There is a reason that the popularity of experiential marketing continues to grow each year. 74% of consumers say engaging with a branded event makes them more likely to buy the products being promoted. In 2019, A study by the Harris Group revealed that almost 75% of Millennials would choose an experience over a product. Clearly, experiential campaigns and events are powerful marketing techniques! But what makes experiential marketing so effective? Over the next few weeks, we will share the top 10 reasons experiential marketing works. Here are a few reasons to start us off:
Experiential marketing focuses on authenticity
Authenticity is a top priority for consumers. An international survey of consumer perceptions of authenticity by Cohn & Wolfe revealed that authenticity was more important to consumers than product utility, uniqueness, or popularity. Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers surveyed were willing to reward a company for its authenticity, and 50% would recommend the brand to others.
Events allow consumers to really get to know your brand in an authentic way. Consumers are looking to buy in to something, not simply to buy a product. They want to know the values, mission, and the story of your brand. People don’t enjoy being “sold to” and are wary of traditional advertising. In contrast, events are a voluntary interaction that creates a dialogue with the consumer.
How can your brand use events to express authenticity? Know yourself, and standardize your messaging to be less product-centric and more about your brand mission. An honest conversation that communicates the benefits of a product should promote authentic interest, without the need for a sales pitch. A great example of an authentic campaign that resonated with consumers is Lean Cuisine’s #weighthis campaign. By asking consumers what they would like to be measured by (other than weight), Lean Cuisine established that it cares about individuals and a holistic approach to health, rather than profits. To learn more about the importance of authenticity, check out this blog post.
2. Events allow your brand to form lasting connections with customers
As we have explored previously, harnessing the power of emotions is especially important for establishing lasting connections with your customers. 95% of marketers say live events give them the opportunity to create valuable in-person connections. Consumers attend events to find a sense of belonging, knowing they share a common interest, passion, or mindset with the people around them. Events offer direct, interactive experiences that humanize the brand while creating a personal connection.
What makes events unique compared to other marketing techniques is that consumers have the opportunity to meet representatives of your brand, which humanizes the brand. Put simply, consumers put a face to a name. Events also are one of the only ways to have a two-way conversation with consumers, rather than communicating “at” them, making the experience feel more like a connection or friendship with the brand. How often do our friends just talk at us, without giving us the chance to share our perspective? Good friends – and good companies – engage with their audience to make them feel heard.
3. Events fuel brand content
Experiential marketing integrates extremely well with communications and content marketing. Experiences are ripe with opportunity to create and share content both in real time via social media and on an ongoing basis. Attendees at your event are also likely to create and share their own content: 98% of consumers create and share social content at events, allowing your brand to reach an even wider audience.
Experiential and digital marketing can be coordinated to most effectively catch the attention of the consumer. Create your own branded content at your event! When planning your event, invest in a camera crew that can capture guests’ honest reactions to your experience. You can showcase footage from your events online or in brand commercials. You can also ask people to share their stories and photos of the event with you. This material can even be used to create excitement for future events!
4. Experiential marketing helps consumers understand your product
One of the main goals of marketing is to educate consumers about your product. Events provide opportunities for hands-on experience with your products and services. Experiential marketing has the advantage over traditional marketing methods when it comes to learning about your product. Consumers go out of their way to avoid commercials, but events are unique, fun, and attractive experiences that keep consumers engaged. In fact, about 65% of consumers say that live events and product demonstrations helped them fully understand a product better than any commercial or other method could.
A recent, fun example of an interactive experience that educates consumers about a product is the “Pursuit of Sweetness” activity at Rosé Mansion. Attendees follow a colorful floor flowchart to determine their own preferences for sweet or bitter flavors. At the end of the flowchart, the tasting sample provided to the consumer depends on how they answered the questions. Attendees learn about the wine and their own preferences, and have the opportunity to test the accuracy of the results by tasting the wine at the end. Other activities at the mansion educate consumers about the process of winemaking and the history of wine. Consumers leave the event understanding more about wine.
Pro Motion has years of experience proving to their customers that experiential marketing works. If you’re interested in being the next success story, call us at 636.449.3162 today!
Learn More About Steve Randazzo’s book, Brand Experiences: Building Connections in a Digitally Cluttered World. Click here to download free chapters!