6 Ways to Avoid a Huge Experiential Marketing Screw Up

by Jan 12, 2016

The marketing world continues to find and add to its vocabulary, multiple innovative concepts in the new, hyper-competitive environment. One discipline, finding massive momentum – experiential marketing. By using various cross-media promotions, marketers seek to create a direct immersion into a live brand experience through interaction that is not readily available through other marketing strategies.

If you are considering the use of experiential marketing as a part of your overall brand strategy, take some time to understand its power and inherent limitations of effectively delivering “experience in marketing”. It is wise to understand some of the early lessons of the experience marketing concept, and some to avoid like the plague. To assist, we compiled 6 ways to avoid an experiential marketing disaster:

1. Carefully select the venue.

Experiential campaigns are best utilized at events and environments where you have a pre-selected and interested audience that already exist. For example, demonstrate kitchen utensils at a farmer’s market with do-it-yourself demos. Carefully selected interactions at trade shows and invitation-only events will also present ideal opportunities.

2. Don’t seek to simultaneously build brand awareness and stack ROI.

By definition, the planned experience with a brand limits the number of participants to target audiences. This effort is to create a personal interaction, not simply a general and passing impression or a sale. Pure ROI driven experiential campaigns do exist but usually do not work as well in conjunction with brand awareness campaigns. 

3. Integrate the experience with an overall strategy.

Experiential marketing campaigns often require a large investment of marketing resources but can be cut by piggybacking with other marketing efforts. The ROI will come from properly leveraging the event/experience with other marketing activities.

For example, a participant at a program should be asked to sign-up on an email list or become a social media fan. From there the digital marketing department or sometimes the brand experience agency can run multiple targeting campaigns through social media, email or other digital campaigns.

4. Don’t target the wrong audience (obviously).

While similar to point one, the right venue and it’s corresponding participants must be qualified in some effective manner to ensure the brand is interacting with the right individuals. For example, don’t promote microwavable burritos at a health food convention

5. Decide in advance what metrics and analytics will determine success.

This will include both subjective and objective factors, such as the number and quality of impressions, number of participants opting into follow-up, actual sales or indications of intent registered. If you are lost on how to measure experiential marketing ROI there are numerous methods that make the task much simpler than you think. 



6. Don’t be predictable.

Experiential marketing allows for a number of creative approaches, some more successful than others. Plan multiple events with different approaches to evaluate what works best with your brand and your target audience and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. We find that the craziest ideas often deliver the best results as well as increasing the chance of going viral. 

Final thoughts…

Adding a great experiential marketing campaign to your marketing strategy is one way to establish and nurture powerful relationships with premium contacts. However, as with any tool, it must be used selectively and correctly for maximum effectiveness!

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