Experiential Marketing and the Value of Offering Unique Experiences

Micheli , Invited guest @ Mailrelay

The goal of any brand is not only to sell but also to retain its customers and convince them to buy again, which would consequently increase their sales. However, creating a robust brand-user relationship is no longer enough in the face of so much competition.

Now, consumers want to have a stimulating experience in the buying process and feel special every time they visit a virtual store to make their purchases or pay for services online.

So what is the formula for provoking these sensations in consumers and finally convincing them to choose your brand?

Brands are challenged to make consumers live experiences that provoke new emotions, and this is achieved with what we call experiential marketing.

Keep reading this article to understand this technique better and apply it appropriately in your marketing strategy. Today we will help you learn how to turn customers into spokespeople for your brand.

Specifically, we will look at:

  1. What is the definition and actual value of experiential marketing
  2. Real and successful examples of brands that apply this type of strategy
  3. Tips for applying experiential marketing

· Definition of Experiential Marketing

As the name suggests, this concept means companies will create campaigns that will help customers to live an unforgettable experience. This way, the memory lasts over time and creates a closer bond than any other traditional marketing strategy.

But before we examine how to develop an effective experiential marketing strategy, let’s see what exactly it consists of, what its potential benefits are, and how it differs from emotional marketing.

► Experiential Marketing: Definition and Real Value

“Experiential marketing”

is one of the least intrusive advertising techniques, as it consists of stimulating the consumer through the senses to provoke some emotion without using advertising techniques.

Experiential marketing is a journey that allows the user to associate positive emotions with a given brand.

It is about making them happy because they live a unique and unforgettable experience through emotions and neuromarketing techniques. Therefore, this type of marketing leaves an incalculable and permanent impression in the consumer’s mind, much more profound than any other marketing action.

A customer will opt for a particular product or service based on the emotional journey they will go through just before the purchase.

Taking this concept into consideration, if you apply this technique correctly, you will obtain the following advantages:

  • Differentiation: It is a way to differentiate yourself from others who continue to use traditional marketing actions to attract their target audience.
  •  Brand identification: This emotional journey will lead the user, almost unconsciously, to associate the brand with positive experiences.
  •  Recommendation: Both word of mouth and social media are the channels that customers use for recommending the brand to friends and family.
  •  Engagement: The interaction is momentary, and this will boost confidence; userswill trust a brand they love. In other words, the more users interact with a brand, the more engaged with the project they will become.
  •  Increased sales: The closer relationship with your audience will allow you to improve the user experience, which will be reflected in your sales.

► Experiential Marketing vs. Emotional Marketing: is it the same thing?

Experiential marketing and emotional marketing are closely related. In fact, experiential marketing uses emotions to create bonds between the brand and users, but the concepts are not the same. Interactive content such as quizzes or surveys are an example of emotional marketing: you start a genuine conversation with the website visitor. It enables you to provide added value in the form of personal feedback that the visitor will appreciate. They will consequently feel connected to your brand.

On the one hand, emotional marketing uses different techniques to reach the consumer, such as storytelling, a technique that prioritizes emotions so that the brand will be in the background. By using visuals as part of interactive marketing campaigns, companies can get in good touch with their audience and engage them more.

“The goal of emotional marketing”
is nothing more than studying how the human brain reacts to an advertising campaign when a person is deciding to buy a product or service.

Therefore, emotional marketing focuses on analyzing how the unconscious part of the brain works to improve advertising campaigns.

The goal of experiential marketing

 is to generate emotions and experiences when a user decides to make a purchase or test a product.

Therefore, this type of marketing seeks to influence the buying decision through positive experiences, which go beyond any emotional storytelling technique.

Ejemplos de Campañas de Marketing Experiencial

· Examples of experiential marketing campaigns

To help you better understand this technique, we will see below some examples of brands that have applied experiential marketing in their campaigns, some of them even viral due to the power of social  media.

Would you also like to be always at the “top of mind” of your target audience? Well, let’s see how these brands have done it, as their strategies could inspire you:

► Carozzi and Tweetfeet

This brand created a large keyboard for people to write tweets with their feet. It was an action that went against sedentariness, very much in line with Carozzi’s values since it is a brand that sponsors the Santiago marathon, where this action took place.

A super fun experience for everyone. Watch the video and see for yourself:

► Heineken and its “Departure Roulette”

At one of New York’s airports, Heineken offered an “opportunity of missing your flight and travel to a completely different place, chosen by a wheel of fortune.

The trip was funded by Heineken, and its goal was to promote new adventures and experiences, so that users could discover new places and get out of their routine:

► Google Home Mini

Google Home Mini is the size of a doughnut. So they used the slogan “Small as a doughnut, but with the power of a superhero.”

They created a store where people would ask the Home Mini questions, and the Home Mini would answer by handing out boxes full of donuts or a random box with a Home Mini.

Such stores were opened all over the United States at different times. See all the excitement this campaign caused:

· Experiential Marketing in Email Marketing

To develop an experiential marketing strategy, you must first evaluate all the available tools that can help you get good results.

Best of all: if you do it right and offer incredible experiences, your users will become allies and true spokespeople for your brand. In other words, your brand will go viral thanks to the influence of your followers’ and fans’ opinions on social media.

However, social media channels are not the only channel you should take into account to make the most of experiential marketing.

Email marketing is one of the most influential channels, and therefore you should not ignore this way of getting customers and subscribers for your brand.

► Email Marketing as a way to share experiences

One of the aspects you should consider when working with experiential marketing is brand humanization.

But beyond that, through your email marketing campaigns, your goal will be to stimulate the senses of the users, causing them some emotion, making them feel good, providing them with a unique experience.

And through email marketing campaigns, you can achieve the following:

  • Create empathy with your customers through emotions.
  • Improve ROI (return on investment).
  • Personalize your messages through different segmentation options.
  • Generate expectation and desire.
  • Foster loyalty so that your customers feel happy.

► Tips for applying Experiential Marketing to your emails

Considering all the potential of experiential marketing in email marketing, it’s time for you to take action and apply some strategies to your emails. Let’s see some tips:

· Know who your buyer persona is

Knowing your ideal customer’s age, gender, and purchasing power is not essential.

You will have to take this strategy to the next level and understand their fears, concerns, aspirations, routines, their family environment, or how they interact on social media. The more details you have, the more chances you will have of exciting them enough to buy from you.

· Segment your audience

Next, think carefully about how to segment your audience to send each one the right message. It makes no sense to send an email to someone who has no interest in the product you are promoting.

· Personalize your message

Always offer a personalized service. To do that, always name each subscriber in your emails and send them a customized message that addresses their needs or weaknesses.

· Generate emotional engagement

Generate emotional engagement with the brand, trying to make the customer always feel like the protagonist.

For example, Coca-Cola always uses experiential marketing to generate interest, and it does it very well. Do you remember the happiness box? Coca Cola installed an ATM, that allowed people to withdraw 100 Euros.

The only requirement to participate in the promotion was that this money had to be shared with other people. An action that is very much in tune with its values (sharing with friends) and that reinforces the links between brand and user.

· Surprise your customers

Offer surprise discounts or buy products or services from other companies that you can send as a gift. That is, you can ask them to purchase in your store, and in return, you can offer something different (which obviously depends on their interests).

For example, if your audience loves movies, give them a movie ticket; or if they like music, offer them a ticket to watch a concert or a famous band.

· Discounts and offers

Can you imagine what your customer would feel if they received a surprise discount when paying for a product or service? You can show these offers clearly in advertisements and banners, which is recommended to attract more customers, but you could also surprise your customers. Many of these banners are created with picture moving effect from free tools available online.

· Share common experiences and hobbies with your audience

With experiential marketing, you should not only focus on selling. It is the customer that matters, and so you should focus on offering a unique experience.

One way to do this is to share common experiences and hobbies to build relationships. For example, if you organize an event, invite your audience to participate and live an unforgettable experience.

· Make them feel good

What you are looking for with this type of marketing is to make your customers feel good. Therefore, you should experiment with various actions that add value to your brand, taking into account your audience’s interests.

Try surprise gifts, a voucher, or coupon code. In short, give wings to your imagination and show your most creative side to surprise them!

Conclusiones sobre el Marketing Experiencial

· Conclusions about experiential marketing

“Experiential marketing is a strategy that connects quickly with the audience because of the emotional bond that is created through unforgettable experiences. The connection is so deep that if you are in tune with your audience, you will undoubtedly foster more loyalty than with other marketing techniques” – says Denis Ristić, Vice President Global Brands Division at AskGamblers

However, you should be careful because a slight mistake in this strategy can waste all months’ work.

Therefore, take into consideration all the tips in this article to surprise your target audience correctly, and do your best to boost positive emotions that will lead them to take a unique journey with your brand. Think that any negative experience will hurt your brand and spread through social media networks.

So my advice is: leave no leeway if you decide to work with experiential marketing!

Translated by Micheli.

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