Experiential Marketing Turns Traditional Marketing on Its Head


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We’ve all felt bombarded by advertising at every turn. On the floor of the grocery store, the side of buildings, overflowing our email boxes, and every place in between. People are even selling body space these days. The average U. S. citizen receives an unbelievable 3,000 marketing messages a day.

The barrage of messages is greatly reducing the effectiveness of traditional marketing. People have had it with the disruptions and are beginning to ignore all advertising, even for products they care about. The Do Not Call list, SPAM blockers, pop-up blockers, digital video recorders and satellite radio are just some of the ways consumers try to escape.

So what is a marketer to do? Well, start brushing up on a new strategy: Experiential Marketing. Don’t just talk to your customer, interact with them!

According to Marketing Week, 71 percent of senior executives in the U. S. and U. K. agree that customer experience is the next big battleground. What is Experiential Marketing? Quite simply, it means creating a live, interactive experience between the consumer and the product or brand instead of just telling them about it. It’s a new way of thinking about marketing.

What’s the benefit? The customer connects in a much deeper way; the company builds a unique connection with customers, gains valuable information about them, and provides more personalized communications. As an added bonus, the customer shares the experience with friends, providing viral marketing for the company.

Let’s look at the services of one company in this space, Picture Marketing, Inc. Quite simply, they provide Experiential Marketing applications and services to leading brands across a variety of industries.

Imagine this. You’re at a car show and walk by the Lexus display. There it is, the car you’ve been wanting. Lo and behold, you can get your picture taken with the car and be seen on the cover of Car & Driver magazine. You wait in line, get your picture taken, go home, fill out an online survey and, there it is, your first magazine cover! You forward the cover with your picture to your friends. And all around your picture is messaging from the car company. A few days later you receive a direct mail piece with your cover, directions to your nearest Lexus dealer and information on the car that caught your attention.

What’s the benefit for the car company? You’ve connected in a much more personal way with the product via a memorable experience. Lexus had you around that car for several minutes as you waited and finally got your picture taken. The experience continued for days as you got your picture and forwarded it to friends. You felt a much stronger connection to the brand and the car. And Lexus got valuable information through the survey-a lead. This lets them market to you with personalized communications that relate to your interests. Ultimately they generate a much greater return on investment for their marketing dollars. Everyone wins!

Research supports the success of these efforts. According to a survey by Jack Morton Worldwide, 53 percent of consumers said Experiential Marketing enhances their brand perception; 90 percent said it makes them more receptive to other advertising; and a high percentage say it drives a quicker purchase.

Explains Art Michalek, director of marketing at Yokohama Tire Corp, a user of Picture Marketing: “We’ve planted a seed in their minds for the next time they consider tires and furthered our relationship with them. We’ve given the consumer a valuable keepsake, and they’ve given us permission to follow up with them with future offers and information. In the end, long after we’ve dismantled the booth and gone back to our offices, the Picture Marketing program helps us continue to be top-of-mind. ”

This is just one type of solution with one industry. There are many others. Big company or small, tradeshow or festival, expensive car or inexpensive soft drink, Experiential Marketing is working. Consumers say that these types of interactions with the brands make them more likely to purchase the product. Experiential marketing begins an ongoing dialogue with the brand. And it cuts through the clutter.

Actions to Do Now

Ask yourselves these questions:

Does your company participate in events, tradeshows or festivals? Do you have other direct contact with consumers?

Are you maximizing the interaction with the consumer?

How do you measure the return on your marketing dollars for these activities? Are you satisfied with the quantity and quality of leads you’re generating?

If you feel there’s an opportunity to improve, learn more about Experiential Marketing.

Contact inquiries@highlandteam.com or info@tagergroup.com to evaluate your marketing situation and recommend if Experiential Marketing strategies are right for you, and to sign up for a subscription to Savvy Marketing.

Deborah Henken, President of Highland Team and of Women in Consulting, brings over 20 years of strategic marketing and implementation experience to companies wishing to drive greater ROI through their marketing activities. Chris Taylor, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Tager Group, has over 18 years of product and brand marketing experience ranging from startups to billion dollar corporations. Tager Group provides marketing strategy and implementation, design and digital development services.


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