Why experiential marketing trumps traditional.

Traditional marketing channels are increasingly being ignored. In a time-starved world with a myriad of distractions, consumers now prefer to have a tangible, interactive experience instead of merely being a passive bystander. As they become ever savvier as to the agendas of brands, thinly-veiled marketing efforts are losing traction. What does this mean for brands? They now need to reach out to consumers in a way that’s relevant and personal, if they want to facilitate a relationship with their potential target market.

Consumers who go on to become brand advocates are those who feel connected to, and valued by, a brand. In order to nurture a relationship with potential customers, brands need to seek out ways of interacting with their target market. Enter: experiential marketing.

Experiential marketing involves the use of tangible interactions with your target market in order to increase brand engagement and hopefully, advocacy.

An event, pop-up store or concert is an experience. Compared to a print advertisement in a magazine, for example, a brand offering that engages as many senses as possible is far preferable.

Think back to one of your favourite memories – there’s a good chance that you can remember what you saw, smelt, touched or even ate on the day. By using marketing efforts that appeal to the thinking, feeling and doing individuals who make up your target market, you’re far more likely to make a lasting impression on them.

Traditional marketing efforts can’t be tailored toward specific portions or niche groups of your market – experiential marketing, on the other hand, can.

Regardless of whether you have a large target market or a fairly small group of potential consumers, within these groups are several niche markets. They may have certain demographics in common, or be united by the fact that their aspirations or livelihoods are similar.

For instance, thousands of people purchase Adidas sneakers. Among them are groups of consumers whose similarities can be used to tailor marketing efforts in a way that’s relevant to this portion of the market, but not to another. Instead of coming up with a TV ad that’s aimed at “every person who wears Adidas sneakers”, the brand turned to experiential marketing, in the form of concerts featuring sought-after international artists. As a result, Adidas gained far more street cred or in marketing speak, brand advocacy, than they would have via a traditional form of advertising.

Traditional marketing talks to a consumer; experiential marketing starts a conversation.

There’s been talk of a marketing practice known as ‘B2H. This term stands for ‘business to human’ and was coined as a result of a shift in focus among brands. Instead of preaching a message to their target markets, they started to recognise the individual. Experiential marketing is effective as it does just that, engaging people on a one-to-one level. Instead of being treated as a number, you’re providing someone with an enjoyable experience that just so happens to pique their interest in your brand.

There’s a common quip amongst writers: ‘Show, don’t tell’ – and this applies to brands too. Ultimately, experiential marketing nudges a person towards buying into your brand, whereas traditionally used channels push a message at someone – who more often than not – isn’t interested in the first place.

The emotive nature of experiential marketing is incredibly powerful. If you’d like to find out about our event management solutions to help you plan and orchestrate an event that speaks to your target market, have a look here, or give us a call today.

Image Credit: ARC Marketing Salutions

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