Experiential Marketing

Post by 
Elton Lee Hesketh
Published 
July 4, 2022

Fans that feel your brand, build your brand

Ever heard the phrase, “People remember you not for what you did but for how you made them feel”? 

It is the same with brands. 

Experiences are at the heart of brand-consumer connections. More than ever, people are craving connections and want to engage with brands that share their values and make them feel happy, counted, and appreciated. Inclusiveness, accessibility, and personalised experiences are at the core of these connections that people build with the brands they love. When it comes to brand love, experiences make hearts grow fonder.

It is also through live in-person events and face-to-face interactions that people get to understand products and offerings better. At least 65% of consumers say that live events and product demonstrations helped them fully understand a product better than any commercial ever could.

Instead of telling people about your brand, experimental marketing invites them to be part of it, through meaningful experiences that foster authentic bonds between your brand and its fans. 

What makes an experience?

Don’t think about an experience as a place, product or even a person. It is a culmination of the touchpoints and the feeling of interconnectedness, ease, purpose, and significance that transforms an event or an activity into an experience. 

Not all events are experiential and not all experiences have to be events. Anything, even dishing out samples, can become experiential when it engages the senses and is infused with authentic storytelling, participation, and personal interaction.

Experiential marketing is focused on creating sensory, emotional, cognitive, and rational connections with people. Experiences that make people feel happy and part of something good and meaningful cultivate true and long-lasting brand loyalty. 

To curate a truly memorable experience that endears people to your brand, go to the heart of how you want to make people feel – and ultimately act.

Experiential marketing is changing 

Experiential marketing may have its roots in live activations and in-person events, but it has evolved to work quite well – when done right – within the virtual environment. Digital technologies such as event management platforms, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Extended Reality, gamification, and Web 3 make it possible for brands to simulate experiences in the virtual space. 

No doubt, the metaverse will boost virtual experiences to the next level of engagement, using augmented, virtual, extended and physical reality to create experiences that are as immersive in the online universe as they would be in the real world.

Digitisation makes experiential marketing an evolving channel that encompasses in-person and face-to-face activations and virtual efforts to nurture brand awareness and forge long-term customer loyalty. 

Digital tech also makes it easy to track, analyse and understand your customers and how they interact with your brand. As they engage with your brand through purchases, internet browsing, and sharing on social media, they leave a trail of behavioural clues and transactional information that you can use to create more meaningful experiences to keep them loyal into the future.

But don’t fob off pop-up shops, street team activations, and flash mobs just yet. These formats and experiences, which go to where your audiences work or play, remain ever effective in sparking curiosity and serendipitous interactions that evoke strong, positive responses that cultivate strong, positive consumer-brand connections. 

Here’s why experiences matter

Research shows that millennials would rather spend money on experiences and events than on buying something. Studies also show that customer experience beats product and price as the most important differentiation of a brand.

91% of consumers report that they would be more inclined to purchase a brand's product or service after participating in a brand activation or experience, and 40% feel they become more loyal to the brand (EventTrack 2021).

And what do we all do when we have had an amazing experience? We tell other people about it. We become ambassadors for the brands we love, sharing stories, photos, videos and hashtags. EventTrack has discovered that 98% of consumers create digital or social content at events and experiences, and 100% of those attendees share the content. This user-generated content, like good, old-fashioned worth of mouth, is priceless. On average, word-of-mouth drives $6-trillion in annual global spending and is directly responsible for 90% of all purchases

It’s all about interaction

Experiential marketing is driven by participative, one-on-one engagement between brands and their audiences, making interaction a crucial component of a successful experiential campaign. Appealing to the senses of touch, sight, smell, and sound is the best way to inspire interaction, evoke emotion, and create indelible memories. 

When crafting an experience, lead with emotion. Know how you want your audience to feel and consider ways of appealing to their senses to inspire the connections that people so fervently seek. 

Ask us how

With over 25 years of producing immersive events and experiences for some of the world’s most innovative brands, we create authentic and immersive encounters that inspire deep and lasting connections. Contact us for experiences that let fans feel your brand. 

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