According to Bizzabo, 63% of marketers plan on investing more in live events in the future, but why…? Experiential marketing proves a brand’s credibility and builds long-term brand loyalty. It can pull someone through the entire sales funnel with one touch, and it has the ability to develop brand affinity like no other channel. Whether very strategically planned to address a specific challenge, or used to drive consumer awareness and understanding, it’s a growing trend in advertising.
Brands which embrace experience are forming meaningful relationships with their key audiences. This drives deeper consumer-to-brand connections, which can turn a fan into an advocate.
A campaign of this nature certainly does generate immediate calls to action. But one of its greatest benefits is its ability to drive brand recognition, recall and loyalty in an influencer-led world. Here are the advantages to incorporating experiential into your marketing mix.
1. Experiential marketing is effective and measurable.
According to research, 80% of experiential marketers saw a return on investment of 3:1 or more, and 16% realized an ROI of 20:1 or more. Whether you are looking to entice immediate sales, increase your awareness, improve customer favorability or perception, rank higher on satisfaction scores or generate new leads, experiential marketing can address a specific challenge or drive overall marketing goals. We will identify the KPIs on campaign, and ensure that the campaign delivers on measurable metrics. Using just this one channel, a brand has the power to generate awareness, engage, inform, create interest, encourage trial, promote consideration and prompt purchase, moving a consumer the entire way through the sales funnel. That’s why 31% of marketers believe that event marketing is the single-most effective channel, above content, email, social media and traditional.
2. Experiential marketing integrates with content marketing, social media and PR.
EventTrack discovered that 98% of consumers create digital or social content at events and experiences, and 100% of those attendees share the content. When you consider the nature of creating experiences, you can see how media attention can be earned. Experiences can also be leveraged for content marketing, everything from social media posts to filming your next TV commercial on-spot. Experiential really does feed your brand’s content factory.
3. Experiential marketing builds reputation and credibility, and it can change perception.
Experiences allow brands to show off their authenticity. With the H2H factor (human-to-human interaction), consumers can connect more deeply with a brand and begin to feel differently about it. After all, 90% of purchases are based on emotion. Research shows that 65% of consumers surveyed said live events helped them have a better understanding of a product, exceeding digital and TV ad efforts, and 74% of event attendees say they have a more positive opinion of the company, brand, product or service being promoted after the event. (We like to say that our experiences produce smiles, and that’s something we can track!) Experiential can be employed strategically to change a brand’s perception or build its credibility.
4. Experiential marketing offers consumers interactive, engaging experiences.
In today’s increasingly digital world, 95% of marketers agree that live events provide a valuable way to form in-person connections. Experiences, especially those on the exclusivity side, are added value to your audiences and allow consumers to connect with a brand in new ways, using all five physical senses. Experiences can also provide a value-exchange for generating new leads:
- Event registrations to attend on-site experiences
- Exclusive opportunities in exchange for personal data
- Photos at events, sent directly to the participant providing a name and email, with social media sharing capabilities
- Opportunities to win instant prizes by registering with RFID
Following the experience, use the data you collected to responsibly remarket to participants. Chances are, they’ll be looking for experiences in every piece of communication you deliver.
5. Experiential marketing grabs attention in a memorable way.
We live with information overload every day; there is so much noise and channel proliferation in the advertising space. Experiences are a way to breakthrough that clutter and really stand out. When done right, experiential creates a lasting memory – not just an impression – that will be recalled, and more importantly felt, for years whenever a participant sees your brand name. Check out our Experiences of the Week for remarkable examples of experiential campaigns.
Sources: EventTrack 2015, 2016 and 2017; Bizzabo, Event Marketing Institute, Mosaic, Statista, Forrester, Path to Purchase Institute, Chief Nation, CMI Benchmarks Budgets and Trends 2016