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    Why should a brand invest in experiential marketing?

    The average consumer is exposed to thousands of marketing messages each week from digital sources, whether from their newsfeeds on various social media platforms or paid advertising on websites - and with such an overwhelming quantity of input, it's a significant challenge for any brand to make themselves really stand out. As a marketing specialist, it is a challenge I face head-on for my clients through one of our most powerful marketing solutions - experiential marketing.

    Experiential marketing should be part of your marketing mix

    Remember getting free samples in the shops? That’s where experiential marketing originated – it’s the idea of giving consumers access to experiencing your products or services themselves in a friendly, helpful and obligation-free environment.

    Ironically, this highly interactive and physical form of marketing has regained significant traction in this modern world of impersonal digital marketing because more value is placed on human contact and shared experiences – especially by the so-called detached and elusive Millennials.

    As such, experiential marketing perfectly compliments social media and other digital marketing campaigns through creating a positive, immersive brand experience that changes consumers into brand activists that go on to advocate your brand effectively throughout the digital world. Your brand becomes part of their life experience due to their emotional involvement in the conversation you have created.

    Points to consider when choosing an experiential marketing agency

    Successful experiential marketing campaign requires expert strategy, timing and vision – so it’s important to have the right agency on board to ensure you get the best possible results. In my experience, the most important qualities to look for include:

    • Knowledge of your audience: Your campaign is hardly going to be effective if your agency doesn’t understand what your audience cares about, how they think and how they behave. It’s simply not enough to hear about them from your company – they should invest in thorough customer research to gain this necessary, detailed perspective.
    • Digital integration: As demonstrated above, the full affect of modern experiential marketing is carried through the digital world, so it’s important that your agency combines your experiential campaign with support on your social platforms.
    • Long-term commitment: Experiential marketing shouldn’t be seen as a gimmick or short-term fix to promote a single product. A fully-integrated strategy in a well-developed contact-to-sales process combined with comprehensive analytics at each stage of the campaign will cultivate your brand’s relationship with your audience rather than being a once-off novelty that creates no lasting impression.

    What makes for a good brand experience?

    The aim behind any form of experiential marketing is to create a good brand experience, whether your consumer has a query about your services or is purchasing a product – but how can you create this? Here are my key elements for a good experiential marketing experience:

    • Understanding your customer.
    • Understanding your brand and brand values.
    • Creating an emotional connection between the customer and your brand for their mutual benefit.

    As you can see, experiential marketing is about committing your brand to a real and beneficial relationship with your customers through physical, emotional and psychological interaction with your brand. This human face to your brand delivers that essential – and valuable - connection to your customer, transforming them into active marketing agents for your brand.

    About Michelle Storey

    Michelle Storey is CEO and founder of Tradeway, results-driven marketing specialists in customised promotions, brand activations and experiential marketing solutions for leading local and international brands.
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