The Proof Behind the Impact of Experiential Marketing
“As services and goods are commoditized, experience will emerge as the next step in progression of economic value, from now onwards, leading edge companies will find that their battlefield lies in staging experience,” writes Joseph Pine and James Gilmore in 1999 book, The Experience Economy.
Although written almost two decades ago, many companies still fail to use this insight—often defaulting to incorporating the following traditional marketing tactics:
- Descriptions of features and benefits
- Narrowly defined product categories
- A view of customers as rational decision-makers
- Tools which rely on analytical, quantitative and verbal appeals
These standard methods miss the much-needed opportunity to influence consumers emotionally. With a highly-competitive marketplace where differentiation is difficult to achieve, consumers are more resistant to advertising, the number of brand-advocates has decreased and the methods of advertising are continuously changing, experiential marketing has become a fundamental part of the marketing mix.
While traditional marketing alternatives put consumers in a “listening” mode, experiential marketing appeals to emotions of the participant. By creating a sense of surprise, initiating participation and immersing consumers in an experience, brands go above and beyond the differentiation tactics of their competition. Setting up a promotion by following the “Surprise”, “Participation”, “Immersion” three-step process moves your target audience along an emotional spectrum that creates a unique and memorable experience that leaves a lasting impression.
Companies who use experiential marketing have seen and continue to see significant results in both consumer loyalty and satisfaction as well as sales revenue. Here are four examples that show the impact of experiential marketing:
It’s hard for consumers to connect with a faceless corporation. Experiential marketing gives brands a personality that consumers create a genuine connection with. Affiliating this created personality to a product further strengthens the relationship they have with your company.
RETENTION AND RECALL, LEADING TO PURCHASE
Much like the science fair exhibit using light bulbs to make your hair stand up, experiential marketing establishes an interactive understanding of information—from a given product’s functions to pricing to safety features. Rather than being lectured about the fundamental information, participation creates a positive experience that has been shown to increase purchase intent and customer satisfaction.
BUILDING CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND BRAND LOYALTY
Creating an emotional connection through memorable brand experiences has been proven to not only increase customer satisfaction and likelihood to repurchase, but turns a brand loyal consumer into a brand advocate. Consumers emotionally attached to a brand, feel a sense of ownership in it and are likely to share their reviews to family and friends.
IMPROVED ROI OVER MASS MARKETING
Experiential events promote at a more personal level compared to mass media campaigns. By spending more time with stakeholders, less time overall to inspire action and developing longer relationships, many brands experience an improved ROI.
By promoting products through curated individual experiences rather than non-personal mass-media channels, using experiential marketing creates an unforgettable feeling of engagement that enables consumers’ direct involvement in your brand.
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