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The Art Of Experience Marketing



Any avid e-followers will know that the word on the virtual street is ‘experience’, but what does that mean for businesses using online and offline platforms? And how do you work this into your own strategy? This post will share some examples of experience marketing and explain how to create them for a business strategy.

Online

Experience the Web

The web was always cold with reams of text and zero personality, but the persuasive force of humanisation has revolutionised the internet and the advent of social has caused developers, designers and marketers to change their whole viewpoint. The time of creating content is dead. The time for creating experiences has begun.

But what does this mean for businesses?

Creating a web experience is the process of devising content with the intention of user interaction. This means steering clear of creating run-of-the mill static content and creating content that produces an experience for visitors – one that has a personal context.

Now this might be hard to visualise, so a strong example would be worldirish.com. WorldIrish uses the theme of Irish to create relevant and changeable content. This content is then shared with fans and followers to instigate an interaction. There’s no hard sell. What there is, is a running theme and purpose behind the content and a place for people to ‘experience’ being Irish.

Related: Darragh Doyle of Worldirish.com

Businesses everywhere should be tapping into this concept as each generation is steadily growing used to (or growing up in) a socially-connected world. Real-time communications and social media has caused surfers to respond  immediately to content that interests them, with an emphasis on ‘immediate’. One way conversations have turned into two way and readers are looking to respond to content that resonates. Experiences resonate.

It’s powerful for businesses as it gives them a direction, a movement to their online content, a consistent drive, innovation and open communication with their audience.

Online …offline… online

Tesco has completely blitzed the FMCG sector with astounding innovation and a concentration on market research and technology, but virtual shelves of food in subway stations for time-sensitive commuters was a blinder. Clever, responsive and merged an online activity with an offline experience. You will now find a virtual Tescos in Gatwick  and we’re sure others will follow around the globe.

How do I devise an online content strategy with experiences in mind?

The art here is to unearth your message in a tangible way.

  • Use the message within your brand or the campaign focus to steer the concept.  Not the other way round. Platforms and places are tools.
  • Know your customer, know your objective and know your core message.
  • Tap into an emotion or shared feeling like Benetton’s shock campaigns — >
  • Be innovative.
  • Be fearless (yes, this matters. Any new idea is fearful, so you have to come to terms with the fear).
  • Use technology at your disposal – video, web, email. One may be stronger than the rest or each may have a benefit. Use the one that matches your aim or a combination.
  • Simplicity is key. It really is. Never leave your audience in doubt of your message.

Offline

It’s a similar story for offline. 3D, virtual and gamification have all forced their into the offline world as businesses begin to experiment with creating experiences to appeal to a new social awareness.

Related: 100 Guerilla Marketing Ideas: Grow Sales With Zero Budget

Experience…anywhere

Sage make a huge name for itself in the social space when it created an experience for the public in Dublin city during the launch of Sage cloud. This video shows how Sage created foam clouds which floated upwards to the skies. The experience? The interaction from the public. Instead of viewing it on TV, then could connect themselves to the activity in a physical way. At the heart of the campaign was the core message: Sage cloud.

Colgate’s Oral Health Month

The guys at Eightytwenty devised an experience-led campaign for Colgate to celebrate Oral Health Month. Not content with traditional TV adverts alone, they treated consumers to a roadshow with a difference. Adults and kids alike could have a photo taken against some uber cool backgrounds and share them online.

The ideas are endless.

Have you tried your hand at creating an experience for your customers? Would you consider it in the future?

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Image: “Friendly businessman writing on the screen“/Shutterstock



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The Author:

Christina is a complete geek, hence a perfect web + online marketing consultant. After ten years working with Premier Recruitment Group, LA Fitness, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Travel and a host of other companies, she now owns CG Online Marketing (www.cgonlinemarketing.com) in Ireland and is an associate of the Ahain Group. She's qualified in most things online such as web server management, digital design, Google Analytics and SEO. Specialties: Social Media Marketing, SEO / PPC,Google analytics (qualified in GA IQ) Web trends + insights, Data segmentation and targeting, Customer Behavior analysis, Digital design, Writing, Ethical marketing Green marketing / Sustainable tourism and Hotel + travel online marketing http://www.cgonlinemarketing.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.denisefay.com/ Denise Fay

    Great article Christina. I loved your examples and I’m sure many readers will be reading them for the first time.

    (I myself hadn’t seen the Benetton ad).

    Your advice is spot on – simplicity is key and it’s the message that counts, not the tools.

    Several business owners have contacted me recently and maybe it’s something in the air, but they’ve been asking me about the tools they’d like to use. My advice is always stay true to your objectives and find out where your customers are. The tools will only help the conversation or experience.

    Experience marketing is really where the marketing trend is turning.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Take care,
    Denise

  • Andrew Mayor

    I would love to try out anything for consumer surveys. I would be thrilled to give my experience of the products. Where can I look so that I can be considered? Does anyone know?

  • Christina Giliberti

    Hello Denise,

    It’s an exciting time to be online (o’my, that sounds poetic!). Social has given us wings and we are flying with the possibilities. Experience marketing is really a logical step and a way of merging online and offline – which is something that has been edging in bit by bit.

    The Benetton ads caused quite a stir. If you look them up, you’ll see hundreds of advertisements on war, crime, Brest-feeding, drugs, s*x. All taboo subjects with the intention of shocking customers into action. It followed the AIDA model of attention, interest, desire, action – although many were horrified at the images. The best campaign starred a number of world leaders and people of position at war. In each image they were kissing….’make love not war’. One starred the Pope! Naturally, what tends to happen is people miss the underlying message and react. As much as their stuff was strong, it really resonates – it pushes us to think about life, inequality, pain. And if you wondered about the effect on sales – they did extremely well.

    Tools are means, simply put. You’re right to keep their actions on objectives, as these will govern success rate. Knowing the options, demographic, reaction and scope of each tool, will make that decision a lot simpler. I use Facebook because I like having a place that I can really brand. I like people seeing videos and links. I like that the page is scrollable. I like the pinned posts and advertising. This all feeds into the decision making process. My target are there and I can promote my message better.

    Watch this space because experiences are getting bigger and better!

  • John Twohig

    Really enjoyed the post Christina, well written and rolled along nicely, did before I noticed.

  • Christina Giliberti

    Thanks for the kind words John. Its a hot topic.