Experiential marketing is all about bringing event attendees closer to the brand you are promoting. By juggling all the necessary logistics that go along with planning an event that is experiential and meant to be unique, many marketers often forget the essential aspects of an experiential marketing event that truly drive success.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the five essential tips that every experiential marketer should incorporate into their campaigns in order to create more impactful expereinces for those who choose to engage with your event.
Within each section, we’ve shared real case studies from companies who have successfully implemented these tips.
1. Provide Potential Customers With Individualized Attention
In order to really grab the attention of your audience and successfully achieve brand recognition, you need to provide a truly interactive experience to attendees. The best way to create a platform of real engagement is through instant gratification. One-to-one engagement with audience members, free giveaways, and personalized attention are keys to planning an experiential marketing event that will be remembered.
A great example of real engagement is Sensodyne toothpaste’s “The Great Sensitivity Test.” The event launched the company’s new Complete Protection technology. In order to show how this new technology can really help people with sensitive teeth, they not only gave away free samples but actually set up a zone that provided people with a dentist-led sensitivity check.
Sensodyne’s “The Great Sensitivity Test” – London, UK
Sensodyne reached their audience, with complete transparency and total individualized attention. With so many advertisements all around us, we often have a difficult time remembering one brand specifically. Therefore, it is important for brands to reach individuals directly through interactive and meaningful live-event experiences.
2. Don’t Sell. Offer Attendees Value.
No one likes advertisements that seem like advertisements. No one likes to be told to buy a product, and of course, no one likes to be lied to in terms of what that product can do. Take the time to make sure that your marketing event seems natural.
The best way to deliver a natural or “organic” marketing event is to be transparent and honest. Being honest about your product or brand does not mean you have to be boring. Organizing an event that is quirky, creative and unique will actually serve to highlight your brand without making it seem like you’re just trying to advertise.
A great way to connect with potential customers is to actually provide individuals with real value. Many experiential marketers have equated providing real value to giving out free samples. While free samples are a great way of showing confidence in a product, there are other more creative ways to provide value. We can see this in the previous case study with Sensodyne, but other successful experiential marketing campaigns have similarly realized this best practice. Consider TNT’s promotion of the third season of Dallas in which they took over an NYC gas station for the day with a drastic cut to oil prices.
TNT’s Dallas “Gas Station” – New York City
Here, they achieved brand recognition and promoted the new season of Dallas through a creative, and high-visability event. The real value they provided for individuals – really cheap gas – overpowered the “advertising” quality of the event.
3. Deliver A Clear and Concise Message
No matter how creative your campaign or how many thousands of dollars you spend on high quality props, your event will not succeed if your audience does not clearly understand what is going on.
Displaying a clear message about your brand that you want your audience to remember is better than having your audience simply remember the name of your brand. Many marketers often plan experiential events in order to clarify a brand’s message or redefine the brand’s image.
Therefore, when planning your campaign, you should closely consider your event goals and the message you want to deliver. Consider your values, and then plan your event with these values in mind. Think about the best way to deliver this message while minimizing the possibility for participants to leave with a different interpratation of the message you delivered. An event that does not match your brand will confuse your audience and often hurt your brand’s image.
National Geographic’s “Augmented Reality” – UK
National Geographic’s experiential marketing event on augmented reality is a great example of this notion. In order to promote the National Geographic television channel, marketers used real-time 3D technology to bring people up close to projections of wild animals from all over the world. Not only was this event extremely interactive, creative, and exciting, it delivered a clear message about National Geographic.
4. Make Experiental Events Accessible Online
Despite the varied approaches and displays each of the above case studies have used, they all shared a similar method of attracting media attention. Uploaded to YouTube, National Geographic’s Augmented Reality event reached over half a million views, and TNT’s Dallas campaign was promoted through a New York Times ad, Facebook sweepstakes, radio broadcasts and billboards.
Uploading video of experiential marketing events is also a great way of measuring the success of your brand awareness campaign. T-Mobile’s Angry Birds Live event in Barcelona is a great example of this. In order to publicize smartphone capabilities, T-Mobile organized a life-size platform where people could interactively play Angry Birds.
T-Mobile’s “Angry Birds Live” – Barcelona, Spain
T-mobile uploaded the event to YouTube, and by doing so, reached over five million views in one week and around eighteen million views altogether.
You should keep in mind that you can qualify the success of your event not just at the event itself but also by its traction and impressions online.
5. Capitalize On Global Events To Create Attendee Excitment
One of the best ways to ensure that your experiential marketing event will be successful is to feed off your audience’s energy. The best way to understand this concept is through the lens of Nike’s World Cup campaign Risk Everything: Winner Stays. Feeding off the energy of the World Cup, Nike organized a soccer tournament in NYC, with over 120 teams participating. The Finals were also held in exciting locations, like on the top of the Intrepid.
Nike’s “Winner Stays” Tournament – New York City
From this campaign, Nike accomplished more publicity than Adidas, the World Cup’s official sponsor. The event succeeded because it was relevant and responded to the developing excitement for the 2014 World Cup.
What To Do Next:
Now it’s time to create an experiential marketing event of your own. Incorporate the five successful tactics outlined in this article to create more memborable experiences for attendees, and to further amplify the impact of the event for online audiences.
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