Experiential Marketing: The Ins-n-Outs

116 & West

Experiential marketing has taken the marketing world by force over the past few years. With the overwhelming amount of new technology available to brands, these experiences are only going to get better and more complex. How can brands leverage this tactic in a successful way? Let’s chat further, shall we?

What is experiential marketing?

Let’s start with the basics. Experiential marketing, also known as “engagement marketing,” focuses on helping a consumer experience a brand. If you look at traditional advertising methods, such as television or radio, you are only using one or two of your senses to experience that brand (which are typically sight and sound). With experiential marketing, you can engage all five of the senses, which is much more powerful. Ultimately, this creates a memory associated with your brand.
In a nutshell, experiential marketing engages a consumer on an emotional level by providing an experience that creates a memory associated with the brand, ultimately creating brand ambassadors who share their experience with others. This leads to—you guessed it—high customer retention.

When should experiential marketing be considered?

Take a look at your marketing plan for the upcoming year. Are there any important events occurring? Maybe a product launch? Or an important partnership? These are the most obvious times to think about including an experiential marketing campaign into the marketing mix.

How are brands implementing experiential marketing?

Glad you asked! Below are some examples of brands doing experiential marketing the right way:
Polo Noir
As Oregon’s premier Polo+Wine Event, Polo Noir is a great example of how brands can come together and create memorable experiences. This one is also close to my heart, as I am the Director of Brand Engagement and Partner Relations.
When looking at partners for an experiential campaign, you want to make sure your partners elevate your brand in some way. For example, Domaine Serene, the exclusive wine provider of Polo Noir, is paired up with luxury catering, hotel, and beverage partners to elevate their brand value and extend their reach to enthusiasts of these other luxury brands.
The results were 3,100 customer touchpoints, 500 followers, 330 retweets, and 568 likes.
Lean Cuisine
Experiential marketing campaigns do not have to center around events exclusively. On top of that, they don’t need to focus on your product. You can create an experience around something that is associated with your product and get the same results, which is why Lean Cuisine knocked #WeighThis out of the park.
For this campaign, Lean Cuisine created a gallery of “scales” in New York’s Grand Central Station and invited women to weigh themselves. The catch was the actual “weighing” was not on a scale. The scales were actually small boards where women could write down how they wanted to be weighed. Instead of being weighed in pounds, women wrote down things from going to college to caring for homeless children to being a single mom.
The results? People began sharing their experience on social media, and Lean Cuisine capitalized on the messaging that your accomplishments matter more than a number on a scale.
Think experiential marketing is only for B2C brands? Wrong! GE proves that experiential marketing can make an impact for a B2B brand.
With their Healthymagination campaign, GE developed “movie sets” that represented different environments where Healthymagination took place, such as African clinics or an emergency room. The doctors would then share their stories live to illustrate how GE’s healthcare technology played a major role in each setting. The point of this campaign wasn’t to sell GE medical products. It was to get people talking about an important issue: access to healthcare. With GE at the center of this discussion, it ultimately elevates their brand to a thought leader.
Does all this talk make you want to discuss an experiential marketing campaign for your brand? We’d love to chat with you!