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Start Engaging Consumers Creatively with Experiential Marketing

Has your brand been trying to stand out to consumers in a novel way? Do you feel like the market is saturated with average marketing techniques? Even the best companies have to reevaluate their strategies to keep up with the whims of the consumers. Especially as Millennials become a greater part of the active buyer population, businesses are realizing that many of the tried-and-true methods are just not enough to “wow”consumers. There are a few things you can learn from brands that are going above and beyond to create promotions that are experiential in nature. So what is experiential marketing? Also known as “engagement marketing” or “participation marketing,” the concept is  to create a strategy that directly engages with your intended audience while allowing them to actively participate in the shaping and promoting of the brand in some way. If you are looking to try your own experiential marketing, you can ensure a memorable campaign by considering some of the best movements by brands like Nike, Nabisco, Trident, Facebook and Coca-Cola.

 

Create Fully Immersive and Integrated Experiences

Whether private or public, create an event that will drive engagement during and after the experience by immersing consumers in the brand. Since consumers can buy their product online, Nike had to think creatively to make new use of their brick-and-mortar stores. They did this by installing an indoor basketball court where customers can try out the shoes in action, playing a one-on-one round of ball with an employee. To boost the experience further and to ensure customers have something to share with their social circle, Nike provided a video of each person’s time on the court. This was an excellent example of how to turn a customer into a brand advocate!

 

Provide a Memorable Photo Op

People love to share! Consumers, particularly Millennials, value experiences over products and love the opportunity to brag about them to their social circle. An effective experiential campaign will include a branded hashtag or some other creative item such as a photo opportunity that customers can use to engage before, during, and after the event. Coca-Cola did a great job of experiential marketing by allowing consumers to be a “part of the picture” at the FIFA World Cup without actually having to attend the game in Brazil. Their “Happiness Flag” campaign was unveiled at the beginning of the event and was the largest ever photo-mosaic comprised of hundreds of thousands of photos previously submitted by customers across the world.

Trident Layers gum was another brand to effectively utilize a photo opportunity by paying  people $20 to paint their face in “layers” and have their image in the campaign. Even something as simple as a photo booth with fun props or a branded frame can be incorporated into your campaign!

 

Shape the Message Around the Target Audience

It’s important to focus your experiential marketing campaign on your target audience, regardless of the size of the event. Nabisco did this when they launched a line of wholesome snacks called “Good Thins” by focusing the promotion on working professionals who are on the go and need something healthy to eat. They offered one of the classic types of experiential marketing: free samples. The company took the campaign to the next step by setting up on the streets of New York City, offering samples, and then allowing people to send a “Good Job” balloon and a box of the crackers to someone working hard in the office. Video was key to stretching the campaign further and was utilized online and in commercials to keep people talking about it!

 

Opportunity for Marketing to B2C and B2B

While campaigns for B2C marketing may be more prevalent, experiential marketing events can be utilized for B2B campaigns as well. Facebook IQ did a fantastic job of this when the insights portion of the social platform launched their experiential campaign aimed at showing businesses the course of online conversion via social media. They set up a retail store and an Instagram cafe which contained visual representations of the mountains of data the company has collected and can utilize for marketing. The addition of lattes and photo opportunities took this from being just an event to being an experience!

 

The key to experiential marketing is to build a memorable experience for your brand’s target audience. No matter the size and scope of the event, it is vital to have a brand strategy that your company can convey to its target audience. BlueTreeDigital can help you develop your messaging including visions, mission statements, and pitches! Through experiential marketing, your company can take the next step to cultivate not just customers, but brand advocates, who are going to share pictures and videos of your company’s events with their spheres of influence. Creativity is key! You want to leave customers thinking “this wasn’t just your average tired marketing campaign … it was an experience!”