December 29, 2019
People are starting to look at overflowing landfills and the amount of trash being removed from rivers. There are the whales washing up with bellies full of trash and the island of floating trash out in the ocean. It’s clear that the environment is in need of help. This spurs consumers into making changes.
One of those changes is a stronger look at recycling, reuse of materials, and avoidance of materials that never break down. During events, be it a trade show or concert, so many items used to be used once and discarded. That’s going to change. Reusable materials must be considered when planning marketing events. If it can’t be reused, it should be recyclable. Experiential marketing teams need to start implementing sustainable materials, recycling plans, and building signs that can be reused for events years from now.
Marketing a Cause
Just as they’re concerned about the environment, today’s consumer is looking to partner their purchasing power with causes that matter to them. Brands who partner with a cause that matters to the consumer get more attention. People may spend money on something they need or want, but they also feel good that that purchase or action has helped someone else.
An example of this is 2019’s campaign that teamed up two fast-food rivals. For one day, Burger King urged its diners to go to McDonald’s and purchase a Big Mac instead of the Whopper. For every Big Mac sold, McDonald’s donated that day’s profits to a cancer charity.
Another example is a company in California that hires homeless people looking to change their lives. Giving Keys trains the workers and ensures they receive a living wage and benefits while making jewelry that’s sold online and in some major retailers. They also partner with several non-profits like PATH and United Way.
Companies that partner with others to help make a change are drawing attention. It’s a trend that won’t be slowing down as people seek positivity in their daily life.
Rather than targeting a mood or emotion, experiential marketing campaigns need to look closely at the five senses. Consumers are spending more time online. They hear and see things with technology, but other senses are ignored. Trending marketing experiences capture a brand through touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound.
VR was all the rage, but there’s a shift to perfecting the auditory experience. Brands should get people thinking about their brand with sound, sure, but there’s also the taste and smell aspect.
As an example of how this works together, look at the Taco Bell hotel experience. When Taco Bell announced they were opening a limited-time-only resort, tickets sold out in a matter of minutes. People flocked to get to experience Taco Bell food, feel the taco-themed bedding, smell the tacos in their hotel room, float on hot sauce packet pool floats, and so many other ways. It was a sensory experience that proved to be a huge success for Taco Bell. That experiential marketing campaign helped marketers realize that 2020 is a great time to come up with their once-in-a-lifetime event.
Shifts in Communication Methods
Much of experiential marketing of the past has focused on Millennials. That’s changing. Gen Zers are the ones starting to leave college, land jobs, and spend money. With that comes the need to target Gen Zers in experiential marketing campaigns. While Facebook and YouTube are rated the most popular social network used by Millennials, that changes for Gen Zers. They use networks like Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitch. If you’re targeting the Gen Z crowd, it’s time to shift focus to those networks.
TikTok is one to start with. It’s believed that there have been more than 1.5 billion downloads of the TikTok app, and the company is revving up ad-supported videos through a system where you can skip dealing with the sales team. Now is the perfect time to jump in. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on Facebook, but you need to branch out and cover many of these other platforms. Doing so gets your message out to the market you best want to reach. As you do this, you need to keep an eye on being transparent and genuine. Gen Zers aren’t going to fall for false promises. If your brand isn’t authentic, they’ll move on.
Map Full Experiences
Marketing departments can’t just count the numbers and hope that shows if a marketing campaign was successful. They need to dive in and study exactly how each stage of an experiential marketing campaign reaches the audience. From the moment they enter the building or area to the final moments, marketers need study how the experience impacts all five senses. There’s the immediate reflection on how the entrance looks, how easy it was to find information, and what information was offered. That all matters to the consumer and needs to matter to the marketing team too.
By taking the time to map the full experience, marketers learn where the brand’s story is strongest and where it is overdone, and where it could be strengthened. With this information, a brand’s story can turn from being okay to an experience that excites and spurs the consumer into action.
Factory 360 helps you establish a strong brand message that gets consumers talking about what you have to offer. It’s our goal to get your brand and consumers to connect and remain that way for the years to come. Call or email us to discuss your experiential marketing goals for 2020.