What do Mastercard, Jaguar, Absolut, and M&M’s have in common? They’re all revamping their marketing strategies to focus on giving customers experiences – more formally known as experiential marketing.
The brands that are dodging ad blocker bullets are the ones who are focused on creating “direct connections and more meaningful relationships with consumers,” reports Adweek. Bryan Icenhower, president of WME | IMG’s experiential agency IMG Live, described experiential as a “uniquely fast and effective way to build brand awareness through one-to-one connections with consumers. It engages all 5 senses, sparking emotions that form lasting memories which have been shown to drive brand loyalty.” Relationships matter—consumers are humans, and humans are social creatures, after all.
And brands are serious about investing in these relationships. “According to the Freeman Global Brand Experience Study 1 in 3 CMOs is expected to allocate between 21 and 50 percent of their budget to brand experience marketing over the next 3 to 5 years.” Both virtual reality and augmented reality are examples of advertising mediums brands believe build loyalty among customers.
Michael Curmi, brand experience director for Jaguar Land Rover North America, shared with Adweek that experiential marketing is one of the few places where marketers are able “to talk to consumers, understand what’s most important to them and have a dialogue back-and-forth.” The personal power of experiential marketing doesn’t stop there—throw social amplification into the mix and the influential element of sharability allows brands to actively measure and collect data from social efforts, such as people using a brand’s hashtags or geofilters. This guarantees that “they [brands] will have the analytics they need to justify the expense of experiential.”
However, Adweek touches on the fact that while data and measurements are important, “sometimes the best research of all is looking at people’s faces and seeing how they’re responding. It’s a tried-and-true way to see what’s working.” The soft metrics (are consumers walking away with smiles on their faces?) are just as important as the hard metrics (how many social impressions did your experiential effort garner?).
To read more about brands’ experiential marketing efforts, go to Adweek.
Photo: Joseph Yates via Unsplash