair, festival, convention, or conference are a common example of event marketing in action. This is because businesses require consumers to purchase tickets to attend these events. Other temporary installations, such as a pop-up bar, museum, or art installation are also popular examples of event marketing working in tandem with experiential marketing.
Unlike event marketing which prioritizes careful planning and promotions, guerilla marketing focuses on the element of surprise. This marketing and advertisement strategy utilizes unconventional and often surprising interactions to raise awareness about a product, service, or company. These surprise events allow a company to incite more visceral, emotional reactions from consumers. When treated to a unique and memorable interaction, the consumer is more likely to remember and recognize the brand. As such, they may feel more inclined to purchase their products or services in the future. This marketing strategy operates mainly on word of mouth, rather than traditional forms of publicity, to raise awareness and gain interest in their products.
Brand activations may be a bit more understated marketing strategy, but they’re effective nonetheless. Brand activations are an event or experience which debuts the launch of a new product, line, or service. These events often feature free samples or demonstrations of the new offerings and are a great way to drum up interest. There will often be promotions regarding the brand activation in advance of the event. However, promotional materials are far less formal than those used in event marketing and will generally not require a ticket for entry or participation. Instead, many companies take to social media to promote their brand activation events, oftentimes designing a custom hashtag to help share the event. Giving away samples and allowing consumers the opportunity to test and interact with the new products firsthand helps raise awareness. Plus, it allows the company to conduct additional market research and gauge consumer reactions to the products.
Create an emotional connection
One of the most beneficial tips for building a successful experiential marketing campaign is to create an emotional connection with the consumers. When consumers feel a more personal connection with a brand, they will be more likely to purchase their products. Businesses can achieve this emotional connection through many different avenues, but they should always compliment your company’s overall brand identity and mission statement. When seeking to build this emotional connection in your experiential marketing campaign, try to step into the shoes of your consumers. Consider how consumers will use your product and how it may positively affect their lives. This will give you a clearer understanding of your consumers’ wants and needs. As such, you will be able to create a more genuine and personal emotional connection in your experiential marketing campaign.
Technology is everywhere nowadays, so it only stands to reason that you should incorporate it into your experiential marketing campaign. You can do so in many different ways, often to significant success. Interactive technologies, such as virtual reality sets or immersive videos, will help give your consumers a better understanding of your company and offerings as a whole. Utilizing social media is also a great and simple way to incorporate technology into your marketing campaign. Create a custom hashtag to accompany your event to help broaden your audience and raise awareness about your event and products. For more information on how to incorporate social media into your experiential marketing campaign, click here.
Last but certainly not least, mobilize your experiential marketing campaign. Limiting your experiential marketing events to only one city or even one state will significantly narrow your audience and lead to less brand awareness. Mobilize your experiential marketing campaign using an event marketing trailer or mobile pop-up shop to reach and interact with consumers from far and wide. Tailoring the stops on your experiential marketing tour will also allow you to focus the campaign on your specific target demographic. You can also utilize social media to advertise the stops on your campaign tour, leading to higher turnout from consumers.