Experiential marketing has been around for decades, but it only really came to the fore at the turn of the century. Since then, these marketing activities have become bolder, bigger and, in some cases, more daring than ever. Let’s take a look at what experiential marketing is and the top trends for the coming year.
What is experiential marketing?
Experiential marketing, also known as engagement marketing, is a marketing tactic whereby a potential customer is allowed to fully immerse themselves in a company’s brand and products. Often, these activities are geared up to be fun and memorable so that people feel an emotional connection to your brand, in the hope that this will improve customer loyalty and, in the longer term, the lifetime value of a customer. It differs from traditional marketing tactics which have simply pushed, or broadcast, features and benefits to a wide audience.
It’s only since the turn of the century, probably coinciding with the rise in popularity of social media channels, that it’s become a more commonplace part of the marketing strategy. As such it is now easy to find and employ an experiential marketing agency to help you with these activities.
A look at the top 2019 trends in experiential marketing
While certain industry sectors, such as food and drink, have long used events as a way for customers to experience their products and brands, 2019 will see many more sectors employ experiential tactics as they begin to recognise the benefits it can bring to a brand.
Historically free to join or enter, more businesses will start to charge for experiential events during 2019. There are two main reasons for this; firstly, it allows a company with a limited budget to be able to create more effective events, possibly employing a specialist experiential marketing agency, and secondly, people are generally more interested and engaged with a brand if they’re happy to pay to come along to an event.
In 2019, experiences will start to last longer than a couple of hours at an event. In the hospitality sector in particular, this might even involve staying overnight.
Finally, of course, technology will continue to play a big role in experiential marketing. As more companies get to grips with AR and VR, expect to see them used more widely to bring brands to life. Furthermore, technology is set to bring the senses to life, creating sights, sounds and smells to form a deeper connection with customers on an emotional level. Other relatively new technologies which may start to make headway in 2019 include the use of robotics and mixed reality, essentially a blend of AR and VR.
2019 is set to be an exciting year for experiential marketing activities as more ingenious tactics are used to create bonds with customers. And, if you get it right, experiential marketing can have a huge impact on how the public perceive your brand, and social media can ensure that this is shared time and time again. Of course, like any marketing activity it can also go wrong, and bad examples of this type of event are shared just as widely as the good ones. If it is your first foray into this type of marketing, using an experienced experiential marketing agency is always recommended.