What is experiential marketing?
The goal of experiential marketing, also called “engagement marketing,” is to encourage consumers to interact with a brand in meaningful ways through the provision of unique and memorable experiences. The goal is to give customers a one-of-a-kind and unforgettable experience with a product or service, whether that interaction takes place in real life or online.
Immersing clients in an experience that speaks to them on an emotional level is at the heart of experiential marketing. The end goal is increased consumer engagement, which in turn boosts brand metrics like recognition, loyalty, and advocacy.
The term “experiential marketing” covers a wide range of activities, from one-off events and product presentations to VR experiences and social media campaigns. The goal should be to give the customer a memorable and exciting experience.
My exposure to experiential marketing has been limited, but I have witnessed the “Share a Coke” campaign by Coca-Cola. Customers were urged to buy a Coke for the person whose name was printed on the bottle as part of a marketing push. The result was a more tailored experience for the customer, which they could then boast about on their social media channels.
One more is Airbnb’s “Night At” promotion, in which guests were offered the chance to spend the night in unusual and exciting settings like a treehouse or a castle. With this campaign, Airbnb was able to deliver on its promise to provide clients with truly memorable travel experiences.
Why is it so effective?
To strengthen the bond between a brand and its consumers, companies might employ experiential marketing strategies. It’s an effective strategy for connecting with people and winning their loyalty.
The first time I felt the impact of experiential marketing was unforgettable. At a recent music festival, I happened upon a booth promoting a clothing label that was completely unfamiliar to me. The booth looked like a miniature retail store, complete with hanging garment racks and mannequins wearing the current season’s offerings. However, it was the interactivity that really drew me in.
The company promoted the use of a branded hashtag in social media posts by festivalgoers who took images in a photo booth with a colorful backdrop. There was also a wheel-of-fortune kind game where you could win free stuff or price reductions. The representatives of the brand were enthusiastic and interesting, and they shared with me the company’s guiding principles.
How to plan an experiential marketing campaign
1. Look at your customer base:
My experience as a small business owner has taught me the value of listening to my clientele if I want to expand my business. Even though I had a vague notion of my ideal clientele before I launched my company, I didn’t fully comprehend their wants and needs until I conducted an in-depth study of my current clientele.
I started by compiling information about my clientele, including demographics like age and gender as well as more in-depth details like where they live and what they like to buy. Because of this, I was able to modify my offerings and expand my marketing to better serve my clientele.
For instance, I found that most of my clients were environmentally conscious millennials. With this information in hand, I expanded my product line to include additional eco-friendly options and promoted the use of sustainable materials in my existing items. The result was a rise in revenue and a solidified clientele of advocates.
Analyzing my clientele gave me insight into my clientele and helped me find places where I might boost my business. For instance, I saw a sizable portion of my clientele was reaching out to me with concerns about shipping and delivery schedules.
2. Solidify your goals:
Setting and Maintaining ObjectivesI used to have a hard time with goal-setting and follow-through. Every January 1st, I would sit down and make a long list of resolutions, all of which I would promptly forget by May. My life didn’t begin to take off until I figured out how to set firm intentions.I found that doing more than just writing down my objectives helped give them greater substance. It required me to give some serious consideration to my wants and needs. To achieve my objectives, I had to divide them up into more manageable chunks. And that required keeping tabs on my own development and acting accordingly.The first stage in establishing my objectives was to define them. I noticed that many of my objectives were overly broad and difficult to quantify. Among my goals was to “be healthier” and “be more organized.” These aims were too general to be of much use, so I needed to narrow them down.
To do this, I started asking myself questions like:
- How can I define “healthier” for myself? What exactly do you suggest I do to achieve this goal?
- The term “being more organized” sounds good in theory, but what would that look like in practice? Do you need to have a spotless house, operate at full capacity all the time, or improve your time management abilities?
Now that I knew what I wanted, I could start figuring out how to get there. If my objective was to shed some pounds, I would determine how much weight I wanted to drop and devise a strategy to get there. Examples of such items could be:
- I’m trying to eat better and keep track of my calories, so
- Daily exercise for a predetermined duration
- Reduce your sugar intake by increasing your water intake.
Instead of being overwhelmed by the enormity of my goals, I was able to focus on the daily progress I was making toward them. In the end, I learned that the secret to success was to force myself to take responsibility for my actions. I started keeping a journal in which I recorded my accomplishments and thoughts on how I was doing. In addition, I enlisted the aid of an accountability partner, someone who would keep tabs on my progress and keep me inspired. Having my objectives firmly established changed the game for me. I was able to make significant headway in my life after giving some serious thought to what I wanted and how I could get it. I still make plans and objectives for myself, but today I do them with greater focus and determination. And that has been the deciding factor.
3. Identify KPIs
Here are some key performance indicators that I can assist you identify.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurements used to assess achievement of defined business goals. The ability to measure success and pinpoint improvement opportunities relies heavily on the selection of appropriate KPIs. Some suggestions for finding key performance indicators:
- Define your business objectives: You need to know what you want out of your firm before you can pick the right key performance indicators. Just what are your end goals? To what do you aspire?
- Break down your objectives: After you’ve settled on some broad business goals, it’s time to divide them down into more manageable chunks. If your ultimate aim is to boost profits, some of your more specific objectives could be to boost sales or cut expenses.
- Determine which metrics are relevant: Identify the metrics that matter for each of your subgoals. If you want to boost your sales, you may, for instance, monitor your lead-to-sale conversion rate and average order value.
- Prioritize your KPIs: Using the collected data, rank the importance of the various key performance indicators. Prioritize those that will have the biggest effect on achieving your business goals.
- Set targets and monitor progress: Finally, make sure to track your key performance indicators on a consistent basis and create goals for improvement. Discovering your strengths and weaknesses in this way is invaluable.
By following these steps, you can identify KPIs that are relevant to your business objectives and measure progress towards achieving those objectives.
4. Create a budget
Creating a budget is an essential element of being financially responsible. This application can assist you in keeping track of your income and expenses, which is crucial in achieving your financial goals. The stress associated with budgeting is unwarranted. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Determine your income: Identifying your income is the first step in developing a budget. Everything you earn, whether from a regular job, investments, or any other source.
- Track your expenses: Creating a budget relies heavily on careful record-keeping of financial outlays. You can keep track of your spending with a notebook, a spreadsheet, or an app. Be sure to record even the smallest purchases, like coffee and snacks.
- Categorize your expenses: After you’ve added up all your monthly outlays, classify them into categories like food, housing, transportation, recreation, and so on. This will show you exactly where your money is going.
- Set financial goals: Think about the long-term financial objectives you want to achieve. These goals may include eliminating debt, saving for a home down payment, or amassing an emergency fund. Having a clear picture of where you want to be financially will help you set priorities and make wiser purchases.
- Create a budget: Using what you’ve learned, develop a budget that keeps your spending under control while still covering your income. Create a budget that takes your financial objectives into account. Apps like Mint and YNAB can help you manage your finances and save money.
- Stick to your budget: Keeping to your budget is the most crucial component of financial planning. This calls for dedication and self-control. Keep careful tabs on your spending and make necessary adjustments to your spending plan.
5. Implement a cross-channel marketing plan
My experience as a digital marketer has taught me the value of developing and executing a comprehensive cross-channel strategy. Keeping up with the rapid changes and the proliferation of digital media can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Cross-channel marketing, when done correctly, can, however, increase brand recognition, customer involvement, and sales.
In my opinion, knowing your audience inside and out is essential to developing an effective cross-channel marketing strategy. Understanding their habits in terms of time spent and media consumed is essential. Using this information, you can make your marketing messages and content more relevant to your target audience.
Consistency is also crucial in cross-channel advertising. Trust and recognition for a company may be cultivated through constant, uniform branding and messaging across all platforms. It’s also crucial to make sure the user experience is consistent across all touchpoints, including the website, social media, and email. This will improve the customer experience generally and lead to an increase in sales.
What to avoid in your campaign
Campaigns for any kind of product, service, or cause require careful consideration of the messages sent to the intended recipients. As a customer, I’ve been exposed to a lot of ads that have left me cold, annoyed, or uninterested. Some things I think you should avoid doing in your campaign are listed below.
- Overpromising and underdelivering: A classic pitfall of political campaigns is making promises they cannot keep. Promoting the positive aspects of your offering is crucial, but so is being able to deliver on the promises you make. If you don’t, you risk alienating your audience and losing credibility.
- Lack of authenticity: Consumers today place a premium on companies that are genuine and reflect their beliefs. Insincere or fake-sounding campaigns will turn off your target demographic. It is important that your marketing is authentic and true to the ideals of your business.
- Cluttered messaging: Overwhelming your audience with too much information at once is a surefire way to lose them as supporters of your campaign. Keep your messaging simple, highlighting the most valuable aspects of your product or service.
- Offensive or insensitive content: It’s crucial to think about the implications of your words in today’s multicultural culture. Offensive or insensitive content in your campaigns might hurt your brand’s image and turn off your customers.
- Ignoring feedback: Last but not least, it is critical to respond to comments and suggestions from your target demographic. Campaigns that don’t listen to their audiences or change with the times are doomed to fail.
5 must-read books about experimental marketing
To keep ahead in today’s competitive business scene, it can be helpful to try out new approaches to marketing. Here are five books that can serve as sources of motivation and assistance as you embark on an experimental marketing campaign:
- “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries: This book isn’t written specifically about marketing, but it does teach you how to test and improve your marketing techniques with minimal waste and maximum effectiveness. Ries proposes the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and stresses the value of continuous experimentation in addition to hearing input from your target audience.
- “Hacking Growth” by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown: This book delves into growth hacking, a kind of advertising that values quick testing and evidence-based judgments. A/B testing, viral loops, and other growth hacking tactics are discussed, and Ellis and Brown offer concrete guidance on how to put them into practice.
- “Made to Stick” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath: Although not directly related to experimental marketing, this book delves into the science of crafting memorable concepts and communications. The success of your trials can be improved by learning how to create engaging and effective marketing campaigns.
- “Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age” by Jonah Berger: The reasons why some ideas and products become popular while others don’t are the subject of Berger’s research. In order to create experiments that are more likely to pique the interest and enthusiasm of your target audience, it is important to have a firm grasp of the variables that motivate word-of-mouth marketing.
- “Testing Business Ideas” by David J. Bland and Alexander Osterwalder: Validating and testing company concepts, including marketing experiments, is made easier with the help of the guidelines provided in this book. Bland and Osterwalder provide detailed instructions for conducting experiments, gathering data, and drawing conclusions.
By reading and applying the advice in these books, you can learn more about experimental marketing and find new ways to propel your company’s growth and success. Embrace a philosophy of continual improvement, since each experiment is a chance to learn and iterate.