Experiential, like any marketing strategy, generally seeks to spur consumers on to action; in most cases, this action surrounds driving revenue. For brands that sell a physical product, experiential can be used not only to drive future purchase, but provide the opportunity for sales onsite. Yet, for some brands, such as those in the automotive industry, the sales cycle can be considerably longer. When it comes to purchasing a vehicle, most consumers are in vastly different stages of the buyer’s journey. Some (likely, the minority) are actively looking for a new vehicle, while others are not. This means that, when it comes to marketing strategy, automotive brands need to ensure that, for those in the latter category, the brand awareness they are building is strong enough to last.
For some companies, this has translated into focusing on memorable brand experiences that don’t include a hard sale. They are rooted in beginning a conversation with attendees and using the experience as a foundation for a long-term relationship.
Loyalty reward programs in marketing are popular and effective ways for a brand to reward and nurture a relationship with its customers. These are tactics “where upon entering a brand’s website, users are prompted to share specific, personal information for 20% off their first purchase, to “subscribe and save,” or check their email for a discount code, among other options.” These incentives are often successful – in fact, many brands have seen the benefits of loyalty programs and many more are launching their own programs. Not only do the perks of a loyalty program encourage customers’ loyalty, they allows brands an opportunity to collect data and create better marketing campaigns.
According to Pop2Life agency, brands can take these programs to the next level by including an experiential marketing component. The article provides several examples of ways to accomplish this, and to make these programs more attractive for consumers to participate in long-term.
3 Ways Retail is Using Experiences to Thrive in the Modern Marketplace
Humans are naturally social and, according to the data, crave experiences. For a long time, shopping in a brick-and-mortar environment satisfied both tendencies. But as technology advanced, convenience trumped all. Enter the “retailpocolypse,” wherein retail stores began to feel the effects of this fundamental shift in the way consumers purchase goods. But this change didn’t result in catastrophe all around. Many stores have survived the rise of ecommerce; it just required a shift in how they operated to compete with the lure of shopping at home.
For many of these “survivors,” the shift meant focusing on the consumer experience and embracing experiential marketing in-store. And this experience-driven model doesn’t only apply to brick-and-mortar. Ecommerce brands have taken the brand experience off line as well, as a way to connect with their fans on a deeper level. Here AdWeek explores how both the storefront and online can use experiences to not just survive, but thrive.
When it comes to creating an experiential retail experience, it requires innovative thinking. Especially when trying to stand out among a sea of competitors. Experiential retail encourages brands to create an engaging environment that encourages people to participate. Thus, as this Boxman Studios post points out, “in the back of your mind you should be thinking about how to monetize that time spent through retail sales, data collected, or some other means of generating revenue…This philosophy rejects the idea that customers should only be in your store to purchase something. Throw away your notions of ‘paying customers only.’”
To make this paradigm shift, the post takes a trip back to high school, using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to explain the why and how behind designing an effective experiential retail experience. Read the full post here.
For the most part, experiential marketing has unlimited potential. The method allows for a vast amount of flexibility and creativity when it comes to designing an experience. Brands can push the limit in how they connect with consumers. Many brands have shown that executing an out-of-the-box campaign can lead to higher returns. But on the flipside, when taking a bigger risk, the potential of things going wrong also increases.
Any brand or agency that is executing an event will do their best to ensure that things go right. But, not all elements can be anticipated. The experiential experts at Agency EA recently shared their pointers for how to avoid some of the biggest experiential mistakes. Check them out here.
Why “Impressive” Experiential Marketing May Not Be What You Think
Event marketing is highly-collaborative. Often brands need partner agencies, who then liaise with vendors, venues, and other third parties. And it is through these different players that we work together for a common goal: to create a brand experience that will leave a lasting and positive impression on consumers.
Represented in each of these partnerships is a client/service-provider relationship. And these relationships are not without their own set of challenges. Whichever part of the process you’re in, your top priority is likely client satisfaction. In keeping clients happy, every partner in the chain is able to align to reach the shared event goal. To best manage your clients, check out BizBash’s checklist for step-by-step tips on keeping event clients smiling.
5 Unique Brand Activation Venues to Consider
The experiential planning process often has an key thing in common with real estate: it’s all about location, location, location. From the markets you choose to the actual event footprint, where your activation takes place determines in large part if it will reach campaign goals. The experiential mantra is making brand connections where the target audience lives, works, and plays; therefore identifying those times and places where they are most likely to be receptive to your brand is critical.
But at the same time, standing out and wowing your audience goes a long way to help set brands apart from others. The place and fashion in which consumers encounter your brand can solidify a positive memory for attendees. Check out Event Marketer’s article on venues that were unique and effective for several top brands here.
HBO and Bumble Team Up for Movie Date Night
The internet has provided us with a bevvy of conveniences, from how we interact with each other to how we consume both goods and information. Few areas of our lives have been spared, and this includes dating. Match.com and Tinder are just a few of the most popular, proving that now there is a dating service or app for everyone. But, as online dating has become the norm, many of these brands are expanding their business model to include off-line events. Not only do these live experiences increase brand awareness, but they serve as way for their communities to have the opportunity to engage in-person.
The events can act as a supplement to the online dating environment for existing users, such as Match.com’s speed dating and happy hours or Bumble’s Hive. Recently, Bumble executed a classic movie night in New York through a partnership with HBO. Check out the details here.