November 6, 2017
Experiential marketing has been in the headlines for the last few years, which has led many people to assume that this is a new marketing strategy. Contrary to popular belief, experiential marketing has actually been around for decades. The core of experiential marketing—building a solid relationship with a targeted audience by engaging directly with them—has remained the same throughout the years. However, experiential marketing has evolved in other ways over the years.
In the past, the only brands that were able to host experiential marketing events were large, established brands that had massive marketing budgets. But, this is no longer the case. Businesses of all sizes can host experiential marketing events in today’s world, which is why more and more brands are choosing to do so. An experiential marketing firm should be able to plan an event for you regardless of your budget. For instance, a product sampling event is a great way to introduce customers to your products and it can be planned with a very small budget. Small businesses may not be able to afford the same type of experiential event that a large brand can, but they can still reap the many rewards of this effective marketing tactic.
Introduction of New Technology
Now that more companies are planning experiential marketing events, brands must find new ways to stay competitive and differentiate themselves. One way that many brands do this is by incorporating new and innovative technologies into their events. For example, some brands have incorporated virtual or augmented reality into their events in order to create unforgettable experiences for their guests. Other brands use live streaming technology to enhance the experience their guests have at the event. Introducing new technology at experiential marketing events has really taken off in the last several years as these innovative technologies become more accessible.
Social media didn’t exist when experiential marketing first began, but now it has become an important part of these events. Brands encourage guests at their events to capture content and share it on social media for their followers to see. Because of social media sharing, brands can now reach members of their target audience that cannot make the actual event. Even though these people aren’t physically present, they can still feel as if they are there in person thanks to the power of social media.
Social media also makes it easier for brands to get the word out about an upcoming experiential marketing event. In the weeks leading up to the event, brands can engage with their followers on social media to create buzz and inform them of the details of the event.
Social media is involved in almost every aspect of experiential marketing. For example, brands even have to consider social media when designing the layout of the event to ensure that guests will have plenty of opportunities to take photos and videos that they will want to share with their followers.
Brands didn’t have to consider the role that an influencer may play when planning experiential marketing events in the past. However, now this is a conversation that marketers must have in the early stages of planning. Many marketers choose to partner with influencers to promote and execute the event in order to reach a larger audience and associate their brand with a trusted figure in the industry. An influencer may be asked to host the event, show up and mingle with guests, or simply post about the event on social media. Some brands will even host events that are only open to influencers instead of their end consumers. These events are designed to educate powerful social influencers about a brand in the hopes that they connect with the messaging and feel compelled to start talking about the brand’s products or services. The goal is to convert some of the influencer’s audience into loyal customers.
Some influencers are more than happy to be a part of your experiential marketing event in order to gain exposure if they think it is a mutually beneficial relationship. However, influencers with a lot of followers will most likely require compensation for their work, so keep this in mind when planning your budget for the event.
Today, businesses have to cater to a global audience, but that’s not how it’s always been. A business that was located in Chicago may have only had to target consumers in Chicago and the surrounding areas in the past. But today, a business in Chicago may have customers throughout the United States and in other countries, too. For this reason, many brands are hosting experiential marketing events in multiple locations in order to get in front of as many consumers as possible.
For example, a brand that is targeting college-aged students may host experiential marketing events on multiple college campuses throughout the country. This means that brands have a lot more to consider when planning their strategy. How much of the budget should be allocated to each event? How can they transport everything they need to host the event to each location? How can they make each event unique in order to generate buzz in each city? These are tough questions to answer, but today’s businesses often have to address them.
Are you interested in learning more about the current state of experiential marketing and its future? If so, get in touch with the team of marketing experts at Factory 360. Experiential marketing will continue to evolve, but we will always be on top of the latest trends. We will help you understand how experiential marketing can benefit your business. Then, we can handle the planning and execution of your first (or next) experiential marketing event!