There are many terms to describe experiential marketing such as buzz, word-of-mouth, viral, influencer and grassroots, to name a few. While the terms may be diverse, the basic goal is the same: creating an opportunity for consumers to directly interact with your brand in hopes of increasing their awareness and ultimately building brand affinity.
Experiential marketing doesn’t typically deliver the same volume of impressions as a traditional media hit in, for example, The New York Times, which has a circulation in the millions. However, strategic experiential marketing campaigns target an exact demographic at a specific time, creating a highly targeted return on investment.
The most successful experiential marketing campaigns get people “buzzing” about your brand, and the ultimate goal of any such campaign is to influence positive in-person and online conversations following the experience.
The typical American mentions specific brand names 60 times per week in online and offline conversations
54% of purchase decisions are driven by word-of-mouth, more than information from a website (47%), an email from a friend (42%) or online reviews (31%)
59% of Americans believe offline (face-to-face or voice-to-voice) word-of-mouth to be highly credible
49% of Americans believe online word-of-mouth to be highly credible
Experiential marketing campaigns can be highly integrated, incorporating components such as microsites, street teams and product promotions. However, for those with a smaller budget, experiential marketing can be as simple as creating an opportunity for influencers to sample your product.
For example, an entrepreneurial independent tea producer might host a tea party at which friends and family are asked to invite another tea lover to sit with the tea expert and learn about how the ingredients are selected, blended and optimally brewed. Guests would be encouraged to share their experience and offered samples to take home and try on their own.
On a grander scale, GroundFloor Media (GFM) has worked with companies to create customer experiences that offered personalized engagement on a very broad scale. In the end, the goal is the same: create a positive brand experience for the customer that promotes engaging conversation and leads to increased brand loyalty.
Wondering if an experiential marketing campaign is for you? Consider the following:
Have you identified your target audience?
Do you know where and when to reach them in person?
Do you have a team member who can manage an experiential campaign? If not, do you have the resources to engage with an agency?