Social, search, videos, display, newsfeed and now the native ads – indeed; the amount of marketing messaging that has been pushed onto the users screen has practically broken all the pits and boundaries of tradition .
Yes, the ways marketing messages are being pushed up has in fact exploded while making it rather difficult in impacting consumers in the digital channels. In this sheer noisy world of digital messaging, the brand’s message has to stand out among the other thousands of digital messages to which the users are exposed to day in and day out.
Not only the explosion of digital messages but the information overload has also led users to become rather selective about the type of content they engage with. So what does this mean for the brands? Simple – the brands are exposed to more competition in terms of quality when it comes down to the point of competing for arresting the brand’s users digital attention. Let’s take a simple example – in the early days of digital messaging a plain text tweet or just a text post on Facebook got all the engagement. But then things changed and posts with a graphical presentation received twice the engagement when compared to only a text post. But the 2015-16 on the other hand unleashes a drastic shift towards video content.
As things stand now, news-feed is the significant method of content consumption for brands on their preferred platforms. To put things simply; if you want your digital messages to be seen or if you want to engage with the brand’s audience then there is hardly any other way than to show up in their feed.
With this comes the next question – how do you get there? Simple – either by sponsored post or by social shares. Of course; social shares are a wonderful investment because if someone likes your post they will be sharing it with their network. Consumers don’t usually share ads rather they share content which excites them.
Yes; the challenge is pretty clear – how do you actually stand out? Experiential marketing is the tested and proven way to go.
Why Experiential Marketing?
“We’re not just a product. We’re an experience” – The common quote has quickly made its way into the marketing and advertising circles
The one crucial disadvantage of digital messaging has a direct connection with its lack of ‘lasting impact.’ So the catchword here is to provide a lasting and “touchable” brand experience to engage with. This is exactly where the whole concept of experiential marketing comes into play.
Experiential marketing is all about enabling personal connections between brands and consumers. It is all about creating digital and real-world connections for creating stronger memories and bonds between brands and consumers.
Experiential marketing, once just an afterthought to mainstream marketing has now emerged as the backbone to the growing branding landscape. Experiential marketing with real time storytelling is providing fodder for social media feeds.
As things stand now story telling has now become the foundation of PR, Branding and marketing programs. Just like any good story the experiential story should also arrest the attention of the audience. Experiential brand story should make them feel better, make them believe in the brand, make them want to share the brand’s story.
As already discussed experiential marketing through immersive storytelling typically focuses on engaging consumers in tactile and immersive manner
Yes; it’s cool to be experiential. Let’s take a look from the brand’s point of view
Experience brands consider and feel the feedback: Yes; brands in fact spend quite a significant amount of time with their customers in the experience. Big brands don’t simply stop at reviewing customer feedback. On the contrary they watch the true feedback of customers in real time
Experience brands value the journey: Yes; great experiential brands invest in a journey of greatness in maximizing the power of anticipation. How the product is packaged, how it is shipped, how the consumer relationship grows over time all these are taken into consideration.
Experience Brands value the ROI: Experiences matter. Experiences nurture relationships. Experiences create memories that appreciate in value over time. Simply put; the experience business is wholly based on this “return on emotion.
Although there is no one size all approach when it comes to the point of ensuring a successful activation of experiential marketing, still there are a few important factors that have proven to be successful.
Here are a few pointers to mull over –
Be real and sound real: Remember; consumers are nowadays anti advertising as they want authenticity in the true sense of the term. This means; when telling your brand’s story be more specific about your brand value than about your product and service. Transparency and honesty stands as the important element in brand storytelling. Although you are crafting “stories,” however your stories need to be rooted deep into your brand reality. Simply put; your brand’s story must adhere to the three primary steps of brand-building such as – Consistency, Persistence and Restraint. Be creative but do not deviate from your brand promise.
Spark curiosity: Yes; we are all in a busy world. If we find someone offering tickets or may be handing out samples, we prefer walking away. However; if you spark the curiosity of your audience, if you spark an intriguing experience then quite obviously they will participate.
Employ the latest technology: Yes; we love technology and innovation so make these a part of your experience. Appeal to the senses of the consumers: it’s all about creating an intriguing experience that sounds and looks good, feels and tastes good. It’s all about winning the consumers heart. Ensure to address at least two of these senses.
Make it last: Your users should talk about your digital messages for months so it’s highly important to leave your users excited and eager to share it.
Integrate all the digital channels: Believe it or not; one of the most common barriers to success lies in the lack of integration between the different channels. This means ranging from creative to production, from social to media, all channels and platforms must work in sync to support the bigger idea.
Experiential branding as a creative branding process through sustainable customer experience thus contributes to brand esteem, brand differentiation, relevance and knowledge. Experiential marketing is not just passing out premiums.
It is all about figuratively connecting the consumers with the brand. It’s all about humanizing a brand, driving engagement and modifying behavior.