How can brands attract consumers? How to make consumers get the best experience? How to improve consumer satisfaction? Marketers use this marketing mix technique to satisfy consumers by encouraging physical fascination and sensual interaction. It helps in finding out the emotional touch points of consumers and further use that methodology to perceive them to buy the product. Benefiting both the organization by increased sales and profits and satisfies the consumer with the product based on the expectations. Today companies spend money on acquiring and retaining consumers. In the economy where mass media is prevailing so strongly creating an impact on consumers mind it is important to think differently and reach out to them. This is experiential marketing.
While experiencing the product first (innovators) gives an idea and help to spread a positive word of mouth. Marketers often try to involve their own interpersonal consumer drive. World over organizations want to connect with consumers by identifying their touch points and increasing the brand loyalty towards the product. For example Tanishq had launched ‘Mia’ Jewellery line for working women in 2011. They knew how to tap consumers using experiential marketing. Their main attempt was to target their potential consumers by ‘Mia on wheels’, where women were treated with a relaxing foot massage, food and viewing the new range of Mia jewellery a one-stop destination with make-up services. This made the store more accessible and was a huge success where women experienced a different marketing technique and style to buy a product. The senior marketing manager, Mr. Sirish Chandrashekar of Tanishq understood the difficulty for working women to travel everyday in the traffic. There was an increase in sales that led to opening more stores in malls, departmental stores and other common places making it accessible easily.
Experiential marketing occurs on a small scale as compared to mass media channels. This is an impression occurred based on quality. The better the best, when the consumer thinks the quality is better for the product then the impression of the brand is increasing. Experiential marketing is a unique and flexible measurement model and forms a channel for itself. It involves close components mainly buzz or word of mouth value, interactive experiences, deeper engagement and personal connection with the brand. It helps in finding out the number of consumer engagements, length of those engagements and information exchange during the engagements. Why it is important to know all this? As a marketer the decision can be made to save time and know to retain consumers properly so that they do not switch brands and overall maintain their satisfaction. When this marketing mix is successful the focus directly reaches the larger audience. For example Coca- Cola tried about promoting their theme ‘happiness and joy’. An advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather created a vending machine for dispensing free cans when given a tight hug. In Singapore it was a grand success quickly attracting students. The company explains that happiness is contagious and the Coca- Cola hug machine spreads it in an unexpected, innovative way to engage a larger audience.
There are different types how we can experience this type of marketing. It depends on the target market, the type of consumer and also the brand image of the product. The first one is a real sense for the product. It drives in the thinking mind which helps to add value for the products chosen by consumers. For example ibibo.com promotions provided various offers which bought a different feel for their product. The second is touch experience where the consumer’s images are closely watched for knowing the experience they had with the product. It may differ between strong and weak experiences depending upon the brand positioning. For example FMCG products have a weaker feeling for the consumer related products whereas the technology related products are the other way has stronger feeling. The last is the experience is through the use of social media where marketers bring in the essence of sense and selecting the target group through social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, You tube etc. It is also called a source of digital marketing. They aim in creating a new platform, support, encourage and engage consumers through these websites. For example Maruti Suzuki brought in awareness and promoted A-star and Estilo through developing different engagement activities on these networking sites.
Objectives of Experience marketing are:
- Build relationships
- Produce interaction
- Know the target audience
- Increase awareness
- Increase relevance
- Increase loyalty
- Create memories
This helps in providing the best experience for consumers and helping in regaining their trust. At the same time motivate them, stimulate in bringing together the brand engagement by transfer of ownership. It helps in a creating a word of mouth and helps in increasing the brand value.
Lot of experiences have taken place in the world which has bought organization closer to the consumer as they have successfully known the touch points of consumers which has made them buy the product often.
- Colgate Palmolive India: Recently targeted various school children and conducted many tests to convince them that Colgatewas the best toothpaste to kill germs by creating a positive dentist to child interaction. They followed it through
- Hired dentists from IDA
- Taught about brushing habits and oral habits for strong and healthy teeth
- Check-ups for all the kids to know about their teeth
- Answering all the queries related to tooth problems
They also a have a free cavity check-up conducted every year for people of all ages to reduce cavities and also bring in the practice of good oral hygiene.
2. Fiat India: This was a unique, fusing both car dealerships and café culture in India. Hence they had tied up with Lavazza Coffee and opened in Delhi and Pune. They had made a library and a space for Italian style loafing. Other than normal café’s they had bought car brochures and vehicle for test drive which makes consumers get the urge. This unique concept brought the brand alive in various manners in terms of demo, browse through information- digital devices for absorbing the brand experience while having hot Italian coffee. The head of marketing of Fiat focused upon finding out the potential consumers and make them aware of this unique experience that they were providing.
Experiential marketing is an asset which every organization should posses to target their consumers personally and connect them towards the brand overall. It has all the factors relating to sense, feel, thinking, relate and so on. It is a holistic experience which enriches every one of them both the marketer and the consumer. When the experience satisfies the consumer the use for the product increases variably and also there is popularity for the brand which enables in increasing the overall sales, performance, productivity and satisfaction. Better experiences better products.
The article is authored by C V Ananthalakshmi from School of Management and Computer Applications, SSN College of Engineering.
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