Experiential marketing allows customers to buy and experience a brand’s product or service. Memorable and unique experiences generate emotional connections between the brand and the consumer.
Experiential marketing as we pointed out in our previous post aims to bring customers and brands closer together by engaging them in a memorable and positive experience. People are more likely to associate happy sensations with a company if a brand event elicits genuine favorable feelings, which is more effective than merely showing them a Facebook ad or anything.
Experiential marketing is, at its core, a guerrilla strategy, Instead of spending the amount of money that typical advertising requires, it focuses on thinking outside the box. Experiential marketing relies mainly on innovation to grab attention and encourage people to try your products and suggest them to others.
No doubt businesses that leverage the strategies of experiential marketing always reap the many benefits it offers including lead generation and business growth.
In this post, we will explore the role of experiential marketing in the generation of sales leads and the growth of businesses. Let’s Journey on!!
- Translating experiential marketing to leads and business growth
- How is Experiential Marketing measured?
- Future of Experiential marketing in Nigeria (Will Tech Wipe it out or will it stay)
Consumers are encouraged to actively participate in a brand’s identity and core principles through experiential marketing. Experiential marketing offers brands, especially small businesses, a fantastic opportunity to directly increase customer loyalty and sales. The activities introduce people to your brand and act as new ways to attract new customers and introduce them to their sales funnel, with 65% of businesses obtaining direct sales.
Experiential marketing, in addition to direct business marketing, enables companies to significantly improve their brand exposure and recognition by enlisting the help of their audience as brand ambassadors or by encouraging consumers to share their experiences online. With active participation, engagement, and the promotion of the company’s message to deliver long-lasting value, this promotion, therefore, creates a fantastic brand experience.
How do experiential marketing drive leads and business growth?
1. Creates unique content.
Experiential marketing makes it possible for you to grow user-generated content for your company. Even though developing promotional content is important, it gets challenging with time. Experiential advertising, on the other hand, motivates you to publish blogs, upload videos, and interview participants. Likewise, you receive any user-generated-content (UGC) produced by delighted customers who tweet, vlog, and post your event on your behalf. This strategy becomes a fantastic way to increase the credibility of your business and persuade potential customers to offer you their time.
2. Fosters brand loyalty.
Professionals assert that experience is the primary differentiator in the digital era. In a business environment where it is challenging to earn customer loyalty, customers will shift from one brand to another with little or no consideration of product features or price. Thus, the only way to ensure your customers stick with you for extended periods is to engage with them. Experiential events offer your consumers an opportunity to know you, understand what you stand for, and in some cases, try your goods before they purchase them. Experiential advertising ideas enable you to build an affinity with your clients that boosts sales.
3. Attracts the attention of the media.
Experiential marketing strategies not only draw attention to you, but they also work well to draw in the media. You may persuade regional periodicals and newspapers to attend your event and cover it with persuasive engagement advertising methods. Through forums, journals, blogs, and more press conferences, this strategy can draw more people, which will help generate more business leads.
Social media can be used to promote an event both before and during it, as well as to continue the discourse after it has ended.
As a result of the ongoing buzz surrounding your brand, more people become aware of your event and your business is favorably mentioned for a longer period. All of this ongoing communication can take the form of individuals sharing event-related photos, reposting user-generated content about the event, and interacting with the social media team of your business via direct messages and responses. By extending the life of your event, you maximize its return on investment (ROI).
Increasing brand recognition is the main reason why businesses participate in marketing. They want their presence to be known by more people.
Brand awareness is more than merely gaining brand awareness; as a brand, you want people to get your story, your principles, and your objective. Strategies for experiential marketing are a great way to get started and begin forming connections with customers. Brands have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to interact authentically with customers through experiential marketing, which raises brand awareness.
This technique can be used to educate your audience about the products you are marketing. This can also be used to demonstrate the issues your brand resolves. Social media is a unique way to communicate with users before, during, and after your experiential event. Due to all of this activity, more people will see your brand in their newsfeeds for a longer period of time, which will raise their knowledge of it.
Word-of-mouth marketing is more crucial than ever in the modern world. Finding strategies to differentiate yourself from the competition is crucial with so many businesses vying for customers’ attention.
The greatest method to achieve this is by encouraging word-of-mouth marketing. Your clients will promote you if you offer an experience that is worthwhile talking about.
Let’s take the example of a restaurant owner seeking for techniques to increase word-of-mouth marketing. Customers could attend a special event where you provide samples of several items from your menu. They would have the opportunity to experiment and tell others about their experience. Word-of-mouth is extremely powerful because 92% of people trust the word of their friends and family members over a brand’s messaging about their products.
7. Distinguishes You Out From Your Competitors
Businesses today must discover ways to differentiate themselves from their competition. With so many businesses offering identical products and services, it can be difficult to distinguish yourself. There is a lot of noise in the marketplace, and breaking through can be difficult.
Consider that you are arranging a trip to Europe. You begin exploring several travel businesses and come across two that provide comparable itineraries. The first travel agency has a website including images of the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben. The other website similarly contains photos of the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben, but they also have a video of their tour guides giving the tour.
Which firm are you more likely to use to make a reservation?
If you’re like most individuals, you’ll probably go with the video example. Why? Because they provide a more interesting and memorable experience.
Although the expenditure for experiential marketing looks to be larger than for other types of marketing, the ROI on experiential marketing is higher.
Positive brand perception results when brands reinforce their integrity by creating customer experiences that allow customers to learn more about their products or services. According to one study, improving consumer encounters through experiential marketing can result in up to 74% more customer participation and positive engagement. Increased engagement leads to increased revenue and, as a result, a good ROI. These increased returns highlight how a great digital experiential marketing campaign may help your company in a variety of ways.
How is Experiential Marketing measured?
An experience marketing campaign’s overall success is notoriously difficult to quantify. In this new frontier, businesses require real data to determine whether their live events were successful and, if not, how to improve them. What you chose to measure will vary greatly depending on your top-level strategic goals: market share, wallet share, altering the brand identity, revenue diversification, and so on. The key point is that new leads are not the only or most essential KPIs to get from an experiential marketing campaign.
The true measure of success could be customer experience, ROI, or social impact. The campaign’s objectives, the audience to whom you are reporting, and whether you are covering an event, a campaign, or the entire field of experiential marketing will all influence your decision.
When done right, these kinds of events and activations create an emotional connection that no other marketing effort can accomplish.
It is difficult to measure, but you can set up technology that assesses the value of key performance indicators (KPIs) for live events and campaigns utilizing experiential marketing at every phase of the client experience. There are several measurable times and behaviors that may be defined before, during, and after the event that reveal customer intent and mood.
How can you ensure that your efforts will be worthwhile when preparing an immersive marketing activation? We have some advice.
1. Establish goals
Instead of declaring, “We want more people to enjoy our brand,” develop a SMART objective such, as “Our net promoter score will improve by 10% three months after this event.” That’s a really measurable and quantitative technique of determining how much a certain experience made people enjoy your brand.
You can’t track experience marketing analytics until you first create goals. You should always have a goal to compare your KPIs against so you know if you truly crossed the finish line. It’s tempting to dive right into preparing a cool experience, but before you get into the nitty-gritty of building a program, consider your aims.
What are your objectives for your experience campaign? Here are a couple of such examples:
- Lead generation: do you want to collect names and email addresses? Handles on social media? Indicate the information you require.
- Brand awareness: are you attempting to enter a new market or reach a new demographic? Indicate the target market or demographic.
- Increased sales: are you selling merchandise at the event? How long will you continue to track sales after the event is over?
Once you’ve determined exactly what you’re attempting to accomplish, you may select the most appropriate KPIs to measure.
2. Select KPIs that will help you achieve your goal
Once you’ve determined your goal, you must select the metrics that will show when you’ve achieved it. These KPIs will comprise the core of your experiential-marketing analytics.
Consider KPIs like:
- Number of attendees
- Email captures
- Event engagements
- Brand affinity
- Social media reach and engagement
It’s vital to note that each experience and brand will have unique KPIs. Don’t be scared to tailor your KPIs such that the data you collect at an experience is genuinely beneficial. When choosing which KPIs to measure, it’s important to go beyond the usual suspects: number of attendees, number of product or service purchases, and number of emails captures.
These are still vital metrics to track, but they won’t offer a clear picture of your event’s success. Large crowds do not always translate to more significant sales or brand exposure, so delving deeper can provide far more insight into what worked and what didn’t.
If your goal is lead generation, in addition to how many emails you captured, you’ll want to track:
- Conversion ratio (the number of qualified leads / the number of engagements)
- Engagements per brand representative (the number of engagements each brand rep experiences throughout the event; make sure each rep is measuring engagements using the same criteria, or you’ll end up with unusable data)
You’ll likely have additional KPIs that you’ll need to track, as well, depending on your audience, activation, location, etc.
If you’re looking to increase brand awareness or change brand perception with your activation, you’ll want to track:
- The brand sentiment (how people are feeling about your brand?)
- Brand awareness pre- and post-event (how did your event change attendee’s brand awareness? This is usually discovered through surveys)
- Social media brand awareness (how many people used your branded hashtag, how many new followers did you get, how many mentions of your brand showed up online)
Increasing sales is generally an easier thing to measure—sample KPIs include:
- Product sales during and after your activation
- Product samples during the activation
- New customer purchases
- Returning customer purchases
Once you’ve got your KPIs in order, however, how do you ensure that they actually are tracked during your event?
You can’t get an accurate idea of how many people saw your wall mural or street art, and the impact that it had on them. You can’t count clicks like you can with pay-per-click. It all comes down to understanding the key performance indicators.
Let’s look at the 5 stages of KPI by Julia Manoukian.
Stage 1 - KPIs for Awareness
Before the event, your top goal should be getting the word out with maximum breadth and urgency. People can’t attend the event if they don’t know about it.
The quality and dedication your team puts into the upfront promotion can make all the difference in how well-attended the event is. Word of mouth tends to be the most motivational factor, but registrations are an excellent running indicator of how much people are talking about it offline.
- Unique Visits – Comparing this to the total visitors can tell you whether the marketing content works the first time or if people are returning to the site more than once before they make up their minds to attend the event. Also, unique visits cover a specified time frame so comparing these KPIs over time can tell you when targeted ads are the most effective.
- Traffic sources – You need to know which channel your target audience prefers for messages that impel action. This will be the source for your next level KPI measuring effectiveness within each traffic source.
Stage 2 - KPIs for Evaluation/Consideration
Traditionally, the most obvious measure of success for an event was attendance. That’s not good enough anymore. What really matters is the customer experience at the event. You want to discover where your brand ranks on its priority list and then move the needle in your favor.
- Average session duration – This is equivalent to dwell time for in-store events. Generally, more time on the site is good if they are gathering information, but if they leave without converting it could indicate that the flow is not intuitive or the offer isn’t engaging enough to secure their commitment.
- Click/hover heat maps – In coordination with the above metric, this will tell you how confusing vs. convincing the argument you’ve made is for the potential customer. From here you can modify and improve the sign-up page to strengthen your message.
Stage 3 - KPIs for Decision
Event check-ins – The absolute number of people who show up is still important as a measure of success, but only as it relates to the KPIs below. You want to be sure that the people who attended the event walked away with a favorable association with your brand
- Conversion rates – Free events are normally plagued by no-shows, but the number of sign-ups vs actual attendees contains important information no matter what the ticket price. If you have a high no-show rate, you will need to make the offerings at the show more exclusive or strengthen your promotion of social mentions for those who did attend.
- Overall event ROI – This is another of the most common KPIs that the C-Suite wants to see, but there’s no single metric that tells the whole story. ROI can be measured by revenue post-event, interactions, or the absolute number of impressions across channels, depending on your strategic goals.
Stage 4 - KPIs for Retention
- Crowd counts over time – Whether the event attendance was front-loaded or the crowd only showed up for the main event, this gives you a better view of what your customers care about most.
- Photos taken – People take pictures when they want to remember an event, even if they never see those digital photos again. This is a de facto measure of excitement or significance in the lives of the attendees.
Stage 5 - KPIs for Advocacy
- Brand mentions/hashtags – The true value of the event is what people continue to talk about after it’s over. Hashtags make it easy to follow the conversation, but they tend to degrade while you should expect to see brand mentions increasing.
- Follower growth rates – Although follower counts are not an indication of brand favorability, they factor into the amplification of your messaging. That’s why a small but active following is far more valuable than one that is simply very large.
3. Create a digital map of the client journey
ROI may be challenging to quantify, but digitizing some aspects of your brand experience can greatly simplify the measurement of your experiential marketing analytics. In actuality, correctly attributing digital elements is essential.
By giving all the credit for a customer’s initial experience with your business, you may quantify success using first-interaction attribution. That can entail attending your event or conversing with a representative at a gathering. On the other side, last-interaction attribution recognizes the last interaction a customer has with your brand prior to conversion.
First- and last-interaction attribution is problematic since it doesn’t accurately reflect the actual customer experience. The numerous micro-interactions that take place between the first and last interaction are what you’re missing out on. Because of this, experiential marketers must set up customer journey funnels so that proper credit may be given.
A customer relationship management (CRM) platform can greatly improve your understanding of the client journey. This system will keep track of every client encounter with your company, both online and off, so you can see which touchpoints are most effective in terms of return on investment.
4. Monitor performance before, during, and after your event.
Here’s the thing: a CRM requires data to function. Without adequate data gathering, you run the danger of tracking the wrong experiential marketing statistics, which tell you nothing about your genuine ROI.
In terms of data collection, this means:
- Keeping track of how many freebies you distribute at a booth.
- Tracking the number of persons with whom your sales team engages (business cards are a great low-tech way to track this).
- Gathering email addresses when attendees sign in or play a digital game at an event.
- Configuring Google Analytics to track website traffic and performance throughout the encounter.
- Developing one-of-a-kind landing sites, codes, phone numbers, or hashtags to track the impact of your experience.
- Using pre- and post-experience surveys, as well as live or in-event attendance questionnaires, to measure brand affiliation or sentiment.
5. Conduct an ROI-focused analysis
Any brand experience will result in an overwhelming amount of data being gathered by your staff. After an event, you should check your experiential marketing analytics to make sure you actually met your SMART goal. Event post-mortems are something that marketers frequently avoid, but with the right attribution tracking, you can see them as a chance for improvement.
Check how your event KPIs compare to your SMART objectives. Make sure to take a comprehensive look at all of your KPIs at once to understand what’s truly happening. For instance, you could require more conversion-friendly offerings at your next event if you have high website traffic but few engagements or transactions.
The Future of Experiential Marketing in Nigeria (Will Tech Wipe it out or will it stay?)
So what does the future hold for experiential marketing in Nigeria? We anticipate its popularity will only grow as brands seek more inventive and compelling methods to interact with their target customers. And, as the world gets increasingly digital, we believe experiential marketing will become even more significant as a method for brands to interact with their customers on a more personal level.
In addition, we believe that technology will play an important part in the future of experiential marketing, enabling businesses to create ever more immersive and engaging events. New technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are expected to become more common in experiential marketing efforts.
Digital marketing is quite good at communicating brand messaging as well as personal communication. Experiential marketing creates an immersed relationship with the brand. This improves consumer encounters and leaves them with a favorable and lasting image of the brand or product. Digital marketing does not replace experiential marketing; rather, it supplements it. Live events provide a wonderful opportunity to develop in-person engagement as the world grows more digital by the day. After a mind-blowing encounter, the first thing that comes to mind is to share the news. Connected individuals desire to share their online activities, experiences, and engagements with others, both branded and organic. As a result, including social or digital components in live events is critical smart social media integration can dramatically increase reach. Users can share events with others using the live feature on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. People will also feel motivated to share and spread the word if social media is an integral element of the marketing activity.
Social media, in particular, is used by Millennials and Generation Z to engage with one another and build communities. When you share in the context of a branded experience—your branded experience—you give your followers a way to develop their ties with one another and with your brand. This will increase brand loyalty and aid in the building of long-term customer relationships. Branded hashtags, as well as video and photo content, make it easier to share your company’s experiences online. In the end, experiential marketing is here to stay. If you haven’t already started implementing it into your marketing mix, now is the time to start.