What is Experiential Marketing?
Experiential marketing has been a tactic used by businesses for thousands of years, dating all the way back to the earliest days of the first local markets in the first towns and cities. Merchants set up shop in the square and proceeded to display their wares while telling their would-by buyers all about their product.
At its heart, experiential marketing pulls customers into a physical, emotional interaction with a brand. In our modern era, this can go by some other names:
- Event marketing
- Participation marketing
- Engagement marketing
- On-ground marketing
- Loyalty marketing
- Live marketing
Ultimately, experiential marketing is all about involving customers actively with whatever is being sold in new and inventive ways. When done right, the consumer connects with a brand in a way that just isn’t possible with standalone online, television, print, radio, or any other kind of marketing channel.
While digital and online interaction–particularly viral sharing–is a keystone, a large part of the emotional resonance that results from good experiential marketing comes from the physical components that a business (or brand) brings to play. SpeedPro can help you provide a wide variety of materials that feature your designs and pass the intended cognitive, emotional and sensory values to your customers or audience. High quality large format printed matter gives your experiential marketing and your brand, the weight and perceived value it deserves. Online, “virtual” experiential marketing is important to include for most brands, but in-person interactions are one of your biggest differentiators.
Experiential Marketing Strategy
What can a marketer do in order to help ensure their experiential marketing strategy is optimized? There are a few steps to be considered:
- Analyze how customers currently experience your brand.
- If you don’t have one already, put together a platform for your brand on which you can interact with customers.
- Work with your team to align on the complete brand experience. Prioritize the integration of online and offline / real world experience.
- Identify the types of printed material that can be used to enhance this experience (displays, signage, etc.)
- Disseminate your brand’s value propositions to both external and internal audiences. Make sure these satisfy your customer’s needs from all sides, such as providing appropriate information for the stages of your customers’ journeys and visuals that inspire curiosity.
- Set performance goals (KPIs, key performance indicators) for your brand.
- Follow up and monitor those KPIs on a regular cadence to ensure you can act quickly on any negative or positive news.
Experiential Marketing Results
When executed well, experiential marketing leads to an expanded relationship between a brand and the customer that enables every one of the customer’s interactions with that brand. There are some other powerful effects that come from experiential marketing, as well.
- A relatively high ROI: If your brand takes part in a large scale event with thousands of people in attendance, such as a fair, convention, or concert, you will likely see a lot of interactions and even acquire new customers. For example, spending $5,000 on booth rental and production of print materials like banners and brochures for a huge convention often leads to multiples of that in new revenue.
- More customer testing: Some of the best experiential marketing settings encourage customers or users of a brand to actually try using your product. This tactile interaction is a major driver for the creation of memory and emotional connection to your brand. While big events increase the sheer number of these interactions, you will find that smaller events encourage deeper, more meaningful brand/customer connection.
- Improved brand recognition: When a brand’s products exist almost entirely in the real world–as with many toys, decorative items and appliances–it can be extremely helpful to use experiential marketing as a prime opportunity to get your product in front of as many people as possible. This ultimately leads to a boost in brand recognition.
- Buzz building: Often going hand-in-hand with brand recognition is the process of building buzz among your audience. Both existing customers and potential customers can be affected by experiential marketing in a way that increases their excitement for a brand’s products, both old and new. This buzz can grow and extend to the wider customer base.
- Improved connection: This comes down to a “believability quotient”. When customers see and experience your product firsthand (or even hear about it from a trusted source), they are far more likely to retain positive feelings about your brand. This will translate into more positive messages and reviews as well as higher sales.
How can SpeedPro help with your experiential marketing?
Effective experiential marketing is a combination of good planning that maps the journey you want your audience to take and high quality materials to accompany that journey. SpeedPro will take your brand designs and turn them into:
- Cardboard cutouts / standees
- Photomural graphics
- Vinyl banners
- Pop-up/portable exhibits
- Glossy signage
- Tabletop displays
- Backlit displays
…and much, much more!