There are many misconceptions about experiential marketing. Some believe that experiential is one-dimensional – good for a pretty show, but low on actionable data (not true). Some believe that only large brands with big budgets can afford an experiential activation (also not true). And some people believe that the term “experiential” only includes elaborate, over-the-top activations (yet, those are not the standard). Experiential marketing does not have to be full of flair. In fact, experiential elements can be incorporated into all kinds of marketing efforts to improve engagement and drive results.
One example that this Inc. article uses is in the case of conferences. Whether you are hosting or attending, a conference is a prime opportunity to think outside of the box and create an immersive brand experience that engages attendees. According to the article, not only does a brand activation help you stand out, it can increase ROI.
As the popularity of experiential continues to expand, as we mentioned above, there are still some who have not bought into the discipline. Some doubt that investing in a brand activation will result in significant ROI. And for those brands with smaller budgets, some believe that a successful brand activation will eat up a large portion of their budget. But as more consumers are seeing through digital marketing and tuning out, there needs to be a shift in the way brands market themselves. For many companies, experiential has filled this void and aided in brand growth.
Experiential provides an opportunity for consumers to gain an active understanding of a company’s products, services, and brand. According to this Forbes article, “A Freeman Global Brand Experience Study reports that a third of CMOs plan to devote 21-50 percent of their budget to experiential marketing efforts over the next several years.” Here are the reasons why.
Blue Apron’s Brand Experiences Help Expand Its Reach
For the past decade, there has been an increase in the popularity of “foodie” culture. #Foodporn is still widely used, and we continue to binge shows like The Great British Bakeoff and Chopped. As people became more conscious of what they eat and how it affects their health, they want that sentiment to translate to cooking at home. Blue Apron saw this opportunity and created a service that delivers meals with the ingredients portioned to exact amounts, making great cooking at home more accessible.
To stand out and reach new demographics, Blue Apron turned to experiential to connect with consumers. They recently executed the “Unboxed” campaign, which is rooted in using cooking, movies, and other immersive activities to create a meaningful experience for attendees. The campaign executed in a 40-foot shipping container across 6 cities. Check out the full multisensory experience here, featured on Event Marketer.
Whether you are a cross-fitter or avid yogi, our obsession with niche fitness has played a large part in the growth of the health and fitness industry. Playing to a fitness-conscious target audience, last year PepsiCo launched the Propel Co:Labs program in New York and Los Angeles. After its success, PepsiCo doubled down, renaming the event Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival and expanding into new cities.
This festival hosted approximately 2,000 attendees and included 40 workouts, musical performances, product samples and more. It was also ticketed at $50 per person, which, in addition to giving the brand “better control and design the experience,” monetized the event to bring in revenue. While there have been plenty of brands that have reported success in moving into this ticketed, proprietary event space, many have hesitated to move out of the free-to-attend marketing model. Check out the full details of the experience on Event Marketer here.
It’s no surprise that guerilla marketing has grown in popularity over the past several years. Generally speaking, these campaigns are high impact and low cost, making them a smart choice for brands of all sizes. Within this genre, there are several approaches brands can take, guerrilla marketing allows companies to get creative with the ways in which they interact with consumers.
Whether indoors or out, guerilla campaigns have the potential to make a big impact on passing consumers. To gain some ideas on how best to execute one of these campaigns, its best to look to successful examples. HubSpot recently published a blog post with 7. Check them all out here.
This is How You Can Keep Your Event Clients Happy
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.
The Evolution of and Potential Within Experiential Marketing
Like all marketing sectors, experiential has seen an evolution in its growth and development. The concept of experiential has expanded, allowing brands of any industry or budget to create an memorable brand activation. And, sometimes, it is the experiential campaign that lies as the driver of an overarching marketing strategy, leading digital, social, and other efforts.
It is these changes in the scope of experiential, in addition to studies proving the power of face-to-face marketing, that have contributed to its growth. They have helped smaller brands expedite their growth using a method that was previously thought to be out of reach. Here Max Lenderman, CEO & Founder of School, discusses how experiential has changed, and how seemingly simple elements, like the “Fearless Girl” statue in New York, have open a dialogue for what brands can do to spread awareness on a creative scale.
How Top Adult Beverage Brands Continue to Rule Experiential
Adult beverage brands have led experiential for a long time. These brands have long known the power of in-person marketing and have used it to speed growth. Many of these products carry unique nuances and brand stories, and through sampling, brewery tours, winery visits, and more, these brands have communicated directly with consumers. Yet, even for these experience marketing pioneers, the brand experience has changed, no longer limited to simple tastings.
This Sparks post shares several examples of spirit brands that have taken a multisensory approach to drive a connection with consumers. From the Bright Side Pop-up by Mike’s Hard Lemonade, which featured a cotton candy forest, ball pits and puppies, to Budweiser’s 4d VR beer garage, these examples showcase different ways brands wowed audiences.