Clients come to us all the time wanting to really make an impact and connect with consumers. Experiential marketing is our bread and butter at MotusExp and we have a passion for creating campaigns that are truly and utterly customizable. Unlike TV, print, OOH, etc, experiential marketing allows you to take a business problem for a client and custom tailor a solution to meet a specific need with control over how a consumer will engage with it and the means by which you will reach them. You can target a particular audience and reach them in a way that will really capture their attention. In addition, 98% of consumers feel more inclined to purchase after attending an activation (EventTrack).
Experiential marketing connects with consumers on an emotional level, which is extremely effective long-term. It stops people on street corners and allows for brands and their offerings to be touched, consumed, measured and discussed. But you shouldn’t just jump full force into an experiential campaign without first taking into consideration some key factors. First and foremost, ask yourself — is your brand ready for experiential?
Make Sure your Timing is Right
Incorporating activations into your marketing schedule strategically is key. Make sure to give ideas some breathing room by allowing time for planning, production, promotion, permitting, etc. Rushing to get to an activation off the ground that you don’t have time to promote via the proper channels isn’t going to reach its full attendance potential, for example. Similarly, themes for your events should align with the product/service you are promoting as well as the season. So even though you may not want to sit on an idea that feels oh so good, timing really has a whole lot to do with the success of an experiential campaign.
Do you Have the Budget for It?
Thankfully, dollars go pretty far with an experiential marketing campaign in comparison to TV or print. Unlike other forms of marketing, with experiential marketing, it’s more about the quality and depth of an experience than the amount of impressions you get. So take the time to really plan, and partner with someone who will get it right. A marketer should also have a clear grasp on what their client is comfortable investing in a campaign. A big idea often times goes hand-in-hand with deeper pockets. Selling in a campaign with all the bells and whistles, on-site staff, premiums, promotion, etc. is certainly attractive, but stick to a smaller more targeted activation if money is too tight for a higher-level investment. Or, you may want to wait until you have the right budget for that big idea.
Campaign Strategy and Brand Value Align
Other factors that will lead to success include a campaign strategy that closely aligns with a brand’s current marketing strategy. A buzz-worthy experiential activation is ultimately the end goal, but if the content doesn’t align with a brand’s mission statement, at the end of the day you aren’t going to truly unlock the full potential of an activation.
The most important piece of the puzzle is your Return on Investment, so setting a goal upfront is key. What does success look like? How will you measure? Even the most impressive activations don’t always translate to the bottom line. So while astounding your audience is wonderful, making a profitable investment is most important.
Finding the Right Partner
Finally, the success of an experiential campaign (or any marketing strategy) relies both on a willing client, as well as a skilled marketer. A brand (or even marketer at that brand) that has a history of successful activations is going to see the value in the investment. Which certainly makes things easier — i.e. giving the agency more leighway creatively. That’s not to say that a brand shouldn’t hop on the experiential bandwagon for the first time, certainly, it has to start somewhere! We’ve guided many clients down that path. But just make sure the partnership feels right. A brand that doesn’t trust their partner agency’s leadership and expertise should walk away.
Bottom line? Before you invest financially, and allocate the manpower to launch an experiential campaign, you really need to ensure you have the right plan in place in order to successfully execute. A cohesive partnership between a client brand and their agency is the first step, in addition to a clear understanding of brand strategy, and budgets. The right timing is also important to ensure a truly impactful experiential marketing campaign. When you get it right, there’s nothing like a tangible brand experience to create a lasting memorable impression for a consumer, in addition to a stellar ROI.