Marketing February 1, 2016 Last updated January 28th, 2016 2,266 Reads share

Experiential Marketing: 6 Tips On How To Do It Right

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Do you remember those times when experiential marketing just made your day cooler?

I am talking about the time when Heineken decided to do the most amazing thing ever by daring the JFK travelers to go to a destination that shows up on the roulette or when Adidas decided to make Derrick Rose challenge the customers to win a free pair of sneakers by taking them off a 10 foot tall shelf.

Or, when Carlsberg beer decided to do this.

People queuing for free Carlsberg beer at the Truman Brewery in London after the brewing company created the worldÕs first beer dispensing billboard. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday April 8, 2015. Photo credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Why experiential marketing?

  • With everyone doing expert content marketing, it is a great way to create differentiation.
  • Lucid way to communicate brand values and build a brand story.
  • Triggers people’s emotions and usually results in better mental retention than content marketing.

Here are six tips to up your experiential marketing game

#1. Use experiential marketing and social media marketing in-sync to maximize the impact

Experiential marketing by their very nature are about theatricality and this makes it great content for online promotion as well. It is indeed true that managing both an experiential marketing campaign and a social media campaign at the same time, is a very challenging task, especially startups which have less manpower, but in cases like these social media automation can help simplify the work significantly.

Here are some ways you can promote them online:

  • Connect with influencers and ask them to blog about your event.
  • Create trailers of the event or videos of the event itself and post them in social media.
  • Ask happy customers to tweet and post on facebook.
  • Try to show up on YouTube vlogs and favourites.

#2. Undertake a manageable campaign, especially if you are a start up

You can have the best and the most creative idea in the world, but the picture is bigger than that my friend. It is just as important to design a manageable campaign (to your business standards) as it is to create a memorable one. So, don’t over aim and dream big. Not here!

After you have a set of ideas, estimate and see which one of those are both cost-effective, manageable, and fetch results at the same time.

Another great way is the backward approach – Here is my budget and here are my limitations, considering these, how can I come up with the coolest campaign anyone can?

A great way to get your creative wheels turning!

#3. Better to trigger no emotions, rather than triggering the negative ones

Of course, one of the most important aspects of experiential marketing is the actual experience the customer has. We do everything in our power to trigger happy emotions in our audience. Not always does this happen, especially if you don’t walk in with a plan or a strategy.

Here’s how your campaign can trigger negative emotions:

  • Causing inconvenience to the public. For example, you open up a free sampling counter in a railway station and the crowd is blocking the way for others.
  • Causing dissatisfaction – you didn’t bring enough free samples and you ran out early in.
  • Hammering your audience – you literally forcing your audience to participate in the event is going to do more harm than good.

This will leave a lasting negative impression on your brand and will send you further to the back than you ever were in the first place.

This golden rule of emotions is not just true for experiential marketing, but also for a Saas startup like ours; at Hiver, whenever we get a query from a customer, we stick to a response time that is less than 60 mins, because a long wait time triggers negative emotions like impatience and frustration among customers. Even if we do not have a solution right away, we ensure that we get in touch with them, and communicate what we plan to do. It certainly prevents the negative emotions from setting in.

#4. Don’t be inconsistent

In one event your company is all about feminism and how women empowerment and in the next event you are talking about child labour and in the next one who talking about animal rights.

You are all over the place and although you may manage to trigger emotional responses from your audience, you are not giving them a pattern to hold on to.

For example, Nike is all about high performance and self motivation; Apple is all about aesthetic and technical innovation; and, Mountain Dew is about risk and adventure.

Experiential Marketing: 6 Tips On How To Do It Right

You see these brands are telling you a consistent story every single time, which is the key to register yourself in your customer’s mind.

#5. Don’t mess up the venue

Choosing the right venue is just as important as creating a great campaign. Imagine you launched a great campaign but got the venue wrong. You picked a location where not even 10% of your target audience visit. The message will not reach the people who matter.

Waste of money, time and energy.

That’s why the right place is important. If you are a cosmetics company, organising sampling events in places like shopping malls and parks makes more sense than popping up in places like airports and railway stations.

Here are some tips:

  • Research the frequently visited places of your target audience.
  • Make sure it is a happy place where people come to relax and enjoy like parks and shopping malls.
  • Get the time right too; don’t go organising an event on a working day.

#6. Don’t get carried away and set KPIs early

Planning and executing  an experiential marketing campaign is no easy task; it takes a lot of time and demands creative/innovative thinking, while balancing it with strategic planning and presentation. Therefore it is must for you to set clear business goals and have well defined methods to measure the outcome of such campaigns.

It is of paramount importance that your business goals align with your campaign goals.

For example, if you are product-based business that wants to grow your customer base, then organising sampling events or giving a test experience may be the way to go; and if you are a company looking to elevate your brand value then may be organizing a cool public event can be the answer.

Using key performance indicators for your company to monitor the campaign can help. For example, you can use online analytics to check how many times your company’s name has been mentioned (if that is your KPI).

There are a plethora of ways to measure the impact of such campaigns and be sure define them before launching.

Conclusion

It is true that digital marketing is taking over the marketing world, but, it never really has been able to replicate the power of experiential marketing. A better idea would be to complement digital marketing with experiential marketing to tell your brand story.

The difference between the two is equivalent to the difference between texting the girl you wanna woo, and taking her out on a real date – the latter has more impact.   

Images “ Author’s Own“

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Niraj Ranjan

Niraj Ranjan

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