Brand experiences formed from an experiential marketing strategy will align with your overall objectives better than experiences born from creativity alone. Yes, we’re a creative concept company, but we reverse engineer each campaign based on your specific and unique objectives. Our thought processes are rooted in strategy.
Once we are through the brand discovery phase, it’s time to put pen to paper. As we develop your experiential marketing strategy, there are a few documents we prepare.
The account profile pulls all the data from the discovery phase together into one place. Here, we store your: branding style guidelines, buyer personas, consumer motivation research, brand pyramid, overall media plans, marketing goals, competitor landscape and any other ‘about you’ information that will be important to review before moving forward. Your account profile becomes the hub for all data, so we can effectively get to work on your strategic planning.
A strategy map is a diagram that provides focus and alignment. A SMART (specific, measureable, actionable, relevant and time-bound) marketing objective is identified. For example, it could be that your brand wants to gain 20% more online subscribers by Q2. Or, you want to earn media placements in a minimum of ten national publications during a particular sales season. Or, boost foot traffic to your key retail locations by 15% during the holidays. Or, improve your brand’s reputation with a 25% higher likeability score in the next six months.
We also lay out what the brand’s value proposition within the strategy map. This helps us differentiate your brand from competitors, as well as clearly outline your positioning. From this, we can start to get an idea of what your key message will be to consumers who will participate at experiential activations.
The strategy map shares multiple viewpoints, so we can ensure optimal alignment across the entire marketing team. Each viewpoint gets a tier or row in the diagram, and there are usually four:
- Financial perspective, including budget, revenue goals and what existing assets we may be able to leverage for cost-savings opportunities.
- Customer; does the objective tie to a current consumer base or are we trying to generate new leads? We include research from the first phase to understand what types of experiences might resonate well. We outline what media channels and locations may reach the key audience.
- Marketing team, including what experiential ideas you already have. We’ll examine current marketing messages and campaigns to fully integrate the experiential strategy. We review your current processes and existing strategies.
- Learning and growth opportunities. As an example, if sampling activations have fallen short in the past, we consider what elements may need to be added to improve results. Or, if the goal is to generate leads but don’t have a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to drop them into, that would be outlined here.
Finally, we draw connections between the financial perspective, customer desires, marketing processes and growth strategies. These can be viewed as cause-and-effect relationships. Usually there are clear pathways from key points within the strategic map. We’ll look for themes or trends, and we’ll start to identify smaller goals we’ll want to tackle in order to achieve the larger objective.
Once we agree on where we’re heading, we can start to put together a road map to help us achieve our experiential marketing objectives.
A detailed experience brief is created next. This is a tool we share with all our team members before an ideation session. It’s a variation of a creative brief but focused, of course, on experiential marketing tenets. It’s a short document that briefly covers the research we’ve collected and illustrates the strategic focus. We outline the key insights, pain points, the main message, how the audience currently feels about the brand/product and what the desired response would be from an experiential marketing campaign. We include links to current ad campaigns, marketing content or video libraries, so everyone gets a sense of the brand’s personality. It’s a summary of everything we know so far. It helps our team understand exactly what we want to achieve during an experiential marketing campaign.
At the end of this phase, you’ll clearly understand your experiential marketing strategy.
We care as much about your marketing success as you do, so we craft experiences that will achieve measurable results. Doing the strategic thinking upfront allows us to shrink any gaps between strategy and execution. In this way, your experiential marketing strategy sets us up for success during any future campaigns.
Many clients find the strategic mapping phase valuable for other parts of their organization. Because we like to integrate as much as possible, we often collaborate with staff outside the marketing team to fully understand the brand’s positioning. We’re willing to join forces with your other agencies, departments or media groups if it’s beneficial to your brand’s growth.
If you’re ready to start your experiential marketing strategic planning, we can assist.