What is Experiential Marketing?

The Concierge Club CF Spring Market XM event

Marketing has taken on various forms over the years. It’s now evolved into a combination of utilizing both traditional and digital channels to promote products and services.

Advancement in technology has transformed the way we communicate, share, and disseminate information. And with the onset of this new media, the dynamic process of reaching your market has given birth to experiential marketing (XM).

Experiential Marketing Explained

What is experiential marketing? Can it help promote your brand and increase conversion? Is it more effective in reaching your market and engaging them than traditional marketing can?

While traditional marketing sees consumers as rational and their buying decisions a result of purely logical steps, experiential marketing sees them as both rational and emotional

This type of marketing acknowledges that a buyer doesn’t just use reason to purchase a product or service. There are a lot of other factors at play that affects consumer behaviour like imagination, spontaneity, fantasies, deep feelings, etc.

Because of this, experiential marketing uses all five senses to make consumers truly understand a product or service and differentiate it from the competition. 

Using unique and creative settings, experiential marketing enables consumers to experience your brand in ways that leave a lasting and meaningful impact.

Consumer Engagement in the Digital World

In today’s digital world, how does your brand stand out? How do you capture the attention of consumers and connect with them? 

The strategy of digital experiential marketing combines real-world experiential marketing with online methods to deeply engage consumers. With all the noise and competition, marketers have to come up with more creative and innovative ways to engage consumers using digital technology. 

Like Seiko, for example. The popular watch brand wanted to ignite engagement for the 2019 Australian Open

They built a virtual reality tennis court where people could get a chance to return-serve the VR avatar of Novak Djokovic, the world’s number one singles champion and an ambassador for Seiko. If successful, they would go home with a $1,000 cash prize and a limited edition Seiko watch. 

The campaign was a huge success because it gave people a chance to have fun using technology while getting to know the brand at the same time. And because they felt included or involved in the upcoming event, they also started looking forward to the Australian Open.

The result? There were 400 more participants in the event, major media coverage, and heightened event and brand awareness!

Benefit Cosmetics, a popular California-based cosmetic manufacturer, also did something state-of-the-art last year. They used “rooms” operating via VR technology and chat functionality for visitors to make the launch of their new mascara safe but immersive.

A group of participants taking pictures at the Benefit Cosmetics’ mascara launch in 2021

There were even live meet and greets and streamable music performances so audiences could quickly share the event to their own network. The event’s microsite drew 77,000 visitors from over 160 countries.

Experiential Marketing Engagement in the Real World

A billboard promoting a product or service is fine. But it’s just seen by consumers, nothing more, nothing less.

Experiential marketing in the real world takes this a step further by creating unique settings that stimulate the senses to draw consumers closer to you and create a positive, lasting impression.

A great example of experiential marketing engagement in the real world was the Polar Winter Festival, Canada’s first multi-level holiday drive-through experience. Situated in an ordinary six-storey parking lot, The Concierge Club transformed this commonplace venue into a magical winter wonderland.

Each level had its own theme designed to infuse some sense of normalcy and a whole lot of holiday cheer into an otherwise dreary 2020. Visitors to the event were transported through a crystal cave, LED light tunnel, a visit with Santa, and a whole lot more. 

The best part about this event was that you could immerse yourself in the experience in person while still staying safe and cozy because you didn’t have to leave your car!    

Positive and unique experiences that engage the consumers’ senses like the above not only reinforce the relationship of your brand to consumers, but it also creates a loyal fan base and build new ones!

The Benefits of Experiential Campaigns

Experiential marketing offers businesses a multitude of benefits. We’ve laid out some of the reasons why it’s worth investing in:

It Generates Leads and Increases Sales

According to statistics, 65% of companies affirm their experiential marketing events are directly related to their sales and 70% of users became repeat customers after an experiential marketing event.

It Attracts Media Attention

A unique and engaging experiential marketing event attracts influencers and media outfits to come to you. These people can help share your brand and spread the word! 

It’s Highly Shareable

An experiential marketing event that’s compelling—and therefore, worth sharing—will capture the interest of a lot of people, take pictures and videos, and then share them on social media. This will help your brand gain attention, so position your product or service as a positive experience creator to gain recognition!

A consumer snapping a picture at an experiential marketing event The Concierge Club created for the CF Olympics campaign

Key Points in Creating Effective Experiential Campaigns

1. Find Your Customer Touchpoints

Check offline and online media touchpoints where your customers are most likely to engage. Reach out to a new audience in a distinctive format. At times, the more unique the setting is, the higher the engagement.

2. Create an Engaging Ad

Craft an ad that is distinct from your competitors and will attract customers to want to experience your product themselves.

3. Deliver a Personalized Experience for Your Product

Create a unique campaign that can evoke and engage all the senses of your consumers. This way, an emotional connection is created. Not only will it leave a lasting impression, but it will also create a bond with them.  

4. Track Your Campaign Response

Monitor your conversions from each campaign. You can effectively see which unique experience has positive reinforcement to your brand using tracking tools.  

You can also use how consumers responded to your product to develop your previous campaign into a better version.

5. Remind People to Share the Experience

During a campaign, encourage customers to share their unique experience with your product. Your customers are also influencers within their network of friends and family and a positive experience will most likely be shared.

An easy way to do this is by creating Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. This way, the experience speaks for itself! 

A tunnel of lights at Polar Winter Festival

Reinforce Your Brand’s Relationship with Consumers with The Concierge Club

As the world spins new technology, new media formats are also born and engaging the consumer can become tricky and challenging.

This is where The Concierge Club thrives. We can’t wait to help you create unique experiential marketing campaigns to find, connect, and engage both old and new markets.

With over 10 years of experience in delivering one-of-a-kind campaigns to some of Canada’s most notable brands, we have what it takes to help your vision reach new heights. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your next experiential marketing event.