In an era where ads are considered more of a nuisance than informative, companies are exploring more creative avenues to reach their consumers in effective ways. One approach that has gained traction in recent years is experiential marketing—events where consumers have hands-on and in-person experiences with brands. These experiential events allow direct engagement that inspires an emotional connection to users.
It has become a recognized trend that millennials tend to spend more of their income on experiences in comparison to the product-oriented generations that came before them. With their eyes constantly seeking new activities, they invest their free time in taking trips, going to events, and socializing in public places. This modern pool of highly active individuals sets up a foundation for experiential marketing to be extremely effective for brands. The continuously growing social media landscape has also become a large aspect of why experiential marketing is so useful. The unique and artistic spaces created for events are often prime photo-ops for attendees. Interactive activities can inspire hundreds of pictures which users voluntarily post to their social media channels. Experiential marketing events often will include a custom hashtag promoted in marketing materials and signage that allow attendees’ photos to be grouped online to make them easily viewed by others.
Experiential marketing campaigns can also provide a way for brands to learn more about their consumers. Analyzing consumer data and KPIs are a significant part of marketing and with experiential events, consumers are often willing to provide relevant information about themselves in exchange for the opportunity to experience a fun event. These events act as a modern re-imagination of the classic focus group style of market research that proves to be more effective as it generates both in-person and online engagement while making a positive impact on the participant.
Ultimately the most beneficial part of experiential marketing is the personal connection consumers are able to make with a company and more specifically, their brand. These events help illustrate the brand’s narrative and integrate consumers into the story. Their in-person memories of experiencing the event are far more impactful than a billboard they pass on the street or an ad before an online video. These opportunities for direct engagement create a relationship where after attending an experiential event, the consumer is more likely to develop brand loyalty than through traditional means of advertising. This two-way relationship where both brand and consumer are learning about each other is an invaluable method that has plenty of space to flourish within the marketing industry.
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