While experiential has continued to grow at a staggering rate globally, there are still some misunderstandings, or myths, surrounding this communications channel. It's time to bust 'em!
Experiential is definitely more than handing out samples at a hastily planned event. It’s about creating a positive brand experience, based on specialist training in consumer behaviour marketing techniques and analysis. You can’t simply organise an event without fully understanding the specific market you are targeting. Brands need to create an experience specific to their target market, rather than a mass audience.
Myth 2: It’s expensive
Many people think experiential has to cost the earth to be effective, but it doesn’t – and you need to look at the return on investment to see the full value. For example, you need to consider:
- Sales: What has been the increase in sales?
- Footfall: How many people attended the marketing event/experience?
- Length/depth: What is the level of engagement that has been reached with your target market
- Digital traffic: How many clicks, hits and likes on social media were achieved? Was it shareable content?
- PR: Did the brand/event/experience achieve the desired coverage and in the right publications (online, print, TV, etc)
Myth 3: It's just one channel of communication
Experiential marketing relies on immersing the end user in an experience where they can take away a message. But the way that is done can be just as varied as the companies and clients we work with. The challenge for us as experiential marketers is to come up with new and effective ways to communicate with our clients’ customers.
We once built a maze in the middle of Melbourne to educate people about the depth of Singapore as a holiday destination. We also developed a matrix-like ‘photo booth’ in Sydney’s CBD to help consumers experience the power of the latest technology available to them. We use various channels to communicate with customers. When we use a combination of experiential with digital and PR – that’s when we hit what we call the ‘sweet spot’ – a truly integrated approach to marketing a brand.
Myth 4: It's a one-off thing
Experiential marketing is definitely not a fad or trend. Just look at how consumers have evolved, combined with the growth of social media. Consumers around the globe are having experiences and sharing them with their networks. Brands need to capitalise on this, with experiential marketing becoming part of an overall brand strategy and mix. For some, such as Red Bull, experiential could be considered the cornerstone of their marketing strategy – it just depends on the brand and the message you want to convey.
Myth 5: Anyone can be an experiential marketer
This is absolutely a myth. Experiential can fail dismally if not activated at the right time and without proper planning. I mentioned earlier the various channels of communication we use to speak to consumers, and deciding which channels should be used depends on the different sectors or industries and your target audience – knowing which to use and when comes from expertise in the use of experiential marketing.
Chieftain became a member of the global Creata network in August 2014.
For more information, please contact:
Steve Fontanot - CEO / Creative Director
e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: +61 (0) 2 9847 4418 w: chieftaincomms.com