Experiential Marketing — Creating Sensory Experience for Customers Without Physical Contact
When it comes to marketing, many brands and businesses do not want just to use traditional methods such as push or pull strategies. Instead they wish to create an image for their brand through non-traditional means that appeal directly to their target customers. One way to do so is through experiential marketing.
Through creating a sensory experience for customers, marketers are able to create long-lasting brand impressions and strong relationships with their customers. They do this by holding events where consumers can sample their products or services – where they can feel, hear, taste or see the product or service before purchasing it.
In addition, experiential marketing creates an emotional connection between the consumer and a brand.
What is Experiential Marketing?
Its goal is to immerse those visiting an experiential installation within an experience where they feel engaged, interested and stimulated by the product or service presented. The intention is to engage the customer’s senses and emotions in order to create an intangible link with the brand, store or company. It also works on improving employee morale.
With the help of experiential marketing, brands are able to target a wider audience. A brand is no longer restricted to the market it has created for itself when using traditional modes of advertising like print ads or television commercials. Rather they get to cover the whole spectrum of their consumers even if they have never tried their products or service before and are not likely to.
In recent years, experiential marketing has shown to be the winning horse in brand sales techniques, particularly among millennials and Generation Z. These are the same people that, despite the current economic crisis, still want businesses to create experiences for them in order to engage with them.
They believe that prior experience is a critical component in influencing their purchasing decisions. However, reality differs significantly from our expectations, and the times we live in are challenging. If we could use experiential marketing in an event before, we now have to use a virtual environment to tap into emotions and create unforgettable sensory experiences.
So, how do we go about doing it?
Experiential marketing is supported through several forms of communication.
Experiential marketing (also known as experience marketing) aims to create a good experience for users by interacting with them via their senses.
What exactly is it? Make experiences that are enjoyable and unforgettable for the customers.
Many brands are aware that this form of emotional marketing is the catalyst for people to convert and become loyal customers. Experiential marketing has also depended on new means of communication such as these in recent years to get effective results:
- Marketing in shopping centers
- Pop-up stores
- Event marketing
- Flash mobs
All of them are open innovation models that enable us to create experiences, the breadth of which is determined by the client’s participation. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic will result in a before-and-after in terms of changes in user habits and, as a result, a new way of thinking about experiential marketing.
Brands will no longer be able to stage a flash mob or plan an event (in that case, the capacity will be limited). As a result, they’ll need to come up with innovative ways to engage customers through experiences.
For example, contactless product sampling. Given the current limitations of COVID-19 and the importance of social distancing, brands must alter their marketing methods to reach their potential customers and target market.
Product sampling is a terrific marketing approach for raising brand recognition and getting feedback on new products, but how can companies use it during a pandemic?
Here are two safe and efficient ways for your business to use product sampling:
- Sampling delivery. Samples can be packaged and mailed to your customers (depending on the type of product). To improve the consumer experience and meet the campaign’s goals, your team should concentrate its efforts on packaging and communication.
Customers will appreciate receiving a present in the mail, and there are numerous ways to keep the conversation going. You can, for example, use social media to communicate with customers and solicit feedback, or you might hold an online contest.
- Social distance product sampling. Customers are gradually returning outside as cities begin to decongest. People are going to the park and the beach, while some are commuting to work because it is summertime.
You may take advantage of this by launching a product sampling campaign in high-traffic areas that adheres to strict hygiene guidelines. You will be able to give unique experiences while encouraging a safe environment with appropriate preparation and planning.
Experiential marketing forecasts and trends.
Things will never be the same since the COVID-19 pandemic hit worldwide. Experiential marketing, on the other hand, isn’t going away since, for millennials, it’s still a big part of the decision-making process.
This means that in order to develop new experiences, it will be required to experiment with different shapes and formats. More hybrid formats, such as online meetings and actions streamed or live, are expected in this vein. With all of this, the user will not be able to directly experience the “experience,” but an illusion of doing so will be available.
Many digital marketing agencies, on the other hand, are already experimenting with new tools, seeing technology as a way to help them create better experiences. As a result, owing to technology, you may expect more targeted and direct activities.
For instance, using Zoom, a consumer-facing platform, is efficient for transforming customer interactions. This is just one example as there are a plethora of apps and internet tools available to help you create immersive experiences.
Create a receptive community.
Finally, bring up the concept of shared experiences and brand communities. You will be able to motivate your fans to share their experiences on social media if you are able to build a community that is loyal to your business and fights for it tooth and nail.
And how can you turn your customers into actual brand advocates? First, you must investigate what is being said about our brand, who is saying it, and where it is being stated. Then, with your clients, establish a shared passion and try to keep the conversation focused on it.
The following stage will be to provide your clients with something unique and exclusive, while clearly stating the benefits they will receive. The most critical step now is to keep your audience engaged by providing a positive experience.
Here are a few suggestions for acquiring it:
- Encourage and share the content that fans generate about your brand
- Publicly show appreciation from your fans.
- Create polls or games
It will undoubtedly be a difficult task for brands. What was once done in a large open space with thousands of people is now done in smaller, more individualized activities.It is not, however, impossible.
All you have to do is build a strong community around your brand and adjust your experiential marketing plan to new changes in consumer habits, collaborating with a good digital marketing agency, relying on technology, innovation, and creativity.