December 5, 2023
Older marketing techniques were impersonal and had to connect to the masses. Experiential marketing campaigns are designed to be personal. They give a one-on-one or smaller group marketing approach that provides a memorable, customized experience.
Most people associate experiential marketing campaigns with pop-up shops, but that’s just one option. There are many non-traditional experiential campaigns you can use, or create a mix of approaches that stands out in heavy competition. Here are some of the non-traditional marketing approaches.
Five Experiential Marketing Approaches That Go Beyond Pop-Ups
While pop-ups are an effective option for experiential campaigns, these unique approaches are even more appealing to consumers as they’re unexpected. Learn more about five unique experiential marketing approaches.
When a business supports a non-profit organization or charitable cause, it can be part of an experiential marketing strategy. It helps brands and consumers align in terms of their beliefs, and a brand’s social responsibility can bolster its popularity with like-minded consumers. It can be done through sponsorship, brand licensing, facilitated giving, or purchase-related donations.
For example, most pet owners know the online pet food and supply retailer Chewy. Since launching, Chewy has donated millions of pounds of food and over $183 million in pet supplies to animal shelters in all 50 states. Chewy also makes it possible to shop for items rescues in your area need, and you’re offered discounts on some of those items when you purchase through Chewy.
Companies can partner with similar companies on a collaboration marketing campaign. They can also collaborate with influencers. It’s a good way to increase your exposure and gain extra leads.
One of the most recognizable partnerships was the collaboration between Doritos and Taco Bell, where the taco shell was one giant Dorito. That’s just one example. The shoe brand Crocs has been involved in many collaborations, such as their new McDonald’s Crocs.
Gaming and Immersive Events
Immersive events are one of the best ways to reach a number of consumers. Gaming is one option. You can build an app or video game that consumers can install and get to know your brand. KFC did that with their free app-based dating simulator. Augmented, mixed, and virtual reality techniques can also draw consumers to your brand.
Furniture and home improvement retailers use augmented reality a lot. Consumers can take a photo of a room in their house to see how a paint color looks, how a piece of furniture would fit, or what carpet would look like in that room. All of this is done to help secure the purchase without ending up with something that just doesn’t work, which leads to returns or disappointment.
Guerilla marketing is designed to get your attention quickly and completely. It’s a shock-and-awe style of experiential marketing that provides exceptional opportunities for Instagram and social media shares. It can be set up inside or outside, which makes it easy to fit your needs. The goal of experiential guerilla marketing is to get the public to interact with the brand.
Interactive exhibits are another unique way to market your brand. You’re showing off what your brand does or offers in a way that gets consumers to interact. The use of QR codes is a good example of how you can get consumers to interact with your brand’s video or print ad. They scan the code to learn more, and that can lead to them entering a contest, signing up for your newsletter, or making a purchase.
The Benefits of Less-Used Experiential Marketing Campaigns
Why not just do what’s worked in the past? Mixing it up helps keep things fresh, and the benefits of unique experiences are plentiful. A well-planned campaign can:
- Adjust to match your budget, which puts these experiences in reach of anyone with limited cash flow.
- Create an emotional connection with shoppers and clients.
- Gives people a reason to keep checking in with your brand.
- Ensure you stand out against all of your competition.
- Improve loyalty from your current consumers and followers.
- Increase the awareness of your brand.
- Provide a solid way to measure your ROI and results.
While this type of marketing campaign may be new to you, it requires the same steps as any campaign. Plan your budget, consider what you hope to achieve, spread the word, and make sure you’ve tested everything before the event or immersive experience. A test run is the best way to avoid any unexpected glitches.
Examples of Less Traditional Experiential Marketing Campaigns
If you’re stepping away from the commonly used pop-up, what are your options? Here are some ideas to help you better understand the possibilities.
Grubhub’s Feeding Frenzy Zone
Grubhub was tasked with providing food at the 2022 LCS Championship. The approach was to carry through the gaming theme to the food attendees enjoyed. To do this, a GrubHub Feeding Frenzy Zone was set up at Chicago’s United Center. Games like a meatball slingshot and a “King of the Hamburger” striker were in that lounge to test strength. Winners of the food-themed games could win swag, and the entire lounge was set up for optimal viewing of events on the stage.
HERE’s Virtual Event Options
HERE is a tech company focused on creating a virtual representation of maps and location technology to create a realistic picture of how people and objects move through the physical world. The company opted to host a virtual event for both internal and external company events where some events would have thousands of attendees and others would have no more than a few dozen, and these events were held year-round, so it needed to be able to store events from the past for easy retrieval.
HERE’s goals were met with 74 countries attending, more than 30 speakers, 13 exhibitors, and more than 3,000 registrants.
Jeli’s First Appearance at Amsterdam’s and Sydney’s SREcon
Jeli offers a comprehensive incident management and analysis platform for organizations. For 2022’s SREcon, Jeli needed to stand out in a way that matches the brand’s upbeat persona. A large, lenticular wall was set up with messages and a riddle. Guests who solved the riddle won jelly-bean-shaped headphones, but everyone ended up with Jeli swag to use in the office.
Santa Margherita’s “Follow the Vine”
Italian winemaker Santa Margherita wanted to create an immersive experience for consumers in the U.S. The “Follow the Vine” experience launched in 10 markets providing guests with a maze of grapevines that led to food and cocktail pairings, a dome theater sharing more about the brand, and then a taste testing of different wines.
By the end of this experiential marketing campaign, more than 3.5 million impressions and 23,759 samples were shared. More than 6,100 people attended, and another 24,468 visitors checked out Santa Margherita’s website.
What do those marketing campaigns have in common, besides leaning away from traditional pop-ups? Factory 360 helped with each one. Talk to our team of experiential marketing experts to come up with a unique approach for your brand that goes far beyond a standard pop-up. We’ll work with you to develop a marketing campaign that matches your budget and helps your brand connect to consumers in a memorable, personal way.