Experiential marketing is about delivering a live brand experience to the consumers, that gives them the opportunity to interact with the brand. Brands are now discovering the real truth of marketing, that when it comes to influence your customer there is nothing better than making your customer experience your brand it is the best way to connect with your customer and become friends.
Experiential marketing is on the rise at the present moment, an annual survey by Event Marketing Institute projects says that event and experiential marketing budgets will grow 4.7% in 2013, up from 5.0% in 2012. The study also says that world’s largest brand – those with $1 billion –plus in revenue increased event and experiential spending by 9.8% in 2012.
According to the survey of marketing week, due to the huge economic uncertainty of today most of the consumers are cautious, so brands need to be in close touch with the consumers and try and understand what their need is. This means that experiential marketing is becoming an increasingly interesting way to engage consumers with brands.
As the the survey of marketing week says, more that 50% of the consumers favor experiential marketing to every other form of marketing. In fact, 48% say that they are more likely to buy a new product if they get the opportunity to try it first. Their survey even speak, that experiential marketing increases brand awareness, purchases and recommendations by more than 50%.
Experiential marketing also play a huge role in increasing purchases from existing customer, encouraging repeat purchase, and most importantly attracting lapsed customer.Thus, marketing channels should seriously consider more of experiential marketing for the propagation of their product and brand.
During the survey, it has also been revealed that over 50% of the people had admitted that they spend 1 to 10 minutes, a day engaged with experiential marketing compared to less than a minute through FB and T.V.
Now, let us take little a note of successful experiential campaign:
Offline experiential marketing:
Lifebuoy Kumbhmela 2013: Lifebouy had researched and found out that 1.1 billion, children die due to diarrhoea annually the brand thought that washing hands regularly and following a healthy regime could prevent the epidemic. Hence they tried and leveraged the opportunity of Kumbh Mela to propagate the message. They used roti as the medium of message, as the only way to have roti is by hand they used heat stamp on rote which read ‘lifebuoy se haath dhoye kya?’ and over 30 days, a team of 100 people, stood in 100 kitchens and stamped around 2.5 million rotis. The campaign was highly successful, and it even reached the masses outside the festival with the help of social media, it gained huge amount of discussion and coverage across India and thus social media along with experiential marketing helped spread the message of washing hand before eating across India.
Online Experiential Marketing:
Launch of Ford Escort eco sport: They held an online campaign to involve people, hosted on an online platform, www.ecosportdiscoveries.co.in, the campaign had the potential of reaching out to a target customer base all across the country. The website was the source of engaging the customers to participate in the campaign and the participants got the opportunity to try and ride the SUV’s after the launch.
Three highly appreciated experiential marketing campaigns:
|1||Homeshop 18||Homeshop18 has to launch mobile aided shopping experience. At the Delhi airport, the virtual wall was shown to passengers with the range of products, they could scan the QR codes of the products on their mobiles after which they are directed straight to the website, where they could have the product delivered at home and even can pay cash on delivery.|
|2||Coca Cola||They wonderfully portrayed the unity between India and Pakistan .The placed Coca-Cola, ‘Small World Machine’ in the malls of Delhi and Lahore. Through 3D touch screens people of both the countries could interact with each other- join hands, draw peace signs, dance etc. they took open happiness concept to a completely different level with experiential marketing|
|3||Puma||It wanted to promote itself as a sports lifestyle brand and thus they conducted training camps, athletes and trail runs allowing people to try their products. The products gained increased popularity – almost 50% of the revenue of Puma is now earned from lifestyle products, made possible with experiential marketing.|
Experiential Marketing and Social Media: – Should they be married to each other?
Experiential marketing is about engaging your customers and social media is one of the best ways to bring people close and involved with the brand. Social media is an effective way of creating two-way conversation. But there are some business problems like reaching to larger masses, engaging people and creating awareness- correct strategic planning and execution of experiential marketing with social media can solve all these problems and increase positive brand response. According to London School of Economics, increasing positive brand responses by 7% can lead to a bottom-line increase of 1%.
Experiential marketing and social media has common feature like, they both engage consumers the difference being that they have different channel of communication. People like to be engaged with brand and experiential marketing is loved by people as it adds valuable experience to their lives — at the same time social media has created a world-wide explosion and people find a lot of interest in this dynamic two way medium,( More than 3 billion photos are uploaded to Facebook every month while 5 billion pieces of content are shared every week) thus both the mediums are successful in engaging people.
Social media is the cheapest way to reach the masses; it cost almost nothing to distribute information to a mass audience. Social media and experiential marketing if used strategically can work wonders, the beauty of this social media is that if the experience imparted through it is remarkable enough then people will start talking about it, not because they have been targeted or engaged but on their own will.
Many companies have not tried yet to marry Social media to experiential marketing; this might be due to reasons like:
i) They are not sure how to use them optimally
ii) They are concentrating on one media channel at one time
But their commonality makes them the perfect combination and at the same time their diversity can amplify the brand image to a huge extent. Experiential marketing will engage consumers and social media will take them to masses and with the increasing use of internet consumption and popularity of social media, this collaboration is the best marketing channel to reach masses ( REFER fig1&2, source Euromonitor).
FIG 1:Global Internet Users: 2003-2012
Internet Users in billions and as a % of the total world population
Not to forget in Experiential Marketing:
1) Know your brand: It is very important to know your brand and communicate the correct information to the consumers. If proper knowledge about the brand is not available we can never communicate we can never be able to connect with our audience
2) Keep consistency: We should be careful while sharing information in different media, propagation of same information is different media is very important. The creative team must be very particular about what they communicate.
3) Make a campaign: In order to have a dominant impact on your consumers make a campaign so that people remain engaged with the brand.
4) Integrate social media: In order to reach to a large mass there is no other cheaper and effective media other than social media.
5) Keep a track on the feedback: Within the first few hours of the campaign we can know if the message is clear to our consumer or not, so we can make changes if required in the next campaign. But keeping a proper track of the acceptance of the campaign is very important.
The points mentioned above can act as negative brand response if proper attention is not paid to them. Thus, they are like gentle reminders for every brand before they indulge into experiential marketing.
The article is authored by Ishita Bhattacharya from MICA.