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What is Experiential Marketing?

Marketing is a core part of any business model and product strategy, consisting of many subsections that focus on different parts of brand creation and distribution. Experiential Marketing is a growing example of a specialized marketing field. Also called ‘Event Marketing’ or ‘Engagement Marketing,’ its main goal is to create memorable moments between a brand and its customers. 

Still an emerging player in the world of marketing, let’s take a closer look at what Experiential Marketing is.

What Does an Experiential Marketer Do?

Most basically, Experiential Marketers are responsible for creating strategies that encourage a brand’s audience to engage with its content. The engagements are focused on a more tangible interaction than simply liking an Instagram post, which is more traditionally a component of digital or social media marketing. Instead, an Experiential Marketer is looking to create a moment between the consumer and the product that feels personal. This can range from something as simple as a customer taking a picture with the product and sharing it, to grander, large-scale special events.

Experiential Marketers are the architects of branded experiences that leave a lasting impression on their participants and spectators. With that in mind, there are a few key traits that are common among every successful Experiential Marketing campaign. 

Creating a Branded Experience

Although each Experiential Marketing campaign is unique, the goals are similar. Ultimately, the objective is to position the brand as relevant and desirable, cementing its reputation to its audience. As it becomes more challenging to connect with individuals thanks to a deluge of new products and platforms, Experiential Marketing leaves room for creativity in ways that aren’t accessible through traditional channels.

The main qualities of an Experiential Marketing campaign are important to its overall impact on the brand’s performance. 

An Engaging Environment

This applies not only to the experience itself, but also to subsequent interactions with the target audience. The best campaigns lead to growth in engagement. This can be either through an increase from existing users, or by reaching new audiences who are inspired to become part of the community. At its core, Experiential Marketing moments bring the product to the consumer in a refreshing way. This can take on many forms, but virtually always involves giving users the opportunity to see the product in a new and meaningful light.

Brand MVP Embodiment

The missions, values, and persona of a brand are a main focus of all types of marketing, and there are few chances to showcase them as directly as during an Experiential Marketing campaign. Companies are nearly constantly trying to tell their audience what sets their brand apart, but the experiences are what allow consumers to take part in it. This helps lock that message in and ensure that the audience will continue to associate the brand with its MVP.

A Reach Wider Than its Audience

Although the goal of Experiential Marketing is to give people a personal experience with the brand, its impact isn’t limited by the number of participants that directly engage. A successful campaign also connects with spectators of the campaign, and allows them to feel excited by the interactive aspect of the brand as well. Although the experience is different that the original, it’s an important method to generate the most value with each campaign.

The Challenges of Experiential Marketing

While it’s certainly a useful genre of the marketing family, Experiential Marketing is still new to many companies. Although it seems like a no-brainer to make these interactive experiences a regular part of marketing efforts, there are struggles that companies face at different stages that can make this goal feel inaccessible. Some possible challenges include:

  • Fear of low ROI 
  • Difficulty creating campaigns that effectively market the brand
  • Lack of understanding of how to monitor campaign performance

These difficulties can make it a struggle to get Experiential Marketing off the ground, and are common when first starting out. Experiential Marketers are experts in all of the issues and understand how to avoid them by thoroughly studying the brand and its target audience to craft experiences that make sense. When done correctly, Experiential Marketing significantly helps efforts to position the brand as trusted and beloved.

The Importance of Experiential Marketing

As the world becomes more digitized and consumers are inundated with new products, services, and brands, standing out from the crowd becomes a challenge. Traditional social media and ad campaigns can feel overdone, and the audience can tune them out. Experiential Marketing is an exciting and well-established area that is dedicated to creating out-of-the-ordinary experiences. While these can still be simple, like getting users to post on their own social media with the product or a special hashtag, the point is to get them directly involved with the brand. Even these little moments make the consumer more likely to feel connected to, and therefore engage with, the company more.

If you want to learn more about Experiential Marketing, Chet’s first Experiential Marketing microcourse has more of what you need to know.

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