November 21, 2023
Over half of marketing departments set budgets of $500,000 or higher for in-person events. Almost 14% have the same budget for virtual events. But, 21% of companies don’t have that much money and worry about making their limited budget. How do you maximize impact when you have limited resources for experiential marketing campaigns?
The Key Components of a Successful Experiential Marketing Campaign
Experiential marketing is designed to get people to feel something. Instead of old-fashioned marketing where people read an ad in a magazine or newspaper and hopefully took action, experiential marketing is about an experience. It’s a way to connect with consumers in ways that make them think, connect, and take action.
In its simplest form, you’ve probably encountered experiential marketing when entering certain stores. Have you passed a cart or table where someone is giving samples of a food or beverage? Did the flavor sway you into making a purchase even though it’s not something on your shopping list? Sampling is one of the many types of experiential marketing. What goes into a successful experiential marketing campaign?
- Clearly define your goals and how you’ll track their success.
- Plan your budget.
- Get approval and any necessary permits.
- Hire staff, if needed, for the event, pop-up, or whatever.
- Create a schedule with clear deadlines for what needs to be done and by when.
- Go live and continually monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the campaign.
- Gather shareholders and your marketing team and evaluate how it went.
- Learn from things that didn’t go well to avoid them in the future.
When you’re on a budget, you have to be ready to decide where to spend more money and where to hold back. It’s a bit more challenging, but it’s not impossible. You have to very carefully weigh whether you want to increase sales, brand awareness, or leads and focus more of your budget on that goal.
Areas to Focus on When You Have a Limited Budget
You have a limited budget, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have an ineffective experiential marketing campaign. Here are some of the best ways to build a budget-friendly marketing campaign.
Utilize Cost-Saving Pop-Ups
A pop-up doesn’t have to be elaborate. A cart or table in a store’s entryway or sidewalk can become a high-traffic site for a pop-up. Even if you need to pay to rent the space, it’s going to be less expensive than a booth at a major event, and you have a large audience.
Form a Marketing Partnership
Are there businesses or brands that complement your brand’s products, services, or beliefs? Partnering with another business helps keep marketing costs affordable as you are splitting the costs.
Suppose your brand focuses on green energy initiatives. You could ask electricians or HVAC professionals to work with you on a marketing event. They get to share more about their services, and you share information about your products. It’s a win-win situation for both you and the green-friendly contractors you partner with.
Hold Giveaways That Have Meaning
Instead of an expensive prize for a giveaway, aim for something that doesn’t cost a lot but has a lot of meaning to people who support your brand. Sure, you could tempt them with $1,000 in products, but some of the most popular contests involve things like getting to spend a day with your design team. An author can hold a contest where the winner gets to be in the next book.
Repurpose Materials As Much as Possible
Instead of using new materials every time, repurpose older materials. The more you can reuse, the bigger your marketing budget for other areas of your campaign. For your past few events, you’ve had promotional materials left over. Instead of purchasing more, combine what’s left over and use everything up.
Tap Into the Affordability of Social Media and Websites
Social media platforms offer an affordable way to build a rapport with consumers, so you don’t have to spend a lot. Interact with consumers on platforms like TikTok, your Facebook group, or Instagram. As you choose social media platforms, make sure you’re thinking about the ages of your target audience.
If you’re aiming for a younger audience, they’re more likely to be on TikTok than Facebook. Per Pew Research, 81% of users used YouTube in 2021, but only 69% used Facebook. Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn rounded out the top five.
Make sure you have a website that’s designed to share the latest news, sign up for a newsletter, and order goods. Building a website doesn’t need to be too complex, but it does need to be tested to ensure every link, form, and image loads and works correctly. If there are any pain points to complete things like ordering a sample, it’s going to drive people away.
Here’s a good example of a pain point. A small company offered free samples, which is a great way to market a new food or beverage, but every person who requested one was redirected to a 401 error. Test your system and make sure it’s working and you avoid these issues.
Work With a Marketing Professional for Expert Guidance
Even with the best intentions, a marketing campaign may not hit every mark. But, you learn from what worked and what didn’t. You’ll get to know the consumers supporting you, and once you’ve found those connections, you’re on your way to fully understanding your audience.
If something does go wrong or doesn’t get the feedback you expected, don’t get defensive. Apologize to anyone upset, make it clear you’re going to learn from this, make changes, and keep your target audience updated on the changes you’ve incorporated. Everyone makes mistakes or has a misstep from time to time. Own up to it and use it for your company’s growth.
With these steps, you might be surprised that your budget isn’t as restrictive as you expected. Factory 360’s award-winning experts help companies with any budget plan and pull off memorable experiential marketing campaigns that deliver. Talk to our team about your budgetary constraints and we’ll help you plan and execute the best marketing campaign for your budget.