The Best Ways to Do Experiential Retail, 4 Ways to Avoid Wasting Your Marketing Data, & Using Experiential to Deepen the Impact of Social Media (Elevate Connect)

Key Takeaways

  • While traditional retail is suffering due to the rise of ecommerce, experiential retail has proven to rival this new model and kept brick-and-mortar alive.
  • Experiential marketing can lay a foundational relationship that will amplify your social media campaigns.
  • Finance brands can use experiential marketing to combat the industry’s “flat exterior” and create an emotion-driven differentiator from competitors.

How Brick-and-Mortar Can Stay “Alive” with Experiential Retail

The debate over whether ecommerce has resulted in the “death” of brick-and-mortar has been ongoing for the past several years. Online shopping has challenged the stability of physical retail stores and thrown into question whether they can compete with online giants. Yet, despite the closures of several of the recent-past’s most prominent retail chains, many argue that physical retail is far from dead – it has simply been disrupted.

According to a recent Forbes article, consumers do still enjoy the in-store experience. Yet, the traditional model is no longer effective. Those brands that are embracing a new experiential retail model are finding success. The author explains that retailers need to follow the “Six Dimensions of Retail Experience.” He goes on to explain that these “dimensions” are based on what the customer is looking for, and more importantly, expects.

Volkswagen Pop-Ups Show the Auto Industry the Power of Experiential

According to recent research, vehicle sales are up 3.3% globally from last year, with growth expected to continue. As the automotive industry continues to gain momentum, car brands are working hard to appeal to millennial and Gen Z shoppers. These are two groups that have successfully shifted the way all industries sell their products and services, leading the way with new digital buying habits and a preference for experiences. The automotive industry has responded, as more brands move away from the showroom/test drive selling model and towards experiential. And it’s working.

One brand that’s found success in this new experiential model is Volkswagen. The brand recently launched their 2019 Jetta with a cross-country experience. The tour featured live music, local artists and closed course test drives. It allowed the brand to have face-to-face time with attendees and show off the progression of the Jetta model from its introduction in 1979 to the current manifestation. Through the experiential campaign, VW was able to engage consumers in a memorable and more impactful way to drive sales and brand affinity.

Using Experiential Marketing to Improve Your Social Media Efforts

Its undeniable that technology has rewired the way our brains consume information. This is especially true when it comes to content found on social media. Endless scrolling on feeds has resulted in what experts call torrential engagement. This phenomenon suggests that engagement is dependent on two key elements, time and intensity. Therefore, marketers must tailor and adjust their messaging to be impactful in this new reality, understanding consumers time scarcity and “on/off” engagement style.

Brett Hyman from NVE Experience Agency suggests combining social media with experiential to enhance social media campaigns. He points out that “if consumers first experience a brand in real-life, they’re more likely to pause and engage with that brand when they see it on social media.” Check out the full article here, where you can also find several tips on how to integrate experiential marketing into social media.

How to Make Common Moments Extraordinary Customer Experiences

Moments are fleeting. Sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s a truth that everyone in the experiential industry is aware of. When engaging consumers “in the wild”, seizing upon these short time frames is the challenge. Brands must create a moment that is compelling enough to engage with, then memorable and impactful enough to drive initial and repeat purchase.

An exceptional brand activation creates a truly one-of-a-kind memory, but in this Inc. article, the author suggests that it’s the power of the little moments that brands are failing to embrace. In fact, the author makes the point that “if you seize the opportunity to transform even the most common moment into a defining one, you set the stage for creating lasting memories that earn your customers’ loyalty.” The article goes on to provide 4 key takeaways to use as a framework for ensuring your brand takes advantage of these moments with your customers.

7 Examples of Financial Services Brands that Succeed in Experiential 

The financial services industry stands in a unique position when it comes to marketing. The sector, like healthcare or law, rarely has a physical product that they can market to consumers. The industries themselves are not flashy or “sexy” and competitors often offer remarkably similar services. As a result, these brands rely on an educational component in order to appeal to the larger masses. This is one of the reasons that the industry has leaned towards digital marketing.

But while the success of digital marketing has worked for some brands, others are turning to experiential marketing. From sponsorships to once-in-a-lifetime events, experiential allows these brands to put a face to their brand, creating an authentic connection that also serves as a competitive differentiator. This post by Limelight Platform provides several examples of finance brands that are succeeding in experiential marketing.

Netflix Taps Seventeen and Cosmo to Promote “13 Reasons” 

Despite the vast increase in the internet space, consumers still love to read. In fact, digital is empowering readers, as more people choose to read books and get news through digital devices (especially younger generations). So, while you might have fond memories of lazy summer days reading paper fashion or music magazines, your Gen Z counterpart is doing the same, just with a digital twist. And the continued popularity of these publications means that they still enjoy large readerships and influence among their followers.

Recently, using that reach, Hearst Magazines Digital media partnered with Netflix to promote the network’s new season of their somewhat-controversial hit show 13 Reasons Why. The network engaged with the media company, specifically their two young adult publications Seventeen and Cosmo, to amplify the reach of the network’s 13 Reasons experiential campaign.

This is How Marketers Can Avoid Missing the Big Data Picture 

We’re all busy collecting data, because data is everything. It has allowed brands better access to their audiences and an ability to speak more directly to their universal and unique pain points. But data is also often complex. Making decisions based on limited points can be deceiving and lead brands in the wrong direction. Which is why an effective data strategy is often a holistic one. Assimilating and interpreting a large number of data sets is incredibly important for making accurate and effective decisions.

Some larger brands are able to hire data scientists, who are able to use targeted coding to sort through these massive amounts of data. However, this is not the only way. This Adweek article provides 4 tips for marketers to use their data effectively.

Experiential Marketing is the Best Path to Achieving Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is a hard thing to come by, and maintain, but can be a key to long term company growth. Take Nike, for example. Over the past 54 years, the brand has not only grown, but has amassed a massive following of brand loyalists who purchase their products exclusively. What may not be well-known is that Nike was able to achieve this following in part through experiential marketing. From the brand’s humble beginnings, founder Phil Knight would meet with athletes to get their feedback; now the brand is well-known for its elaborate activations.

The creation of Nike’s brand loyalists serves as an example for brands to aspire to, and with the help of experiential marketing, it is achievable. That is the argument that SoHo Experiential’s Co-Founder Rick Kiley makes. Check out his full post here.

Author: Elissa LiongElissa Liong is the Data and Analytics Manager at Elevate Staffing. She's a certain kind of particular, and loves thinking about all things data and insights. When she's not uncovering consumer insights and building out engagement tools that people love, she is probably at the gym or reading online spoilers about TV shows (even for episodes she hasn’t watched yet).


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