Experiential marketing is one of the most rewarding, effective, and measurable ways to engage and connect with consumers. Done right, it can generate contagious buzz or promote a cause that matters to you. But wading into this deep pool without a plan will only end in disaster- and no one wants that! Experiential marketing is best deployed in conjunction with other marketing tactics – it’s simply too powerful for brands to rely on solely as an isolated strategy. Enthuse Marketing Group is committed to building brands via experiential marketing.
A number of experiential marketers have generously shared their expertise with us and we’ve compiled these 9 hacks for your enjoyment:
1) Market your brand with a purpose.
There’s no point doing experiential marketing unless you’re trying to accomplish something (i.e. increase brand awareness, drive footfall, promote an event etc.) Going into an activation blind will likely lead to failure. Even Coca Cola learned this lesson and adjusted its tactics after a campaign in Australia didn’t quite go as planned.
2) Form partnerships with vendors who are aligned with your brand values.
Just because a vendor is willing to give you space to hold an event, it doesn’t mean you should partner with them. Make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to what the activation will be and how it will be promoted. Get agreements signed by both parties and make sure they are clear, both with deadlines and deliverables. Nothing says flop like ambiguous paperwork!
3) Know your merchandising & marketing plan.
The most effective experiential marketing campaigns usually have a merchandising or marketing plan behind them. For example, do you intend to capture people’s emails on a microsite to promote an app or a new retail concept? Or will you provide the details of the campaign on your Facebook page, asking people to RSVP on Eventbrite for a new product launch?
4) Create an unmissable visual identity.
One of the reasons Dunkin Donuts is so successful with its experiential campaigns is that they’re always identifiable and branded. Whether it’s donuts hanging from strings or donut-shaped booths, DD clients expect experiential marketing that looks and feels like their brand. So if you’re going for something unexpected, make sure you create a memorable look and feel for your activation.
5) Know where to find your target audience.
Every brand has a different target audience to which it should appeal. So make sure you know who will attend the activation and what demographics they are to get the most out of your campaign. The same goes for the partners involved, you need to know whether they are going after broader audiences or if they’re attempting to reach a specific segment. Unless you’ve got an idea for both, don’t get involved with a partner who’s ignoring key segments in the hope that it’ll work!
6) Pre-plan how you will promote your activation (i.e. social media, email etc. etc.).
The more you promote your activation, the more likely it’ll be a success. So pre-plan how you will promote your campaign, including social media and email campaigns. If it’s mobile only, make sure you tell all partners or attendees beforehand so there aren’t any surprises when they arrive (they’ll enjoy the surprise less if there are!) And always create a buzz before your activation.
7) Go with friends & family!
There’s no question that friends and family are the most powerful audience to target on an experiential marketing campaign. It’s simple psychology: people like to be involved in something someone close to them is doing. Not only does this make an activation feel more authentic, it also makes people trust the brand and even become loyal customers.
8) On that note, use your partners as ambassadors for your brand.
The most effective way of creating buzz around experiential marketing is by using your partners as ambassadors. Partnering with an influencer could be a tricky task, but if you get it right it can be hugely beneficial. You’ll also have the opportunity to share content from your brand that wouldn’t normally appeal to all audiences.
9) Use social media for word-of-mouth marketing.
Experiential marketing campaigns should communicate real values to the audience and should help them see the connection between what you do and what they do. But sometimes consumers might forget about the experience completely if it’s not promoted very well via social media. So find ways to use social media to connect with your customers and promote your brand’s values.
We hope you enjoyed these 9 hacks for experiential marketing. Do you have a hack of your own that was not included? Leave it in the comments section for us to check out! You may be featured in our next round-up!