Are Your Customers Thrilled About the Way You Do Business?
Webolutions’ experiential marketing experts can help you deliver the ultimate brand and customer service experience.
What is Experiential Marketing?
Clients frequently ask us “what is the meaning of experiential marketing?”. Experiential marketing, also known as engagement marketing, is a marketing strategy based on providing an exceptional customer experience. Wikipedia provides the following experiential definition: experience marketing directly engages consumers and invites and encourages them to participate in the evolution of a brand.
Rather than looking at consumers as passive receivers of messages, engagement marketers believe that consumers should be actively involved in the production and co-creation of marketing programs, developing a relationship with the brand.
Consumer Engagement is when a brand and a consumer connect. Experiential marketing is the live, one-on-one interactions that allow consumers to create connections with brands.
Experiential marketing allows a consumer to experience a brand. Rather than a commercial, an ad, or a Tweet, experiential marketing embodies messaging that you can touch, feel, or view in a physical space. It’s an opportunity for consumers to interact with your brand in person, and while this tends to be event-centric, more traditional campaigns can also take an integrated approach that includes a tangible, offline experience. By adding experiential elements, a brand can enhance or complement their initiatives.
Experiential marketing is more important today than ever. Why? Because organizations are focusing more and more on digital marketing and improving their brand visibility online, the practice of experiential marketing enhances brand recognition by providing a memorable experience. The more engaging and interactive the experience, the more memorable.
Experiential marketing combined with digital marketing provides synergy resulting in an overall better brand presence, recall and recognition. Experiential marketing is among the best methods to increase brand loyalty and consumer satisfaction. Two main reasons why experiential marketing is so important to an organization.
Want more information about the importance of experience marketing?
Guest Experience: What Marketing Experience are You Delivering?
It’s one thing to say your what your brand represents, but it’s a whole lot better to show it. That is where Experiential Marketing (not experimental marketing) comes in. Webolutions has been practicing Experiential Marketing for our own business for over ten years and, it’s a key component of the market positioning work we do for clients. Our approach to Experiential Marketing is to define and develop customer experiences that will be N.U.D.E. because businesses that achieve high N.U.D.E ratings are highly successful at creating word of mouth buzz and referrals. N.U.D.E. customer experiences score highly on:
Novelty: the degree to which your customer experience is truly unique
Utility: the breadth of ways you can satisfy customer needs
Dependability: the reliability of your customer experience
Economy: the overall value
While most businesses believe that their success is due to their strong customer service, few provide truly unique and buzz-worthy experiences. These require detailed planning, development, and training which is where Webolutions can help. We assist clients to:
Define meaningful customer experiences that support the brand positioning
Develop tools and training to deliver dependable experiences
Measure the impact of Experiential Marketing on customer satisfaction and other KPIs
At Webolutions we believe that businesses who deliver amazing customer experiences should never have to spend a dime on marketing because referrals could drive continuous growth. We’ve seen this in action and strive for that level of Experiential Marketing success with each and every client.
So who is doing experiential marketing, and doing it well?
Balisteri Vineyards Annual Children’s Wine Stomp – Done every year at the Festival Italiano at Belmar, kids can sign up for free, then kick off their shoes (and rinse their feet), and jump into one of dozens of huge bins of grapes. The juices from the stomping are then collected, and will become Balisteri’s Little Feet Merlot for the next year. Parents can pre-purchase the wine at the event, and be able to later drink wine from the fruits of their children’s’ labor. Each year, participants from last year’s stomp can sample the just-released version of Little Feet Merlot from the tasting tent, and can purchase the wine on site as well. This is an engaging event, and allows consumers to really experience the wine!
Behr “Paint Your Place” – This online tool is on Behr’s Website, and allows users to upload photos of their home, and then “paint” it online, using Behr paint. You can enter color names/numbers, browse their book of colors, or take a visit to their “inspiration library” to find colors/color schemes you like from photo galleries. You can even create custom paint colors online, and order the paint right there. What a great way to allow consumers to really envision Behr paint in their home!
Hammer Nutrition Giveaways – Hammer Nutrition is a product used for endurance athletes, used before, during, and after long, sustained stints of exercise. Hammer strategically shows up at endurance type events (i.e. – marathons), and hands out their products to runners, in the middle of races. Runners and other athletes are then able to use the product when they actually need it, and are able to actually experience first-hand, the benefits of the products. (I found out about Hammer Nutrition products on a recent hike of a Colorado 14er – I met two distance runners on the summit, and they were happily enjoying their free products that Hammer had given them during their last race. They were raving about the product, and shared what they had with me – how’s that for referral marketing?
Car Dealership “Loaning” Cars– Last year, my car was in desperate need of repair (it was on its last leg, and I knew it would need to be replaced sooner than later.) I brought it to my dealership for repair, and they were nice enough to “lend” me one of their new Lexus models while mine was being fixed. This loaner car was WAY nicer than the car I was having repaired, I might add. For the two days my car was in the shop, I was able to “experience” life in a Lexus. All the little nuances that can’t be described or explained in an ad, all the little things that were “cool” or “convenient” to me, I was able to see and experience first hand, and be able to visualize my life in a Lexus. Smart move on the dealership part – they got me hooked on, and wanting to purchase a car that I would have never otherwise have considered.
IKEA Hotels – IKEA is beginning to furnish certain hotels with their products. These hotels get a complete makeover – beds, tables, sofas, chairs, even utensils and kitchenware. This lets people live with IKEA for a few days, and really experience their brand, rather than just touching briefly at an IKEA store.
To be successful with Experiential Marketing, it should be delivered through truly genuine experiences, and at times when it is relevant and meaningful to that person.
5 Experiential Marketing Ideas and Tips:
Give the users something to talk about. Be it a unique feature or benefit, people are better able to refer their experience if there is something worth sharing.
Give users the opportunity to truly experience your product or service, which will dramatically help facilitate them talking about the experience (see Hammer Nutrition example above!)
Utilize social media and drive people to these mediums to talk about their experience. This allows all the positive feedback and personal experiences to live in publicly accessible areas, so that they are visible for others to see, thus becoming a trusted referral source.
Take the good and the bad. When you are opening yourself up for public commentary, be prepared and welcome both the good and bad. Negative comments should be addressed, and can be used to make your product/offering even better (if the comment is constructive, of course). Make sure you’re ready to answer questions, respond to complaints, and to openly consider any suggestions.
Utilize this feedback to continue to innovate your product, using comments to feed your ideas for new features and additions of the product – this will in turn give your consumers more to talk about.