A popular career path for an event designer is in experiential marketing. If you are already an event designer but you are seeking a more focused track then consider the exciting prospect of experiential marketing. This is an intriguing avenue that lets you promote a brand in a personal way. In recent years, brand personification has taken on a whole new meaning and left the traditional ad base behind.
Creating an Emotional Connection
Traditional advertising has started falling behind in its ability to reach the typical consumer. Perhaps consumers have just become desensitized to ads on radio, television, and in print that rarely change. Now, in an effort to truly engage the audience, brand-focused event marketing has emerged. With event marketing, the goal is to make an emotional and memorable connection. The person literally becomes immersed in the brand. It is all about reaching a human completely to form a close-knit connection with the brand. In many cases, the line between experiential marketing and straightforward PR campaigns blur. However, unlike PR, experiential marketing techniques not only reach out to a person but actually immerse them in the entire brand.
It is All About an Unforgettable Event
Designing an unforgettable event to invoke a personal relationship with a brand is never easy but can be fun and rewarding. Normally, it focuses on something that is not only visual but also connects on an emotional and physical level. A person who seeks a career in experiential marketing normally has a flair for the elaborate or extreme and knows how to wow their attendees.
Techniques and Tips
There are numerous techniques and tips that an experiential marketer can use to achieve the consumer reaction that they seek. Here are just a few tricks to engage the attendees at a brand event and build a memorable experience:
- Storytelling: Imagination and storytelling are great ways to evoke emotions in a consumer and also live on in the person’s mind after the event has ended. A connection that is built will be extremely powerful plus a memorable story elicits true emotions. All stories should feature a beginning, a middle, and an end. The audience will become deeply rooted in the story. The entire story and brand will be rolled into a real-life event that attracts a large crowd.
- Participation: Generally, people like to participate as a group. They see it as a fun undertaking that is rewarding. A prime example of event marketing using a participation slant is the chocolate brand, Milka. The Milka company manufactured 10 million candy bars. Each one of the bars had a missing chocolate piece. The person enjoying the candy bar had the option of having the piece mailed back to them or they could have it mailed to a loved one as a gift. If the person opted to have it mailed as a special present to someone then they could have a personalized message enclosed. This experiential marketing play built an emotional connection with the consumer while also encouraging them to participate by urging them to obtain the missing chocolate piece either for themselves or for someone special.
- Sampling: People love free samples. Focusing on a particular planned demographic will help an event marketer reach their targeted consumer. Landshark Lager recently offered free beer at a variety of popular pools in the Las Vegas area. The free samples let participants enjoy the cool, refreshing beer on a hot day while lounging poolside. This was an ingenious marketing scheme that built a true relationship with the brand by recreating the ideal atmosphere and ambiance that someone would need to appreciate the cold lager. Although sampling is not a new marketing strategy, you must view it in the atmosphere that it was handed out. It was the perfect setting for a cold, refreshing beer: poolside on a hot day.
Key Tricks to Attain Your Goal
If you are focused on a career in experiential marketing then you want to practice certain key tricks to attain your goal and be successful.
- Try to foretell the ultimate outcome of every move that you make
- Set clear and concise goals
- Research your target market
- Try to identify with your target market
- Always remember why experiential marketing truly works
- Embark on creative and exciting events
- Make an impact on everyone around you
- Be an activist and make things happen
- Maximize online engagement to events using social media or other hip channels.
- When implementing an event give people something of value
Successful Event Marketing is About Word of Mouth
A truly successful event will capture the hearts and minds of the participants. After attending the event, the goal is to have them leave and tell all of their friends, family, and associates about not only the event but also the brand that inspired the event. A recent research study conducted by Google and Ogilvy found that consumers are far more moved and spurred towards making a purchase by word of mouth than by print media, movies, television, or brand websites. Ultimately, brands must invest in creative marketing steps to compete in the modern marketplace. Only by building personalized relationships with consumers will they receive the word of mouth they require to flourish and grow.
Word of Mouth Combined with Social Media
In many regards, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is a king when it comes to event marketing. One of the successful tricks that they used to create word of mouth and social media buzz was to encourage the public to tweet any time they noticed a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream truck in their neighborhood. The tweet rewarded the tweeter with a free scoop ice cream. Although, not a physical event, it was widely successful by simply spurring word of mouth and a massive social media movement.
Interaction With the Brand
Experiential marketing is all about reaching your audience on a personal level and letting them truly interact with the brand so they understand why the brand is unique and special. Interaction will also afford them the opportunity to see how the brand will benefit them in their day-to-day life.
Creating a Relationship With a Local, National, or World Event
Local, national, and world events receive abundant press coverage. With experiential marketing, you can make the brand you are working with literally ride on the coattails of a major event. One well-known world brand, Samsung, used the 2012 Olympics to spur their Galaxy S3 and Note. As a sponsor of the Olympics, Samsung executives created locations around London such as at the Heathrow T1 Departures lounge, Canary Wharf, New Change, and Westfield Stratford to encourage visitors to play the Samsung’s Olympic Games app. They also let people get their picture taken using the Galaxy S3 and then turned the photo into a personalized badge. Visitors were encouraged to return to the locations every day to participate by collecting special pin badges so they would be eligible to win an S3 or an around-the-world trip. The entire event was wildly successful with many consumers reporting that they were seriously considering purchasing a Samsung based on their pleasurable personalized experience.
Event Location Matters
The location of key events that make experiential marketing stunts a success truly does count. Some event planners like to piggyback on a major event to truly reach their consumers. Ben & Jerry’s used Covent Garden in their Core Tore. At the location, they provided free ice cream. The park setting combined with the lovely weather was an ideal location for consumers to enjoy a scoop of yummy, refreshing ice cream.
The Future of Advertising
Experiential marketing is the future of advertising as the marketplace becomes more and more competitive. Ultimately, it is all about connecting, inspiring, engaging, building loyalty, delivering value, and inspiring a truly memorable experience so that a consumer can easily differentiate between brands. When all of the above points are met, the consumer will normally become hooked and loyal to the brand. A loyal customer will spur others to also try out the brand and it becomes a snowball effect that builds over time.
Is a Career as an Experiential Marketer for You?
If you find everything written here fascinating and exciting then a career in experiential marketing might be a perfect career option for you. Currently, it is a growing and evolving career. Since it is relatively new, you have the chance to get in on the ground floor of a budding enterprise.
Become a Skilled Event Designer at M.A.D.E!
Are you interested in becoming an experiential marketer, but you’re not an even designer yet? At Miami Arts & Design Education (M.A.D.E) you can pursue a career in event design by enrolling in our one of a kind Event Design program! M.A.D.E offers Event design classes in both English and Spanish. Through M.A.D.E, you will obtain a firm foothold in event design. The program covers all aspects of aesthetics. You will also learn how to deal with a project’s unique requirements. After completion of the program, you will be an event planner who can focus on experiential marketing as your career goal. This is truly an exciting opportunity to get involved in a new and budding career that is believed to soon grow by leaps and bounds. Contact M.A.D.E today to learn about our event design program that will put you on your way towards experiential marketing.