Experiential marketing – should your business do it?
The ways in which you can market your business are numerous and ever-evolving. From email marketing to online engagement, from brand activations to a website that does the job, marketing has become a full scale action area for any business wanting to be noticed and taken seriously in today’s media-rich world.
What about experiential marketing? Experiential marketing can be defined as a promotional strategy that engages customers by inviting them to participate in a brand-driven experience. Basically, this means encouraging customers to engage with a brand through a co-ordinated experience. And while many established companies do this through large scale events, small businesses might see such exercises as unnecessary or too ‘big budget’ for them. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Small business can (and should) invest in experiential marketing.
Why choose experiential marketing? In today’s busy and pressurised world, research shows that individuals prefer to have experiences than things and that, with hundreds of products to choose from, people are more likely to remember a fresh, exciting way of interacting with a brand over yet another advert for that brand. The events that form the body of experiential marketing have many benefits including increased brand awareness and content generation, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, and helping your business stand out from the crowd. Most importantly, today’s most successful marketing campaigns are not about selling a once-off product – they’re about creating and maintaining long-term relationships with customers that connect with a brand and want to keep doing so. Experiential marketing does just that.
Three simple ways to invest in experiential marketing
1. Choose a public space
With the proper permissions in place, staging your brand event in a public space has a number of advantages, including a potentially interesting location, access to an audience that is already there, and exposure on a broad scale, without the associated costs. And if your event has an element of fun, innovation, or novelty, all the better to remember it by.
2. Talk to your brand
Brand experiences are best when they tell a story that is related to the service or product on offer. Clothing Company? Put on a fashion show. Alcohol suppliers? Host a whiskey tasting. Connecting the experience directly to the brand means you will probably already have the necessary stock and, more importantly, you will create a memory in the minds of your target market that consistently links the experience back to your brand and business.
Social media (with the likes of Facebook and Instagram) is a powerful marketing tool and, for the most part, it’s free and easily accessible. Create buzz before the event, encourage your followers to post and comment during the event, and let it live on after it’s all done, all through the power of numerous social media platforms. Ongoing quality content, here we come.
At Switch, we love working with small business owners. We are inspired by their passion and drive and know just how to use our expertise to help them get the marketing support they need, when and how they need it. From once-off projects to retainers that bring together a talented network of creative professionals, we can handle your marketing needs from start to finish.