What is Experiential Marketing?
The goal of experiential marketing, or engagement marketing as it is sometimes called, is to create memorable, innovative interactions that allow you to engage directly with consumers. These interactions typically take place in the “real world” (though the increasing popularity of hybrid and virtual experiences has led to the incorporation of online elements into experiential marketing), and include anything from pop-up installations to product sampling and demonstrations, or even activities that allow brands to align with the public in order to do social good. When done right, experiential marketing, in whatever form it takes, turns consumers into more than passive recipients of brand messaging by encouraging them to participate in a brand experience, and to develop a relationship with that brand.
Why Use Experiential Marketing?
Creating a feeling of connection between consumers and brands is a strength of alternative marketing techniques in general, and is especially true of experiential marketing, as demonstrated by one study conducted in 2021 that found 40% of consumers felt more brand loyalty after participating in a brand experience or interaction, and 91% were more likely to purchase the product or service. Given the waning efficacy of many traditional marketing channels, this ability to generate brand loyalty and new customers argues strongly in favor of connecting with consumers with unique and dynamic brand experiences. In addition, experiential marketing is uniquely suited to lead generation, to providing the public an opportunity to test products or services, and to expanding cross-channel promotions by giving people something to talk about on social media or a #hashtag to share.
Examples of Experiential Marketing
Creating a Green Wall for Calgary
Hoping to capitalize on the interest generated by their viral campaign to attract Amazon’s “HQ2”, the city of Calgary wanted to engage with decision-makers in the tech industry about business opportunities in the Canadian city. To that end, posterGIANT installed a massive green wall, featuring hundreds of yards of turf, in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, which is home to Amazon and a thriving tech hub. The installation included messaging from Calgary that “the grass is greener on the other side of the border” and links to information that allowed the public to learn about the business climate in the city, as well as further details about livability, affordability and more.
More Examples of Experiential Marketing
A Bold & Bright Alice + Olivia Launch Party
To celebrate their collaboration with artist Keith Haring, luxury fashion brand Alice + Olivia wanted to create a riotous party space that, like their capsule collection, featured Haring’s iconic ’80s art on almost every surface. posterGIANT made that vision possible by producing and installing a series of oversized vinyl graphics that transformed everything from the venue’s walls, to a fully skateable ¼-pipe, and a variety of art pieces into unforgettable experiences for those lucky enough to attend.
More Examples of Experiential Marketing
An Immersive 20th Anniversary Celebration of “Friends”
To mark the 25th Anniversary of the legendary sitcom “Friends”, posterGIANT helped create pop-up concert venues for performances by The Rembrandts – who recorded the show’s beloved theme song – in Seattle and Las Vegas. The Seattle event took place on National Coffee Day and included a pop-up version of Central Perk in the AT&T Lounge on Capitol Hill. Installations were brought in that allowed people to take photos of themselves with iconic elements from the show like the famous orange couch, Phoebe’s taxi – which was turned into an escape room complete with Friends Trivia and more, all of which allowed fans to experience the show in ways they could never had done before.
How Do You Plan An Experiential Marketing Campaign?
Experiential marketing in an incredibly broad approach to creating brand awareness – there are countless ways to engage with customers directly and whatever method you choose is ultimately limited by your imagination. But like all marketing campaigns experiential marketing should include the following:
1. Establishing Your Goals
What does your campaign hope to accomplish? Find new customers? Launch a new product? Create a viral moment for your brand? Your goal will ultimately shape your entire campaign, and impact the types of experiences you create for your customers.
2. Identify KPIs
What does success look like? Once you have a goal, the next step is to determine how to measure your progress via key performance indicators like, impressions, customer engagements, etc. It’s also important to determine what data you hope to glean from customers during your campaign, as certain forms of experiential marketing are a great way to collect nuanced customer information, and in-person feedback.
3. Set a Budget
As with any campaign, a marketing budget is necessary before you can determine return on investment, but it is particularly important with experiential marketing as it will inform the kinds of campaigns that are possible, and because creating innovative customer experiences often requires more planning and has more variables than traditional marketing.
Finally, any successful experiential marketing campaign should be part of a larger cross-channel marketing plan that allows you to engage with consumers in both the real world and online, and will ideally turn consumers into active participants in your brand’s campaign via social media, word-of-mouth, and other channels of communication. In other words, make your campaign go viral. Contact posterGIANT today, to get started.