By: Manasa Shankar -- Senior Research Analyst, Marketing Agencies
16 November, 2019
Marketing was previously all about giving the right product, in the right place, at the right price to the right customer, whereas this has now evolved to providing a holistic experience to the audience. 2019 looks like a year that is going to be filled with excitement for the development and use of cutting-edge marketing technologies, increased adoption of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and native ads – all headed toward embracing digital experiences. The most popular trend is experiential marketing. While the industry is rushing toward integrating an experience in campaigns, it is very interesting to know what has brought about the key to success, as well as how they are enriching the experience on the go.
As we move to the age of the customer, marketers are finally ensuring their campaigns are tailor-made to their audiences and enabling memorable customer engagement.
The industry landscape is always changing, and today’s customers do not just want to buy products or services; they are looking for more than a transactional exchange – a memory. Experiential marketing can be termed as a way in which marketers are choosing to engage consumers with their brands and create a memorable experience that differentiates their product or service from the rest of the industry.
Many brand activations are seen around the hotspots in a city during festivals or the holiday season. From tech-centered displays and product demonstrations, to themed events and entertainment, modern day marketers are constantly exploring smart tactics to engage with their end users.
The increased interest in experiential marketing will be seen as a key driver for many marketers to integrate activations into their campaigns. Brand experience executions have expanded from sampling into elaborate activations, with strategy playing a vital role.
‘I Like Brands that Do More to Interact with Me Than Brands that Just Advertise Products’
Many buyers in the industry are investing money in this marketing strategy, as it can prove to be very powerful if done in the right manner. According to a study by the Event Marketing Institute, a massive 72 percent of consumers feel positively about brands that provide quality event experiences. In addition, 74 percent of the audience is more likely to buy the products being promoted after engaging with the brand’s event marketing experience.
According to a Freeman Global Brand Experience study, one-third of CMOs intend to allocate 25–50 percent of their budget to experiential marketing for the next few years. How does all of this translate to the buyer’s gain?
The best strategies adopted by marketers are those that go way beyond the transactional buy and sell for the shopper.
Example: American Express’ AI tennis game at the 2017 US Open let the audience who attended the event enhance their experience while associating American Express with something besides tickets and souvenir purchases.
The NFL used experiential marketing to ensure the audience get their money’s worth both in and out of the stadium, especially for big-money events like the Super Bowl. For instance, the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston became a city-wide experience. The marketing teams worked toward displaying Super Bowl themes across the city. All the aspects of the event were designed to keep the excitement of the audience upbeat. It ended up being an experience that started before the event and lasted after it had finished.
In the advertising market in which contextual content is becoming one of the key aspects for success, data, and learning from it, will all contribute toward a commendable performance. Marketers need data about customers to know where and how to reach them, and what kind of products appeal the most – all to strategize their marketing activities. Experiential marketing is believed to provide dual benefits, it gives consumers the chance to learn about the products and brands while they enjoy the experience. On the other hand, buyers get access to information on consumers who attended the events.
Consumer data helps to build an efficient strategy for experiential marketing. Data analytics provides the buyer with enablers to actionable insights that helps them to make changes and align their strategy to derive more value and increased customer engagement.
Unless a consumer is engaged, it is difficult to help them understand the product/service. Creating this awareness or passing on this understanding is one of the main objectives of marketing. While a large proportion of customers are avoiding campaigns, a large cluster is also believed to go out of their way for an experience.
Mastercard and Swarovski have taken a route to host live events and product demonstrations to help their consumers understand the products in a better way. Swarovski has put together a virtual shopping experience that gives their customers a chance to see what their luxury décor items would look like in a home-like set up and also an option to purchase them while still in the virtual environment.
Well executed experiential activations turn consumers from passive viewers to active buyers. It has the ability to transform and elevate the level of connection that the consumers have with the brands, which is becoming increasingly important in the era of customer personalization. We are in the period where everything effective is ephemeral, which makes experiential marketing compulsory to translate the brand into something immersive and memorable.
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