Experiential marketing is, to some extent, a numbers game. One of your main goals with each activation is to get your brand in front of as many people as possible. A high percentage of those people should engage with your brand during and after the engagement by purchasing a product or posting information about your company on their social media accounts.

There are qualitative outcomes to each experiential marketing event that are important as well, but today we’d like to stick to the quantitative side. And we’d like to focus on four important numbers (and several supporting ones) that we think every experiential marketer should know. Unless otherwise noted, all of these statistics come from EventTrack 2015, a study performed annually by the Event Marketing Institute. You can download a free copy of the study’s executive summary if you want more quantitative data on why experiential marketing makes sense for companies.

The number: 98%

A whopping 98% of people who took the EventTrack survey said that seeing a product or service marketed through an experiential marketing campaign would make them more inclined to purchase it. That’s an increase from 96% in 2014.

What it means:

With a number like that, why wouldn’t you want to try experiential marketing? We believe the reason this number is so high is that experiential marketing gives consumers a chance to experience your product in a number of different ways. They can handle it and try it out. They can use all the relevant senses – touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste – as they explore the product. That’s much more effective than just seeing it on television or in an infomercial.

Experiential marketing also provides a person-to-person experience for your consumers, which is increasingly important in today’s world. As much as consumers like the ease of clicking a few buttons on their computer to make a purchase, there’s still nothing quite like getting all your questions answered immediately and talking to a real live person about your needs and wants. In addition, it’s much harder to say no to a real person than it is to say no to a computer.

The number: 81%

The EventTrack survey asked consumers what motivated them to visit an experiential marketing activation. Eighty-one percent said they were attracted by a free sample or other giveaway. From there, the numbers fall off sharply. Fifty-four percent were drawn in by a discount or special offer; 49% simply wanted to learn about the product or service being promoted; and 46% said they liked the brand or thought the activation looked interesting.

What it means:

You should give out free samples at your experiential marketing event if at all possible. This is easy if you are a food, spirit or beauty products company. It’s harder if you’re a bank or financial institution, airline or service provider. You’ll have to think outside the box when determining what your giveaway will be.

Don’t just set a bowl of cheap candy on the table and expect people to flock to you. What else can you give away that will be meaningful? Can you hold a drawing for a gift certificate or item people really want? Can you partner with a food or beverage business to give away something that people can munch on while you talk to them about your service? Can you hand out t-shirts, hats or bags with a catchy slogan and clever hashtag on them?

The number: 74%

According to a report from the Pew Research Center, 74% of all adults that use the Internet also use social media. It’s no big surprise that millennials (people ages 18-29) represent the largest percentage of social media users with 89%, but other demographic groups are also very heavy social media users. Eighty-two percent of people ages 30-49 are on social media, and 49% of people over 65 years of age are social media users.

What it means:

You know you need a social media presence if you’re going to maximize your outreach to consumers. But if you’re not using experiential marketing as part of your social media strategy, you’re really missing out on an opportunity.

Experiential marketing events are made for social media. They practically require people to take selfies with your celebrity or while doing your fun activity. They scream for posts, retweets, photos and videos. Events are a great way to find new brand ambassadors and more fully engage existing ones – which saves you work and nets you more brand loyalty.

The number: 6.1%

This is the amount by which companies expect to increase their experiential marketing budgets in 2015. The EventTrack report shows that this number grows every year. In 2013, brands thought they would increase their experiential marketing budgets by 4.7%. In 2014, the number was 5.4%.

Why it matters:

The fact that marketing departments continue to increase the amount they’re spending on experiential marketing means they believe it’s working. Big brands like Chase Bank, PayPal and ESPN keep investing in it because they see results. Even smaller brands and nonprofits are trying experiential marketing because it yields such positive outcomes.

Where is this money coming from? It’s notable that experiential marketing isn’t necessarily eating up a bigger chunk of the marketing budget, but is instead being funded by the corporation’s overall budget. In 2014, 65% of brands said their experiential budgets were coming out of the larger marketing budgets and 35% said the money was coming from the corporation. By 2015, the majority of companies (58%) said new money for experiential marketing was coming from the corporation.

Here is another telling piece of information: more than ever, brands see a link between sales and experiential marketing. In 2014, 59% of respondents said they saw a link. By 2015, that number had increased to 65%.

Have these numbers convinced you that experiential marketing is right for your company? If you need help knowing where to start with your first activation, or are looking for a fresh perspective for your 100th experiential marketing event, dial our digits or send us an email. Factory 360 has definitely got your number when it comes to putting together a great experience.

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