The world of marketing is a fluid and ever changing medium. Brands are constantly seeking out new ways to get in front of the consumer. Yet, many organizations still make wild attempts –and spend large sums of money– to interrupt the consumer. They create a barrage of unidirectional direct marketing approaches, where products or services are pitched blindly but perceptive marketers are reaching out and creating a sensory experience aimed at relationship building. Experimental marketing is a paradigm shift that is continuously evolving; the best brands are seeing amazing results.
Experiential Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing methods typically emphasize approaches that illustrate features and benefits. The call to action is aimed at triggering awareness and shortcutting the sales funnel. Measurements in this channel focus squarely on leads and sales. However, experiential marketing taps into this process and helps bridge the gap.
While bottom line goals are the same (to sell products and services and encourage existing customers to buy more frequently), experiential marketing inserts itself into the path between consumer awareness and sales. Experiential marketing also plays an important role in terms of branding and conversions.
Sensory Connections that Build Trust
In essence, experiential marketing requires brands to think outside the box and relate to the consumer more like an individual than a corporation of faceless products and services. However, building trust with consumers is not just about “being nice” or providing good customer service.
When executed correctly, experiential marketing appeals to the senses. Audiences connect with brands for a reason and while those reasons may be different for different people, one motive appears to be commonplace among consumers who relate to their favorite brands – the feeling that the individual associates with the brand experience.
Feeling, when it comes to marketing, is how the best brands connect and build trusted relationships with audiences. For some brands, their audience is purely seeking information. Others seek to be entertained by a creative storyline, imagery (through pictures) or sights and sounds (through video). Some audiences value the opportunity to participate by sharing their thoughts and opinions.
Empowering the Feeling
Creating the experience and feeling that represents a brand can be a challenge. In many cases, generating feelings of connection in an audience requires more than a broadcast or series of videos. Much like a salesperson that builds genuine rapport over time, instead of performing the hard sell, experiential marketing can inspire evangelical fans. Experiential marketing empowers the brand and the consumer. In the end, creating a true brand experience can have a measurable impact on the frequency and yield of the sales funnel.