Experiential marketing is a strategy that implies face-to-face communication with the target audience and involves people’s senses. It aims to shape memorable emotional connections with customers that result in increased brand awareness and customer loyalty.

In this article, we’ll explore why companies implement experiential marketing, its types, and examples. Next, we’ll uncover how to create an experiential marketing strategy.

Why do brands use experiential marketing?

This marketing strategy easily attracts and engages people by using different interactive methods and ensures an unforgettable experience. Businesses utilize the technique and communicate with their consumers face-to-face to establish emotional connections, lasting memories, evoke senses, etc. Eventually, it improves loyalty with a brand and customer lifetime value.

The method embraces holding various offline activities such as samplings, in-store experiences, shows, events, and product showcases that help a brand interact with customers and better understand their needs and problems, obtain valuable customer insights, and establish strong relationships with the audience.

Experiential marketing brings several benefits to businesses, it:

  • involves leads and customers in different types of activities;
  • introduces a brand and its product to prospects and customers and lets them try it;
  • improves customer loyalty;
  • increases awareness about a certain company;

Now that you know its advantages, time to jump into types of experiential marketing campaigns.

4 Types of Experiential Marketing Campaigns

We can differentiate four main types of campaigns:

  • guerrilla marketing (the strategy relies heavily on unconventional methods and often includes the effect of surprise, interactive emotions, risk, and provocativeness);
  • brand activation (the strategy involves an event or any other type of interaction to encourage customers to act);
  • event marketing (the strategy entails a display, presentation, or themed exhibit to provide the target audience with an unforgettable experience);
  • retail installations (POP marketing is about a smart placement of products in retail stores which aims at their promotion).

Let’s now proceed to the next section to explore our guide on creating a strategy.

How to Develop an Experiential Marketing Strategy?

  • Understand your target audience
  • Create and communicate a clear message
  • Develop a campaign that provides value
  • Leverage augmented reality
  • Create an engaging campaign
  • Endorse your campaign across multiple channels
  • Encourage customers to disseminate information

To entice customers to visit your offline event, you should have a proper strategy. Below we’ll provide you with the necessary steps to develop one for your company.

1. Understand your target audience

Some companies direct all their efforts to create something unique, unforgettable, and fun and forget about the most important element — their target audience. That’s why at the planning stage, your company's marketing and sales team should set aside enough time to research your ideal buyers and the type of advertising they prefer the most. As a result, you’ll know the interests, preferences, and needs of your audience and will comply with them when communicating face-to-face.

2. Create and communicate a clear message

When thinking about an appropriate message, make sure that it aligns with your brand and enables customers to build associations. Red Bull’s “Stratos” campaign is an outstanding example. Since the famous brand of energy drinks associates itself with boldness, risk, and excitement, a skydiving event is the right choice to highlight Red Bull’s brand personality.

Experiential marketing

Source: New Atlas Red Bull Stratos

3. Develop a campaign that provides value

When developing an experiential campaign, keep in mind that you need to provide some value. A campaign is successful if it manages to educate its target audience and bring something beneficial. Krylon’s “The First ever Pinterest yard sale” is an example that demonstrates its value for the earth and society.

In its commercial, Krylon showed how its spray paint products can transform old objects. The company’s team sold the renovated furniture to donate money for charity. This way, the brand strives to show that we can protect our planet by reusing old items.

Experiential marketing

Source: The Shorty Awards Krylon’s First ever Pinterest yard sale

4. Leverage augmented reality

People always want to try something on before purchasing it: clothes, sunglasses, shoes, or furniture to make sure that the item meets their requirements perfectly. With augmented reality apps, it’s possible. They enable customers to try everything they need virtually to find out whether the product fits.

For example, Bollé invited customers to virtually try on its Phantom sunglasses on Instagram through an augmented reality experience. The app allows customers to try the product on and also see how the actual surroundings will look when wearing this model of sunglasses.

5. Create an engaging campaign

To reach the public, you should develop a unique campaign that brings a lot of fun and encourages people to participate. Let’s take Volkswagen’s campaign, for example. The brand’s team created a huge piano on the subway staircase. The piano produced different sounds when people climbed up and down the stairs and aimed to cheer up the masses who are always in a hurry.

Experiential marketing

Source: Beyond Social Volkswagen’s piano staircase

6. Endorse your campaign across multiple channels

To get higher exposure and increase engagement, you need to distribute information about your campaign across different marketing channels. Focus on those your target audience prefers the most. You can reach the masses by promoting your event on social media and using ambient marketing.

7. Encourage customers to disseminate information

Once you launch your new campaign, inspire people to share photos and videos from your event on their social media, forums, and become word-of-mouth promoters of your company. It will help you reach even more people and attain the goal of your campaign.

Now that you know how to develop a great strategy, let’s explore the examples.

Examples of Experiential Marketing

Everything today is built on connections and experiences. They establish brand loyalty and make campaigns successful. Let’s now find out how established brands build relationships with the public.

Red Bull

For many years people have associated Red Bull with extreme sports. Yet in 2012, the brand reached a new level of success when it launched the “Stratos” campaign. Its main goal was to break a new skydiving record with the famous Felix Baumgartner. By streaming the event online on YouTube, the company managed to obtain more than 8 million viewers.

Vans

The brand found another way to surprise its fans. It decided to create several pop-up locations in big cities like Chicago and New York. The famous manufacturer of shoes provided skateboarders with great spots to meet up, communicate, and listen to music. Skatepark-based pop-ups also served as a place where Vans presented its new shoe line.

Now you know the benefits, types, and examples of experiential marketing. Use our guide to create engaging offline events and in-store experiences.

Resources:

  1. This article defines the term and provides readers with examples.
  2. In this article, you’ll find the best examples of experiential marketing.
  3. In this article, you’ll find different types.
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