Selling Experiential: How To Explain To Upper Management Why Experiential Marketing Makes Sense
Now you just have to convince upper management that it’s a good idea.
If that feels a bit like pushing a boulder the size of Kanye West’s ego up a hill the size of Kim Kardashian’s fortune, we’re here to help. We have seven points that can help you build an air-tight case for experiential marketing at your company.
Experiential marketing has good return on investment
Every year the Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic publish a forecast and best practices document for experiential marketing. The EventTrack study consistently shows that brands see a very high return on investment for experiential marketing events. Twenty-three percent of the companies surveyed said their ROI was 3-to-1. Sixteen percent said it was 5-to-1, and 12 percent said it was greater than 20-to-1. If upper management at your company is constantly focused on the bottom line, this will come as great news.
Experiential marketing has good return on engagement
That being said, the people in charge at your company are also be thinking about other things when it comes to the brand’s overall success. They want to build long-term relationships with customers, create consumer loyalty, be authentic, demonstrate corporate social responsibility, and engage in many of the current best practices around marketing and sales.
Experiential marketing can help with all of these things as well. Marketers are starting to talk more about return on engagement, which is the idea that companies shouldn’t just look at profits to determine if they’re meeting their marketing and sales goals. They also need to engage with consumers and build relationships with them.
Those relationships will bring in money, but they will also bring other benefits. They will turn consumers into brand ambassadors. They will give the public a better understanding of what the company does and why they should buy from the brand. They will build goodwill so that if the business does get a black eye, consumers are less likely to turn away from them permanently. Over the long run, return on engagement can be just as important as return on investment.
Experiential marketing creates a stronger brand impression and position
Traditional marketing techniques such as print and television ads are still effective, but they’re getting less effective as consumers increasingly turn to new media sources. And while things like Facebook ads and text message alerts can be highly effective, they still don’t give consumers a chance to try products or get to know a brand on a personal level.
Experiential marketing does. The majority of campaigns give consumers a chance to experience a brand’s products with one or more senses. Even the rare campaign that doesn’t allow consumers to interact with a brand’s products will create a strong overall impression of the company’s mission, values and attitudes.
That interaction is incredibly powerful. The EventTrack study shows that if people attend an experiential marketing thinking they may already be interested in a brand’s product, they were 98 percent more likely to make a purchase after the event. Sixty-five percent of people actually made a purchase at an experiential marketing event.
Tell members of your company’s management team: With experiential marketing, you’re getting more bang for the buck. It’s hard to argue with that.
Experiential marketing is a great way to reach new markets
Advertising may work with established target populations because they already know and trust your products. If your brand is trying to reach a new target audience – maybe Millennials, or retiring Baby Boomers, or recent immigrants – experiential marketing can be a great way to go.
Experiential marketing is the perfect way to introduce new people to your company and its products or services. You can let them handle and try out your products for the first time. If your company has a reputation as too stodgy for young people or too hip for older people, you can begin to change that perception with an activation that’s highly targeted to the needs, interests and values of your target population.
Many experiential marketing events are highly replicable
Once you do a successful experiential marketing event in one market, you can take it to many other markets without too much effort. That means experiential isn’t a one-and-done type of event.
Company executives always appreciate it when they can invest in one big idea that raises the profile of the company in multiple ways or places. Let them know that they can use experiential marketing to spread successful messages and events out across the country – even throughout the world – without recreating the wheel every time.
The work can be done by someone else
Monetary resources aren’t the only thing upper management has to weigh when thinking about an experiential marketing event. Human resources may also be a big factor. If the marketing team is feeling pressured to meet other priorities, their supervisors may worry that adding one more (very large) project will be too much for them.
The good news is that much of the work for your experiential marketing activation can – and should – be completed by an outside agency. An experiential marketing agency will know what’s new and what’s working in the space. Just as important, they’ll know what’s been done and feels tired. They have the infrastructure to do things like hire brand ambassadors in multiple markets, and the experience to know when you’re getting a good or bad price on venues. A good agency will save your staff time while still creating a one-of-a-kind event that accurately conveys your brands values and marketing messages.
Congratulations on convincing your upper management team to invest in an experiential marketing event! Are you ready to hire that outside agency to help you guide your activations to maximum success? Factory 360 has been creating experiential marketing events for small and large brands for over a decade. We have the experience, creativity and resources to make your campaign meet all its goals. Contact us now to learn how we can help.