Experiential marketing can be very loosely defined as a marketing message you can touch, feel or experience within a three dimensional space. This has become a highly competitive arena within marketing, as brands become more and more invested in creating experiences which will create buzz in varied media forms, beyond the live event.

Experiential marketing engages your customers in ways no other marketing or advertising strategies can, face-to-face and with active participation between the brand and consumer. This relationship building is the pivotal connection through true experience conveying your brand’s values. In essence, this connection is the beginning of your relationship with customers.

Experiential marketing is sometimes referred to as a component of “engagement marketing,” a qualified term, as consumers are more deeply engaged in dialogue and cooperative interaction through experiential marketing, than any other medium. Engagement marketing is not one dimensional like advertising and marketing programs from throughout history. Because there is a human to human participation, sharing and interaction in experiential marketing, this type of activity is considered multi-dimensional. In the modern age of relationship building through varied mediums such as social media and other applications, multi-dimensional activity is an almost mandatory addition to a solid marketing mix toward brand success.

How Does Experiential Marketing Work?

Retail, digital and live events take the brand experience right to the target demographic, instead of waiting for consumers to find the brand. Using the key human social values of identity and belonging at the heart of experiential program design, engaged consumers are imprinted by the brand and embrace information received as part of their experience, then as part of who they are as an individual.

Formation of a memorable and emotional connection between a consumer and the brand is the overall goal of experiential marketing. This connection generates customer loyalty and influences purchasing decisions. If done well, an experiential campaign can win a customer for their lifetime, a coup as part of the metric known as the customer lifetime value, CLV.

Are Companies Really “Going Experiential?”

Experiential marketing budgets increase every year for American companies. In 2014, budgets were almost 5 percent higher than 2013. For companies earning more than one billion in revenue each year, that increase was a whopping 10 percent. Is your company prepared to compete on this marketing landscape?

Examples of Experiential Marketing

Today, experiential marketing must not just be enjoyable as part of the live event. Such events carry over onto the web, where new life is infused into event footage as an almost separate, but equally important and highly viral, campaign.

Some of our favorite experiential marketing agency campaigns of all time include:

20th Century Fox: “The Simpsons Kwik-E Mart”
When the 20th Century Fox “The Simpsons Movie” was about to release, the studio partnered with 7-Eleven for experiential campaigns within about a dozen stores. Each of those 12 7-Elevens were converted into Simpsons style “Kwik-E-Mart” convenience store environments, complete with products made famous as part of the show. Shoppers walked into their local convenience stores to find POP characters of Bart Simpson, Lisa, Homer and Marge, as well as pink glazed donuts with sprinkles, Buzz cola and Krusty-Os cereal on store shelves.

Ewing Energies for “Dallas” on TNT”
TNT promoted the start of the third season for hit television drama “Dallas,” by building a pop-up one day Ewing Energies flagship gas station in Manhattan. Prices were set very low at $1.98 per gallon, to popularize the event and draw crowds. One of the show’s male actors was also on the scene to sign autographs and add to hype.

Chalkbot for Nike
In 2009, a roving vehicle printed chalk messages of hope along the path of the Tour de France. Those messages were pulled from consumer Tweets about the event and in rooting for bikers. Chalkbot photographed each message and then Tweeted those back to the original posters, so they could see their contributions to the historic bike race. A marketing stunt for Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong organization, results were clear. Apparel sales by the Livestrong website spiked upward by 46% during and following the promotion.

TNT Television’s “Push to Add Drama”
In 2012, TNT Television took over a quiet Belgian community’s town square. They placed a giant red button labeled, “Push to Add Drama.” Passers by were seen debating whether they should push the button or just continue in their daily life. When a few opted to push, havoc was unleashed on the Belgian streets. Ambulances rushed onto the scene, fist fights broke out and gunshots were heard. While all of the drama was staged, the result was a solid promotion driving TNT’s point of “Daily Dose of Drama” home.

Zappos in Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport
On the day before Thanksgiving, America’s worst and busiest travel day of the year, online retailer Zappos surprised Houston bound travelers at their luggage carousel. Zappos had converted one carousel into a giant game board based upon the popular television show “Wheel of Fortune.” Whichever game prize the traveler’s luggage landed on as it was mechanically deposited onto the baggage claim, that prize was awarded to the bag owner.

How DotComWebDesign.net Delivers Experiential Results

At DotComWebDesign.net, we know tangible results are the best measure of our work. Experiential events must be supportive of your brand objectives and provide quality experiences to build enduring, lifelong relationships with your target consumers. Beyond that experiential relationship, the outcome must also include quality tools for continued online promotion of the event.

As your experiential marketing agency, DotComWebDesign.net delivers experiential marketing events with viral content campaigns built in.

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