More than half of chief marketers will spend at least a fifth of their budget on experiential in the near future – sensemktg.com
Experiential marketing is a marketing technique focused on direct engagement between brands and consumers which is why it is also referred to as engagement marketing. Marketing experts are familiar with the significance of creating an experience for consumers and especially one that’s bound to stand out from the endless marketing campaigns they have to see throughout their daily lives. Creating unique experiences that encourage consumer engagement is vital to a memorable campaign, especially in today’s increasingly saturated market throughout our tangible and virtual reality. Let’s take a slightly deeper look into the nature of experiential marketing by considering the right approach for your brand based on successful examples.
The experiential strategy does not always have to involve the product. As long as the result is a powerfully positive brand association, the strategy is worth it every time – bizzabo.com
Unlike most other marketing techniques, experiential marketing opens an unlimited amount of possible routes that don’t necessarily need to have anything to do with your brand. Take the Volkswagen piano stairs; the automobile company refurbished a subway staircase in Germany, turning it into piano stairs that not only take on the appearance of a piano but also make the according to sound of the notes when you step on them. With more than half of the public opting for the stairs instead of the escalator next to them, Volkswagen’s advertising it’s brand name whilst encouraging exercise.
Another example is Ulta’s appearance in 29 Rooms. 29 Rooms was created from a collaborative effort of brands and corporations with the purpose of immersing consumers into a world they will never forget. Each room of the 29 offered sites and activities to its visitors in an engaging and unique way. Ulta’s theme park inspired beauty carousel is another great example of how you can separate your idea from your brand. With the carousel having a makeup themed spin, there was less separation than Volkswagen’s piano stairs; however, both examples go to show that as if you ensure to send consumers away with an unforgettable experience, your campaign can be as unrelated or related to your brand as you would like.
With the main objective being consumer engagement, the endless number of ways of attracting consumer attention may very well fall within a realm of ideas you have yet to explore; in other words, the more out there the better. This is also why experiential marketing is often referred to as a publicity stunt. Whilst they are not the exact same thing, they are both constructed on the basis of standing out in a way that will draw in a crowd.
Content is (still) king
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the ‘grammest of them all? Instagram, with its celebration of breathtaking imagery and self-expression, seems custom-made for the beauty world — especially today’s discerning Millennial and Gen Z shoppers
Experiential Marketing is often a physically interactive form of advertising. However, doing it right can easily leave you killing two birds with one stone. Not only will you have fresh social media content for your own page, but consumers and passersby are habitually taking pictures of eventful scenes from their daily lives which they then distribute through their accounts. This ultimately works as a free and effortless form of content marketing. Brands such as Allure, Essie, and Huda Beauty have been opening airport vending machines filled with their products. Airports make the perfect setting for a few reasons, the most relevant being that consumers are even more likely to reach for their camera when they are on holiday. Even those who choose not to buy anything will potentially contribute to the social media splash. Although this can be achieved through your campaign alone, encouraging the buzz tends to be more effective. Take the Benefit Browmobile competition as an example. Utilizing their universally beloved eyebrow collection, the brand garnished a small brow themed van using their trademark aesthetic. With that, they took a visit to the winning candidates giving them a selection of tutorials, treatments and goody bags. Being a social media based competition, this experiential campaign worked to promote Benefit through both physical engagement and digital marketing.
Free samples can generate a lot of sales for you over time. In some cases, free samples can boost sales by as much as 2,000%
Whilst advertising is known to be an investment, experiential marketing often costs slightly more than most other kinds of campaigns. Creating a scene that screams attention can easily come at a high expense. So, if you are on a budget this particular strategy might be more challenging, but with the right techniques can still be achieved. Let’s consider a minimal pop-up shop. Depending on the area, renting a space can cost as little as £20 a day; providing you plan a simple and affordable setup, it can work out to be a fairly low-cost project. This only leaves you with one problem; how do you draw in consumers with such a simple display? Well, besides consumers being naturally intrigued by pop-ups, there are ways to ensure the word gets spread.
There is next to nothing that gets a consumer’s attention quite like the promise of freebies; whilst the word will naturally snowball, making a social media announcement will help spread the news across faster and to many more. Offering samples of your products will likely drive in a crowd and have new consumers noticing your brand. In September of last year, Glossy Box held a pop up in Covent Garden. Whilst their set-up was not necessarily cost-effective, the products they gave out brought in a great deal of attention having “53% of participants saying they were likely to subscribe to Glossybox after the event”. The beauty industry has a never-ending supply of options which means that consumers really need a reason to try your brand and freebies are hard to say no to.
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Experiential marketing is not only fun and interesting at the moment but often leaves a lasting impression by creating a memorable experience. There are a countless number of ways to approach this strategy, which serve as a good opportunity to stand out; remember that the foremost priority of this technique is to create an experience that consumers will associate with something positive.
Have you recently been to any experiential brand events/pop-ups? If so, are you more likely to consider the brand than you were before?