Let’s get one thing straight: consumers hate ads.
Too many. Too intrusive. Too creepy.
That’s not our opinion, but the internet speaking. As it turns out, advertising doesn’t have the best reputation. It starts with pop-ups; which internet users agree interrupt their browsing experiences at every turn.
Then there’s remarketing, which stalks you with the same ad message everywhere you go.
Next is video auto-playing, which embarrasses you badly on buses and waiting rooms.
Plus, you can’t read an article online without scrolling past a stack of ads and accidentally fat-fingering one of them– blech!
It’s simple: consumers love it when their free-streaming is completely ad-free – just content, as is.
So, how do you engage an elusive audience?
The answer is buried right into the question itself – you engage them. Instead of bombarding them with unsolicited ads, you focus on creating an emotional and meaningful connection that encourages them to interact with you or your business in real-time.
That way, your ads cease to be an intrusion or distraction and instead become part of their experience with you.
For the uninitiated, that’s what people refer to when they talk about experiential marketing.
Experiential marketing is a marketing strategy that seeks to engage the consumers and create a memorable real-life experience. It welcomes participants to be actively involved in the brand’s evolution. It is also known as engagement marketing.
Nowadays, most consumer desire personalised experiences and meaningful interaction with a brand before buying its products services. This explains why experiential marketing is vital for any company in Singapore that wants to succeed in the current economy.
For instance, think of the countless ads you see on the internet, on TV, and billboards. You are likely to forget the message a few days after spotting them. However, if you had interacted with the product itself, the memory is likely to persist for a longer time.
The first instance is a case of traditional marketing, where companies broadcast their products and services to a broad audience. The second example, on the other hand, offers an immersive experience by engaging consumers as much as possible. Companies that employ engagement marketing help clients form an emotional connection with the brand and its products. In return, the customers become loyal to the brand.
Why Experiential Marketing?
Experiential marketing bolsters a lasting impression between your brand and customers.
It’s a new trend that’s fast picking up steam, by leaps and bounds.
In 2017, CMO’s spent between 21 and 50% of their marketing budget on experiential marketing.
In a different study (by Bizzabo), about 63% of senior marketers plan to increase the amount they spent on live events, either by increasing their number of live events or by increasing their budget.
Because experiential marketing works for both brands and customers; it’s where the two meet and create shared experiences that serve to tighten their bond.
Why Consumers Prefer Experiential Marketing?
Experiential marketing is all about creating a fun marketing strategy– one that generates the best experience.
From the consumers’ perspective, experiential marketing is a satisfying break from the boredom of being bombarded with marketing messages.
Instead, it lets them see your brand or product differently and understand the value it adds to their lives. It gives them something different and exciting to talk about or a memorable experience they can share with their friends and families.
It’s also a scientifically proven fact that experiences create long-lasting impressions and happiness than material possessions.
How Can Experiential Marketing Benefit Your Brand?
Experiential marketing offers just as many upsides to brands as it does to consumers – if not more.
Among other things, experiential marketing promises to:
Help Your Brand Stand Out
Markets are so overcrowded nowadays – a good marketing strategy is one that directs the spotlight to your brand. You want to make sure customers can see your brand and that the competition doesn’t obscure its view.
Help You with Brand Awareness
Experiential marketing is here to help you expose your brand to its target audience. It’s here to draw out its full essence and bring it to life. When done right, experiential marketing will help you communicate your values and brand identity.
The experience generated is meant to help consumers connect with your brand and understand it on a deeper level, which is quite unachievable with a traditional ad.
Authentic Connection with Consumers
Consumers have a seething resentment for traditional ads but have a burning desire to enrich experiences. They’re no longer obsessing over material possessions.
It’s a common trend that’s been picking up steam in the past few years, especially among millennials.
84% of millennials don’t trust traditional media, while 72% would rather spend their hard-earned money on having fun rather than spend it on new stuff.
This only goes on to paint experiential marketing as a shining path to creating deeper connections.
Experiential marketing is an invaluable marketing tool, not just for the relationship it establishes between your brand and potential consumers, but also for its social impact.
That’s because consumers who genuinely have a great time at your experiential marketing event would voluntarily want to share their joy with their friends and families.
In a recent study conducted by Event Marketing Institute, about 98% of the people that show up at your experiential marketing event will take photos and videos that they’ll share up with their friends and families (either as social media posts or via word of mouth).
Heightens Brand Interest
Experiential is less about selling a product or service and more about establishing an experiment that would make consumers want to purchase your product.
Immediate Feedback from Consumers
Come to think about it: experiential activation is all about creating hands-on engagement with your brand and product. It’s centered around face-to-face interactions, which means brands can let consumers test their products in real-time and get immediate feedback from them.
Boosts Brand Loyalty
A good experience will tighten the bond that consumers have with your brand. It will give them more reasons to remain loyal to your brand, which means they’ll be returning for more of your products and services.
In an Event Survey conducted in 2018, about 91% of consumers admitted they had grown to like a brand even more after attending their live or experiential event. The same study also shows that 85% of consumers soften up and are more likely to purchase a product or service after attending a live event.
The basics of Launching an Experiential Marketing Campaign
Planning for an experiential marketing campaign can be quite challenging if you are green. However, adequate preparation ensures that you run a successful operation, just as an expert would.
Here are some of the things you need before launching an engagement marketing initiative.
As is the case with other types of brand promotion, experiential marketing needs proper budgeting. When allocating funds, you have to consider the size and scope of your campaign. This helps in formulating effective strategies. On the contrary, failing to budget often causes impulsive spending and wastage of resources.
After designating a budget, the next step is formulating strategies. Gather all the stakeholders in your company and discuss the objectives of the campaign, the logistics, the tactics, and how you measure the results.
Here, you assign specific roles to your team members and devise the course of action. Communication is vital if you want to run a useful campaign. You should also monitor the progress to see if each individual is doing their job.
Everybody loves a freebie. A smart way of ensuring that your marketing campaign grabs the attention of prospective clients is by offering giveaways. This also sets you apart from competing businesses in Singapore.
Try to make your event outstanding by adding unique activities. Some of the ways of doing this are by creating a contest with special prizes, raising money for a humanitarian cause and inviting a celebrity for a performance.
Measuring the Results
The objective of any marketing campaign is to generate a positive ROI for the business. After the end of your experiential marketing, measure the results to determine whether it was successful.
Besides gauging success, you should use the results to see where you can improve in subsequent campaigns. Remember to communicate the findings to your stakeholders, partners and clients.
How to Develop a Killer Experiential Marketing Campaign
Running an effective experiential marketing campaign isn’t an easy thing to do. The campaign has to be both strategic and calculated.
That said, here are five ground rules to observe while developing an experiential marketing strategy:
Align it With Your Goals
You should start by thinking about your business goals. What do you wish to accomplish through the campaign? Ideally, your strategy must tie to at least one of your primary business goals.
The Economist is an excellent example. Their goal was to increase their number of subscriptions with the right audience, which they did.
First, they would come to find out that their target audience has a sense of adventure. They’ll hone in on its character trait and maximise results by appealing to it and relating it to their brand.
Integrate an Online Element into Your Offline Experience
Figure out how to integrate online elements into the campaign. The easiest way to go about it is to utilise technology as the foundation of your campaign.
How can you use technology to both entice and captivate your target audience?
Here are some of the ways you can take advantage of the internet to amplify your event:
Promote it Using Online Marketing
There are so many ways to promote your event online. From PPC and email marketing to social media marketing and so on, prepare to go full blast and make your event known to anyone that might be interested.
Unless you’re planning to go the guerrilla way, it’s always a good idea to ensure your event is well promoted and publicised, especially to the people you’re targeting.
Design a Professional Website for the Event
Have a website that people can visit for more information about the event. The point is to have a separate website for the event or have a website to promote all your online campaigns.
While it’s not a must to have a separate website for your event, it can be a critical interest-generating tool for promoting your event.
Create an Event App
You need a specialised event app to supercharge your ability to build a long-lasting connection with your target audience.
You can use the app to provide logistics details and critical scheduling or drive further engagement before and after the event.
A Branded Hashtag for the Campaign
A branded hashtag is one of the few basic requirements for your campaign.
As long as you’re planning to promote or post your campaign on social media, you want to make sure you have a branded hashtag to integrate into your campaign.
The hashtag you use doesn’t just help you to promote your event. You’ll most likely end up with a collection of posts around your event, and a hashtag is what you use to keep them organised and make sure that they can actually be found.
Go Beyond the Ordinary
Don’t waste the opportunity by half-assing through it – you can either go big or go home.
You have no excuse for not wowing your audience. You want to give them the experience they’ll never stop talking about months after the event is over.
You have the time to plan, research, and the creative mindset to pull together something big.
You want to look at the whole thing as an opportunity to work smarter by coming up with something that no one else would have thought of trying. In other words, you should resist the urge to sell yourself short.
Your Focus Should be on Creating a Better Experience
Forget about everything and focus on giving your audience the experience of a lifetime. Give them something they’ll always forever live to remember.
You’re not just planning to run another online campaign. You want to create authentic, memorable, and captivating experiences that cater directly to your audience’s interest. You’re working on something that will make you stand out from the crowd and paint your business in a different light.
This demands that you think outside the box.
Experiential Marketing Strategies
Now that you are aware of how to plan for an experiential marketing campaign, you need to know how to execute the strategies.
The following are some of the tactics you can implement to ensure that your engagement marketing drive in Singapore is successful.
Social Media Engagement
First, you have to identify the platform that is popular with your audience. For example, Facebook is popular across all age groups, while Instagram appeals to the youth. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is mostly frequented by professionals.
Once you have identified where your audience lives, focus on creating engaging content. Nobody will care about your posts if they are not captivating. You can increase engagement levels by creating polls, quizzes, or sharing videos posts.
When creating posts, ensure that the message they deliver is consistent with your campaign’s objectives. The message on your social media should be the same on other advertisement platforms.
Sharing ensures that your messages reach a broader audience. To encourage users to share your content, create hashtags or offer incentives such as rewards and coupons.
Use Brand Ambassadors
Brand ambassadors act as the link between your brand and consumers. These individuals often introduce your products to prospective clients and make it easier for the salespeople to close the deal.
Your business goals should influence the individuals you choose to be your brand ambassadors. For instance, the person you want to help with generating leads is not the same person you would choose if you are looking to increase sales.
Another consideration factor when selecting you ambassadors is the role they are going to perform. If your representative is going to do product demos, they should have previous experience on that front. If they are going to talk people into buying your products, they should have a convincing tone.
You can employ a variety of people as your brand ambassadors, including influencers, previous clients, industry experts, and so forth. Always go for the one that will have the most significant impact on that particular campaign.
If you are struggling to find brand ambassadors, you can attract interest by offering incentives. These include free products or even a little compensation to persons willing to promote your brand.
Thanks to technology, you no longer have to interact with your audience in person to create engagement. An excellent way of connecting with your consumers is by live streaming videos. This method is not only convenient but also cost-effective.
Live streaming offers the ideal platform to conduct product demonstrations. Any marketing strategy can benefit significantly if the target audience can see the products in use.
Additionally, you can use live video feed to engage your customers in a Q&A session. Here, your clients pose a variety concerning your products and service, and you provide them with answers. That said, these sessions should not be limited to questions alone. You should also dedicate a section for getting recommendations on how to improve your services.
Occasionally, you should film behind-the-scenes content for your viewers. Showing them what it takes to come up with the show, as well as the team behind is likely to boost your viewership. It also encourages engagement by a significant margin.
Furthermore, you should repurpose the content you get from your live streaming sessions. For instance, the questions asked during the Q&A session can be useful for the FAQ page on your website. You could also create new videos giving further explanation.
Create an Immersive Experience
In this digital age, businesses have to use innovative methods to draw the attention of consumers. When you are planning an experiential marketing event, start promoting it beforehand using all the means possible. This way, you generate excitement and anticipation so that people have a fear of missing out.
Once you have the attention, create a platform for your audience to register. By knowing the number of people attending your event, you can plan effectively.
The best way of getting more people to your event is by offering an attraction, such as a live performance by an artist, a prominent person or a competition with rewards. During the event, offer your products and service so that customers can have a first-hand experience of using them. Afterwards, keep in touch with the consumers, as this increases engagement and encourages brand loyalty.
Benefits of Experiential Marketing
If you make your clients happy, they are likely to remain loyal to your brand. Engagement marketing gives consumers the positive emotions needed to cultivate brand loyalty and spread a good word about your company.
The most significant benefit of this marketing strategy is driving word-of-mouth advertising. Consumers are more likely to purchase a product when a friend recommends it. Therefore, if you engage in experiential marketing, you can gain an edge over your competitors and get more sales from client recommendations.
Additionally, experiential marketing gives consumers the chance to enjoy while learning about your products. In exchange, these consumers are often willing to share personal information. Getting such data is crucial, as it helps a brand in creating effective marketing strategies that increase consumer engagement instantly.
One of the primary goals of marketing is educating consumers about your products. This can only happen when the consumer is engaged. The reality is people try as much as they can to avoid commercials. However, if you give them the chance to try out a product, they are likely to agree. A well-executed experiential marketing campaign can turn customers from passive viewers into active participants.
7 Types of Experiential Marketing Strategies
Experiential marketing is as flexible and malleable as any other digital marketing strategy out there.
With the right creativity and a few innovative ideas, you can tailor your marketing strategy to fit any budget and business – and that’s because it comes in various shapes, forms, and sizes.
That said, we’ve identified a few experiential marketing formats that you can use to develop the most appropriate marketing strategy for your business:
Sampling has been with us since retail became a thing.
As the name suggests, sampling allows your customers and prospects to have a taste of your products or services before they buy.
What can they expect should they decide to purchase your product or hire you for a particular service?
Whether it’s sampling your product at a trade show or through a street team with free samples (at an event or local concert), customers are always excited about the idea of trying out a new product before buying.
Guerrilla Marketing is another type of experiential marketing.
Otherwise referred to as ambush marketing, the name guerrilla marketing was derived from the term guerrilla welfare.
It’s an unconventional form of marketing that relies on the power of surprise. You’re to show up unannounced in front of your target consumers and pull a stunt that will stir tongue-wagging or keep them talking about your brand for the longest time possible.
It includes posters, art installations, street art, stencils, logo, especially the conspicuous ones that instantly capture your audience’s attention.
An example is the large baggage claim conveyor belt painted by the Casino of Venice in Italy to resemble a gigantic roulette wheel. It was a simple act that would end up increasing their casino visits by a whopping 60%.
Motor Vehicle Tour
You can organise a motor vehicle tour and move around town, regionally, and nationwide to interact with consumers in real-time.
Otherwise referred to as roadshows, mobile roadshows, and product shows, you can tour shows, festivals, trade fairs, music events, sporting events, or anywhere you suspect people are open to your idea of marketing.
Not to be confused with guerrilla marketing. While guerrilla marketing is focused on creating original ideas that evoke positive emotions, stunt marketing is focused on attracting attention and generating a buzz.
It involves staging a bold campaign or activation in public to grab the attention of the media or public, as you introduce a new product or communicate your brand message in style.
It’s more of a mind game than an emotion-evoking marketing strategy.
This is where you recruit brand ambassadors or people who understand your brand or product details to the most delicate details.
You then deploy them to the streets, people’s homes, or anywhere you suspect your audience can be found.
When you have professionals like this working for you, then perhaps you should consider giving them all the resources they need and deploying them on the street to act as your consumer outreach.
They’re to engage your customers face-to-face, or move to where they are and engage with them there.
The use of visuals in marketing has never been this competitive.
Marketers are using beautiful and compelling photography to communicate their marketing messages. That’s because pictures are super-effective at commanding the attention of customers.
It’s also been revealed that the human brain can process images 600, 0000 times faster than text. Add that to the fact that we live in the era of selfies and smartphones, and photo marketing becomes a staple in any marketing toolkit.
You can use photo marketing to give your customers something to remember and talk about for the longest time possible.
You can start by creating experiential photo booths that people can use to snap cool photos, with excellent backgrounds whenever they’re dressed for it.
You can set the photo booths at a local event or festival or near your business premises. Customers are invited to take photos with different props and interesting filters and share them with their friends and families.
Guerrilla stores or pop-up activations are temporary stores staged at strategic points to generate an instant buzz.
They have been around for a while. But they would start to gain popularity in 2004. Since then, brands have been staging pop-up stores at different random places, including other stores, airports, and storefronts, to mention a few.
They’re mostly used to draw attention, test a new product, or target a specific demographic. You’ve probably come across a few in supermarkets and malls.
The problem is that they have become so ubiquitous, and the only way to get noticed when you set up one is to combine it with a unique experience that will help you get noticed.
For example, when Bark and Co. set up their pop-up shops in Manhattan in 2006. Instead of setting up the shops and leaving it, they decided to invite dog owners to test out their toys. They could then use an RFID-enabled vest to track each dog and the toys they enjoyed the most.
All this time, they would make sure the owner can actually see it, after which they would direct them to a custom mobile app where they were to buy the toys.
5 Kill Examples of Experiential Marketing Campaigns
The best way to learn about experiential marketing is to sit down and take some lessons from the pros. The people that have tried it in the past and seen success.
We’ve identified a few experiential marketing campaigns that we believe were perfectly executed. So, what made them so impactful and unique?
Read on to find out:
“Discomfort Future” by the Economist
The Economist is a world-renowned media company focusing on international news, politics, finance, technology, business, and how they impact the world.
The company understood that it had developed a reputation for being too technical and dry. In reality, they were a great source of news and information to those who enjoyed reading about the forces that shaped up our future.
The problem was that their content. It wasn’t meant for light-readers. There was some depth to it, and they would sometimes cover complex topics.
To change their public image and engage their target audience, they decided to develop a series of experiences that aimed to drag their readers out of their comfort zones.
It’s because the people that valued this type of content are the ones that stuck around for longer.
Part of the experiences they created included serving people with worm ice cream, reclaimed water coffee, waste food smoothies, and grasshopper crepes.
Yes, you read it right – trash, bugs, and human waste.
They chose this direction as it reflected some of the topics they covered, particularly those that talked about recycling, sustainability, and the future of food.
The campaign had an incredible impact on the company:
- They managed to attract over 25 000 new subscriptions, 60% of which stayed even long after the campaign ended.
- They were able to generate about £1.7 million lifetime revenue through the campaign
- They made 171% ROI on the campaign
Stratos by Red Bull
On 14th October 2012, Red Bull organised the “Stratos” jump, which they live-streamed for all to see.
Red Bull has been covering extreme sports ever since they entered the market. But in 2012, they decided to do things a little bit differently.
Affectionately named Stratos, their superterrestrial marketing team decided to feature Felix Baumgartner, a talented skydiver from Austria whom they had partnered with to set a new world record for the highest skydive.
The new record: 128, 000 feet, 24 miles above the surface of the earth.
It was a fantastic stunt that started with Red Bull housing Felix Baumgartner in a communication capsule. They would then use a helium-filled balloon to send him up to the stratosphere.
The whole experience was truly remarkable, starting with his ascent and his preparation to jump. He was able to break the world record even before landing back on the earth’s surface.
Red Bull live-streamed the whole event that they uploaded on YouTube, attracting over 8 million viewers (which makes it one of the most viewed live streams ever).
What Marketers Should Learn from this Event
- There’s so much power in suspense. Never underestimate it when hosting an event. Try giving your viewers something new, perhaps a little scary. It’s a personal experience they’ll never forget and always live to cherish.
- How about you figure out how to get your brand in the record book?
“Building-a-Better-Bay Area” Campaign by Google
Corporate philanthropy is a new trend.
Between 2012 and 2014, about 56% of companies increased their charitable giving. Google happened to be one of the companies.
And they had to do it in style.
When donating $5.5 million to the non-profits around the Bay Area, they didn’t just give their donations and call it a day. They decided to involve the public by letting them choose where they wanted the money to go – in an interactive way, of course.
People were allowed to vote online. But Google wanted more. They tried to involve the people around the Bay area to participate in the voting process tangibly.
To do this, they would go-ahead to install large interactive posters – in bus shelters, restaurants, and food trucks that the locals could use to cast their votes.
What to Learn from this Experiential Marketing Campaign?
- You have to develop a branded hashtag that those participating in the campaign can use to share their experiences on social media.
- You also want to make sure there’s an integrated online element that online people can use to participate in the campaign when they come across your messages or posts.
- Keep it local. Forget about your national influence, and think about your local community. Think of this campaign as your way of giving back to the community.
Confirming this is a recent survey where 72% of those interviewed said they’re always willing to share their experiences at local events with their friends and families.
- Don’t wait for your audience to come to you. Instead, you’re to figure out where they hang out or spend much of their time and engage them there. In other words, you’re the person to take your campaign to them instead of waiting for them to come and find you.
Guinness Class by Guinness
Aspirational marketing is still a thing. You know, the type of marketing that falls into the upper-right quadrant. Think private jets, haute couture, and luxury cars – or the things we all aspire to own someday.
Guinness ran a similar campaign. For a few weeks, their ambassadors would dress in Guinness-branded flight attendants’ uniforms and enter bars to surprise bar-goers with a chance to win a range of aspirational prizes.
The requirement for participating in the challenge was to order a pint of Guinness. They’ll then shake a prize-generating tablet that would determine the prize won.
Participants would win anything – from keychains to passport cases, but every night, at least one participant would win a free trip to Dublin, where they were to travel via jet. They were also allowed to tag along up to four of their mates.
What made this campaign unique is the fact that people start associating Guinness with the things they aspired to do or own, like travelling via a private jet. And as Nick Britton (the marketing manager of Guinness, Western Europe plugin), the campaign held their brand up as a brand that doesn’t settle for less or anything ordinary.
What You Can Learn from this Campaign
- To run this campaign, you first have to understand what your audience aspires to do or own someday. These are the things you want to associate with your brand.
- If people have to purchase one of your products to participate in the campaign, you have to make it convenient. In this case, those participating were only required to buy a Guinness pint, which they found convenient, considering they were already in the bar.
Healthymagination by GE
If you thought experiential marketing only works for B2C brands, then think again. If anything, 67% of B2B marketers point out experiential marketing as one of the most effective strategies they have ever implemented.
This is why GE decided to organise the Healthmagination initiative. They were to target industry professionals and promote healthcare solutions globally, especially in developing countries.
To create some impact around this initiative, GE teamed up with the AgencyEA to develop movie sets that embodied different healthcare environments that they would use to conduct their Healthymagination initiatives. They would create a healthcare environment for a rural clinic in a developed country, an emergency room, and an urban clinic.
The idea revolved around doctors sharing their stories live, in front of more than 700 attendees. GE was at the centre of it all, which demonstrated their role in this.
GE managed to get people talking on an important and sensitive issue – how people from impoverished or underdeveloped countries can still access healthcare.
First, they had to develop a strategy that could make people become wholly immersed in the topic. They’d then choose a topic that people seldom talked about and which impacted society.
What Can Marketers Learn from this Campaign?
- Experiential Marketing also works for B2B companies. The point is to wear the mindset of the people you’re trying to sell to and then create an engagement or event that will attract them to you and give them a chance to experience your product or services first-hand.
- Don’t be afraid to engage in something uncomfortable. Choose a topic that people are so scared to talk about or consider a taboo, and you can be sure it will prompt a conversation. However, you want to make sure the topic is respectful enough and that it doesn’t make participants so uncomfortable that they wouldn’t have something positive to say about your brand.
When it comes to increasing brand awareness and improving consumer engagement, nothing can rival a well-planned experiential marketing campaign. Unlike other techniques used for digital marketing in Singapore, engagement marketing achieves multiple objectives at once. These include spurring higher demand in your products, strengthening your brand image, engaging customers, and so forth.
The key to a successful marketing campaign is preparing well. Make sure that you have clear goals before you start. After beginning, make a point of continually measuring the progress to see if you are on the right track. If you follow the tips mentioned above, you are almost guaranteed of getting success.
Get in touch for more tips on how to carry out digital marketing in Singapore.