Field Marketing v. Experiential Marketing
Working for a dual-brand parent company, where one side of the company executes field marketing and our dio side specializes in experiential marketing, we get this question a lot. What, exactly, is the difference between field marketing and experiential marketing? Frankly, our staff even struggle occasionally with drawing the line between the two. We often find ourselves looking at a campaign on a spectrum, based on the intensity of a consumer’s engagement with the brand.
However, we do believe that experiential marketing is much different than a field marketing campaign. Here’s how we define the two.
Field marketing, a traditional marketing practice, proves existing marketing claims and encourages immediate sales action. Often a local grassroots effort, it typically relies on promotional brand ambassadors using one-way communication to deliver a sales message, product sample or premium item. Whether in-store or at a street level, field marketing is effective at supporting local retailers or points of sale activity. When the client’s goals derive from mass sampling and quantitative engagements, field marketing becomes a staffing and numbers game to achieve those goals in the most efficient manner. Thus, field marketing is often price-driven. In this type of campaign, we deploy more generic solutions and our existing fleet of out-of-home media formats to promote specific sales opportunities, such as grand opening events or new product launches. Using field marketing teams to distribute your timely sales message can be very effective.
Experiential marketing, on the other hand, proves a brand’s credibility and builds long-term brand loyalty. More strategic in nature, experiential marketing delivers tailored solutions to meet a brand’s specific challenges. Experiential marketing can change perception, humanize a brand or develop relationships with consumers. Brand experiences create two-way, interactive communication. Consumers participate in an activity which genuinely represents the brand personality. While field marketing interactions may last a few seconds, brand experiences should last a few minutes. This allows for deeper immersion into a brand, awakening multiple senses. Brand ambassadors who are staffing the campaign are very carefully selected to align with the buyer persona(s) of the target audience(s). Brand experiences can be event-based, street level, guerrilla style or in-store; we find places and ways to engage with key audiences differently than any other marketing discipline. We connect with consumers both rationally and emotionally to impact their perception of the brand. There is strategy backing our every decision from experience development through execution. Experiential marketing creates memorable consumer engagements. So it doesn’t necessarily have to tie to a specific marketing message or claim. Offering real experiences to consumers sparks word of mouth and social media mentions, growing the reach of your campaign organically. Experiential also supports a brand’s public relations. A campaign of this nature certainly does generate immediate calls to action (98% of participants are more inclined to make a purchase, according to EventTrack). The biggest benefit is its ability to drive brand recognition, recall and loyalty.
Field marketing can make consumers like your brand and give your product a try. Experiential marketing compels consumers to fall in love with your brand, which results in a higher lifetime customer value.
Another related question we are asked a lot is, “What is the difference between your big brother brand (do it outdoors media) and dio?” Answer: dio is our experiential arm, evolving from the former’s promotional media assets and field marketing execution. We are a separate, fully strategic experiential marketing agency. Once a full-service advertising and branding agency, we have an art and creative team to support every experiential initiative. Experiential marketing, although perhaps born from the field marketing genre, is its own marketing discipline. One that demands distinction from its predecessor, as it requires skills and competencies that field marketing teams do not need to be successful.
What’s great about working closely with a dual-brand is the sharing of strengths, creating one powerhouse marketing team for your brand.
Let’s tap into your audience’s consumer motivations to craft the best type of marketing campaign for your goals and challenges. Give us a shout.