testing an experiential marketing concept

If you’ve been following our blog, you know that we’re breaking down our seven phases of brand experience development. We’ve reached the middle phase: testing an experiential marketing concept. Once we’ve crafted a creative concept in theory, this phase gives us time to evaluate our plan before production begins.

We affectionately call this “Show ‘n Tell.” It’s where we show our concept and tell the story to our client. We also share our brand experience concept with survey respondents or focus group participants who provide further feedback before launch. The way we do this varies by campaign, by client, by concept. While most of the other phases have a clear pathway, what order we do things in this phase really depends on a lot of variables: the client, the type of activation, the level of risk we’re willing to take and even the budget.

For example, our art team may put together mock-ups and rough prototypes of the experience before pitching. Or, we may pitch and collaborate with the client in further concept refining before putting together any prototypes. Sometimes, we only have mock-ups, no prototypes.

We may do an A/B test through a digital experience survey to get feedback from consumers on if they like the experience to be laid out this way or that way before we do a mock-up. Or, we may mock up what we think is best to get client buy-in before testing the concept in a focus group.

Our goal by testing an experiential marketing concept at this stage is to build our confidence in the likelihood of its success. If we can learn how consumers may react to the concept now, we can make tweaks and re-test before launching. We want to minimize the risks of missing a mark for both the brand and its audience.

It’s also a good time to test messaging or designs to ensure that we’re painting the brand in a positive light. In this era of inclusivity, we want to make sure everything we do welcomes all consumers while highlighting the brand’s personality. We review market, too. For example, when we launched a campaign in Las Vegas shortly after a mass shooting there, we made some adjustments to ensure both safety and sensitivity.

Our nature is extremely collaborative. Having check-ins with the client and the client’s branding agency is important at this phase. We want to make sure all creative concepts and designs sync with the brand’s overall marketing.

Campaign concepts are also vetted by leadership and legal counsel, if needed, at this stage. Everyone needs to agree on the experiential marketing concept before we move into experience development.

Regardless of how we go about pitching the experience and testing it before production, this is a vital stage in the overall development process. Testing an experiential marketing concept first sets the brand up for success.

To discuss your experiential marketing needs, please get in touch.