It’s harder than ever nowadays to cut through the digital noise online and effectively market your product or service. Coupled with that, both Generation Z and Millennials put a greater emphasis on experiences over material wealth, and this has to dictate how we choose to carry out our marketing going forward.
Research has shown that Gen Z are mobile natives, rather than pioneers, and prefer brands that feel authentic. With all things considered, experiential marketing would appear to tick all the boxes.
Experiential marketing engages consumers through branded experiences; ‘live’ marketing, if you like. These experiences spark an emotional response, which has a longer lasting effect on the audience and, hopefully, converts into customer loyalty a little later down the line.
Successful experiential marketing makes the best of both worlds, as people should be inspired to share the experience with their friends and colleagues both online (which is obviously native to Gen Z) and offline (which symbolises the authenticity they desire).
What does experiential marketing look like?
It could be a pop-up shop or some sort of installation, which may or may not be linked to an existing event. Many experiential marketing campaigns run off the back of existing events or notable periods that people can relate to, such as national or international awareness days.
A word of warning; you can’t expect to do one event and have the customers queuing up. The purpose of experiential marketing is to create excitement and interest, from which brand awareness and trust can gradually grow.
You may remember these campaigns from recent years:
The WWF and The People’s Postcode Lottery produced a life-size elephant hologram that roamed the streets of London for a week. The idea was to raise awareness around animal trafficking and how, when people can’t see something happening in front of them, they tend not to do anything about it.
Amnesty International: ‘Glass Box’
We’re sure you’ll remember this one. Amnesty International asked families to spend the weekend in a glass box in London in order to raise awareness of the inhumane treatment of refugees and their children at the hands of the UK government.
Ikea: Bath Boats Drive
Did you see Ikea’s boats on the Thames to promote the opening of the brand’s new Greenwich store? The boats were modelled on one of their bath boats and collected plastic and rubbish from the river before using the waste to make an upcycled sculpture for the new store.
Things to consider for a successful experiential marketing event
Grab the audience’s attention…
In order to do this, you need to make sure your campaign fits your audience demographic. Do your research – get to know your audience and what makes them tick. A campaign for a group of Gen Z’s is going to have to tick different boxes to a campaign for a 50 plus market. Don’t just reuse an old campaign for a new audience; it won’t work!
… And keep it!
Memorable, unique and engaging are probably the three most important features of a successful campaign. Once you understand your audience, your goals and the key message you want to get across, then you can have a lot of fun creating something that’s not only going to have a long lasting effect on your audience, but which they’ll want to share and make a bit of a song and dance about! However ‘crazy’ you decide to go, always make sure that your key message is crystal clear and not lost in the excitement.
Get the right influencers involved
In 2019, influencers are key to marketing. Have a think about who could best represent your brand. Perhaps a celebrity or perhaps a local person of significance?
Make sure the marketing represents you as a company
What is important to your brand? Is it your green policies? Is it the care you give your customers? Make sure your campaign echoes this. For example, could you use a special day, such as Valentine’s day, to do something around your customer care? Perhaps there is an existing event that fits your brand well and where your desired audience are already gathered? It could be a festival or a lecture into climate change.
Remember your existing customers
When enticing new customers, don’t forget your loyal ones! Looking after your existing customers also shows your new customers how they can expect to be treated.
If you’re inspired to give experiential marketing a go, but require some support, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.