How to pull off a successful Experiential Marketing campaign
The numbers show that experiential marketing works. The 2015 EventTrack survey, an annual survey conducted by the Event Marketing Institute, found that 98% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product after attending a promotional event. Four out of five brands, too, say promotional events increase brand awareness and sales.
The rise of digital media has left conventional media channels fragmented. Advertising on these platforms has become less effective due to the widespread use of video on demand, paid streaming, pirating, and ad blockers among the tech savvy. Brands can still, however, reach potential customers with experiential marketing campaigns.
Experiential marketing succeeds where print and digital marketing fail because experiential marketing is a two-way dialogue. Potential customers can (rightly so) ignore whatever advertisements they want to. Experiential marketing is effective because it’s engaging. It’s something people don’t want to ignore.
- Offer freebies.
The EventTrack survey found that 81% of consumers are motivated to participate in an experiential campaign by free samples or giveaways. Nearly one in two consumers participate in an experiential campaign because they are interested in the product, they like the brand, and the event looks interesting.
- Hire exceptional staff.
Carrots like free giveaways or discounts are the most effective ways to initially engage passersby or event goers. Charismatic and interesting staff sustain that engagement and, ultimately, make the human connection that leaves the consumer with a positive impression of the experience and, therefore, the brand and product.
After an event, 74% of experience participants say they have a more favorable opinion of the company, brand, product, or service being promoted. This number is higher than the percentage of people who would try a product sample by themselves and like it, simply because the humans giving out samples and talking with potential consumers are themselves likeable.
- Set goals.
Most brands agree that experiential campaigns raise brand awareness, help consumers understand products, build consumer relationships and involvement, and generate leads and sales. Focusing in on one or more of these objectives before an event will streamline your experiential marketing strategy.
Different consumers react differently to each experiential objective. Men, for example, are more likely to purchase a product on site during an experiential campaign than women are. Adults ages 25 to 35 are also more likely than other groups to purchase a product at an event.
Of course, making sales directly need not be the goal of your campaign. Nearly 9 in 10 experience participants go on to purchase the product being promoted at a later date. Seventy percent become regular customers, even if they don’t purchase the product at the event itself.
- Measure your success.
Numbers are essential. Depending on your campaign objectives, there are many ways to measure your success. Exit surveys or social media analytics can provide data about the number of event impressions and the quality of those impressions. On site questionnaires can capture valuable information about the demographics and thought process of experience participants.
Integrated marketing strategies that link experiential campaigns with social media campaigns, for example, can funnel experience participants into other marketing programs. This allows the brand and customer to keep contact and makes the success of experiential campaigns easy to quantify.