Skip to main content

Hey there! Free trials are available for Standard and Essentials plans. Start for free today.

Experiential Marketing: What It Is & Why It Works

Experiential marketing is the process of creating an experience for the customer rather than approaching them through traditional marketing methods.

Creating a fun and unique experience is one of the best ways to connect with customers to ensure they want to learn more about a brand and what it offers.

This article is intended to help readers understand the difference between experiential marketing and standard marketing approaches. With experiential marketing campaigns, brands can stand out from the crowd and connect with their target audience. Keep reading to learn more about this winning approach and how to create a better consumer experience.

What is experiential marketing?

Experiential marketing is known by a few different names in the marketing industry such as XM, engagement marketing, or ground marketing. This approach is usually a hands-on experience designed to encourage individuals to engage and participate in an event. This marketing approach is also usually part of a current event or maybe the event itself. Individuals who work on these types of projects are known as experiential marketers.

These industry professionals specialize in creating marketing strategies that highlight brand awareness and create an environment conducive to customers' desire to participate or engage in the event. An example of experiential marketing would be making an event that showcases and highlights branded products or services by having them present and showing them in action. This event could include fun family activities and unique games to draw interest in branded merchandise. Typically, this type of approach would involve using activities that sell themselves. The more fun and interesting a display or event, the more likely people will want to learn more on their own and use the product or service.

Is experiential marketing effective?

Experiential marketing is, in fact, highly effective. Individuals attending events and interactive experiences are given the opportunity to form a unique connection with a brand. When you can effectively connect with your target audience and provide them with an enjoyable experience that also allows them to see the benefits of a product for themselves, it can increase the likelihood that they’ll further engage with your brand or make a purchase.

Experiential marketing has been around for a long time, but it has evolved and changed dramatically over the last several years. This is largely due to various global events such as the pandemic and the change in work environments. People can attend experiential marketing events from the comfort of their homes by simply logging in and watching from their computers or phone. In many cases, individuals are much more likely to tune in and interact with an event if they are able to attend from the comfort of home and are much more likely to focus on the presentation when there aren't distractions from other attendees or crowds.

Experiential marketing ideas are changing and evolving to meet the needs of today's consumers and their unique situations. Years ago, most people kept the same schedules and worked standard 9-5 office jobs. However, today people work all hours, and many work from home or have obligations that prevent them from attending an event during typical working hours. This is where experiential marketers have to come up with new and unique ideas to give the same effect without alienating those who can't make it in person or on a specific day.

Benefits of experiential marketing

There are many benefits associated with experiential marketing. Consider how they can provide clients with a unique method to approach and engage with their target audience, create a better strategy for success, and create loyal customer bases. The benefits of experiential marketing include the following.

Graphic: Benefits of an experiential marketing campaign

Boost brand awareness

One of the biggest challenges for any brand is to boost overall brand awareness. When individuals from the public are more aware of a brand and its existence, it is much more likely that the name associated with the brand will stick out in their minds when they're ready to make a purchase. In fact, boosting brand awareness through this type of marketing event is a great way to increase brand awareness and create a unique opportunity for the customer to make a purchase at that time.

Strengthen customer loyalty

Creating a loyal customer base can mean success or failure for a business. In order to sustain a spot in any market, a brand must not only appeal to its target audience but create an environment for making sales and creating happy customers that will want to come back and make additional purchases in the future. Additionally, loyal customers are far more likely to suggest a branded product or service to their friends, family, and colleagues. Word-of-mouth advertising is still highly effective and is especially effective when driven by a loyal customer base.

Improve engagement

Improving engagement is at the heart of experiential marketing. When creating a fun and engaging experience for customers, they want to engage with the brand and try it. This approach is the perfect way to demonstrate all the benefits of a product or service and how it can provide a solution to a customer's problem. Additionally, when done correctly, the experience will allow the customer to enjoy the demonstration or event and forge a relationship with a brand.

Go viral

The experiential marketing strategies of the past were pretty basic. They consisted primarily of home demonstrations or sampling in a store. They were effective in their heyday. However, today marketing needs to create a viral effect.

Going viral means a brand is featured prominently on social media, and a whole pool of potential customers is exposed to the brand's offerings. When a brand goes viral, its product or service sales can skyrocket and create healthy growth for them. Many marketing approaches today aim to create an atmosphere that potentially leads to going viral.

When people see a product or service in action, they may upload videos or photos to the internet, where they will be shared over and over by people who see and like what they have to offer. Although going viral is rarely a guarantee, experiential marketing has the potential to create viral opportunities for brands.

Experiential marketing strategies

There are many ways to create an experiential marketing strategy. Having a top-notch marketing team with plenty of experience creating these types of events is key. They have the insight and know-how to create the perfect conditions and mold the right approach to encourage the target audience to engage with the demonstration and potentially make sales.

Below, we’ve listed out some potential experiential marketing strategies. Experiment with these experiential marketing ideas to find what works for your brand and target audience.

Graphic: Experiential marketing strategies

Event marketing

Event marketing is a popular way to engage in experiential marketing. The idea is to create awareness of the event in question and requires you to have a marketing approach to create awareness actively. You want to ensure that as many people as possible know about the event and have all the accurate details. They need to know everything essential, like what it is, who can attend, what to expect, and all the fun things they can look forward to enjoying if they go.

Guerilla marketing campaigns

Guerrilla marketing campaigns are surprises to the people in the area. These events are designed to surprise people and attract their attention through unconventional means. Their curiosity and surprise tied to guerilla marketing propels people to engage with a product or service.

This tactic is beneficial if the marketing campaign offers some benefit or prizes or even creates a challenge for the individuals who participate. While these events are seemingly unplanned, there's actual work involved with creating a guerilla marketing campaign that will be effective and help you achieve your goals.

The more effective the guerrilla marketing campaign is, the more often you can expect to create that type of event. The key is to know when and where is the best opportunity and ensure that your target audience will be present.

For example, if you decide to have a demonstration of a product near a college campus, you would ideally want to have a product that appealed to that age category and would be something they could afford and want to purchase. The same goes for any other event, but with a guerrilla marketing tactic, you'll want to hone in on the individuals who would be most interested in the product or service and most likely to make a purchase.

Pop-up shops

Pop-up events are everywhere in today's society. From restaurants to pop-up clothing stores, people love being caught by surprise by these fun events. Additionally, pop-up shops are a great way to create brand awareness while offering a fun opportunity to potential consumers.

For instance, you could have a pop-up shop with product demonstrations that are fun and appealing while engaging the customer from a unique angle. You could make this type of demonstration into a complimentary service or charge a very low cost for a short timeframe.

With pop-up shops, you can be creative and experimental when it comes to your storefront, your merchandising, and the products you offer. By offering limited edition products at pop-up shops, you can potentially draw in more people who want to be part of an exclusive opportunity.

Brand activation

Brand activation is part of a marketing process where the brand connects with the consumer in a more personalized way. It's part of a principle of marketing that allows a product to be displayed attractively to the public. Brand activation is essential to any experiential marketing strategy and can be executed effectively by both large and small businesses.

How to create an experiential marketing campaign

There are a few methods to consider to create the ideal experiential marketing campaign. Consider using these guidelines to help you carve an actionable plan that gets results. Investing your time and resources using these methods improves your ROI and helps connect with potential customers while increasing brand visibility.

Graphic: How to create an experiential marketing campaign

Determine your target audience

Before you start planning your experiential marketing campaign, you need to identify your target audience. What age groups do they cover? What needs can you fulfill for them? What are their interests? Once you identify your target audience, you can begin planning effective ways to connect with them at your event. It's crucial to note that you can appeal to everyone, so be sure to appeal to those who are most likely to develop an interest in your brand.

Set goals

It's essential to set a goal for your experiential campaign, so you know how to focus your energy and how much effort to invest in the process. If you just want to connect with the public and create awareness, you can focus on creating intrigue and perhaps offering individuals something branded to take along with them. To create sales, you'll need to focus on highlighting your product or service and setting realistic sales goals for your campaigns.

Create memorable experiences

If you stand out to your target audience, they are more likely to remember you and consider making a purchase in the future. Being unique and fun is the best way to carve a niche in people's memories.

Coordinate a multi-channel campaign

In order for your experiential marketing efforts to be successful, you need to focus on multiple channels to advertise and connect. Use various media sources, social media, in-person appearances, and anything else that gets the word out and gets your brand in front of the public. Using an integrated marketing strategy to reach out to advertise and interact with the public is a sure-fire way to generate interest and ensure brand consistency across all platforms.

Experiential marketing examples

Consider these examples if you're wondering how to approach an experiential marketing campaign. There are technology companies that regularly make in-person appearances at conferences and conventions. They set up their items for the public to use or engage with to help them get a feel for their products and create a connection.

You could also create a fun booth at a carnival or local concert with items up for grabs if the public plays games and interacts with your team. Giving them discounts, branded merchandise, and gift cards is an excellent way to connect.

You may even want to create a stand-alone event that not only highlights your brand, but provides a service to the community. Some examples might be a fundraiser for a worthy cause, a community sports event, or something seasonal that interests many people. The sky's the limit when it comes to creating a fun or exciting experience for your target audience.

Manage experiential advertising campaigns with Mailchimp

Don't settle for a boring marketing campaign when you want to create enthusiasm and excitement about your brand and what it has to offer. Approaching your marketing efforts from a fresh perspective by engaging in experiential marketing campaigns can generate impressive results.

An engaging and fun experiential marketing campaign is a wonderful way to accomplish your goals and make a real impact. When you interest people and get them talking about what you have to offer, it's easier to make an impact and create a winning approach. While creating a winning experiential marketing strategy may seem intimidating, it doesn't have to be.

Mailchimp offers a CRM platform that allows you to manage customer relationships and coordinate multi-channel marketing campaigns. Using an omnichannel marketing strategy and personalized marketing tools, you can reach your target audience, build your brand, and drive sales.

Share This Article