Brands are always looking for ways to draw in new customers but have you considered showing them a good time? Experience or experimental marketing is about doing memorable things to make an unforgettable impression that turns customers into brand fans.
Experience marketing is a dynamic way to make a connection, whether they have been with you for years or are new to the brand. So how does experience marketing lead to fan evangelism?
What is Experience Marketing?
Put simply; it means creating an unforgettable experience that engages consumers and invites them to participate. Experience marketing uses an event to tell your target audience something about the brand or product.
Let’s look at an example: M&M Flavor Rooms. When M&M wanted to choose a new flavor for its candies, it took to the streets of New York. The company did an immersive pop-up event that included flavor rooms.
Each room celebrated the potential flavor with decor, fragrances, and M&M-themed cocktails. It was a fun and memorable way to get consumers involved in choosing the flavor.
The goal is to create an experience that fans will associate with a product or brand. It is not the cheapest marketing approach, but it has the potential to pay off big time. It also gives you different avenues for your marketing.
The pop-ups were part of a more extensive campaign to get consumers on board with choosing the flavor. They also had the opportunity to go online and vote for their favorite. It got them vested in the process, so once the candy came out, they had to try it.
What Are the Benefits of Experience Marketing?
Why should brands invest time, money, and effort into experience marketing? Admittedly, it is a bit risky, but it has significant benefits when done correctly.
Builds Brand Awareness
The most obvious one is raising brand awareness. It is a way to let consumers know what the brand is all about, but in spectacular fashion.
Creates Brand Loyalty
It also builds brand loyalty, that is where fan evangelism comes into play. You don’t just want them to use your products; you want them to talk about your brand. If they like what you do, they may share the information with one or two people, but if you make fans out of them, they will share it with everyone. Word-of-mouth advertising is infectious.
It is a Marketing Powerhouse
One event gives you blog posts, guest articles, news stories, and many social media options. You can make a video of the event, put it on your website, and start a YouTube campaign. It’s one event that creates many marketing opportunities.
It Creates Something Positive
People look for companies to do something positive. Experience marketing allows you to pull in potential customers that might otherwise ignore your brand and say thank you to those already loyal.
How To Create Your Own Experience?
Not all experience marketing has to be as elaborate as a pop-up flavor room. The trick is to find a unique approach that will appeal to your audience. That means you have to know your audience well, though. When creating an event, you want to find something that will attract the right people.
M&M served adult drinks in their flavor rooms. They wanted to appeal to an older audience, not kids, and add a touch of sophistication to it. Kids will buy candy with or without an event, but adults need enticement.
Make It Immersive
Ideally, you want to create an immersive experience. Some examples include:
- Store events
- Community events
You could create a virtual event, as well. For example, Fortnite drew millions of people to their online video game by holding a series of virtual music concerts. Throw away your marketing rule book and imagine yourself as a customer. What would grab your attention most and keep it?
Make It Accessible
It needs to be something people can do without distraction. The easier it is to take part, the better. There also needs to be an easy transition for the customer. Once they go through the experience, the next obvious step should be your product. For example, if your experience is an immersive video, it should end with a button they can push to buy or sign up.
Make It Entertaining
This one is a bit obvious. It has to be something they want to do because it entertains them. Consider Apple’s annual keynote events. That has the potential to be a real snoozefest, but Apple makes it so entertaining and immersive that people come back again and again.
Make It Go On, and On
The event may end quickly, but you must keep the experience going. That may mean playing around with different ways to expand on it. What happens when someone who attends event signs up for a service or buys a product? Cheer when they go there, and thank them for being a fan.
Find ways to extend the fun, too. Take it to social media and do a hashtag game or get people to submit videos of themselves having fun with you.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
The truth is most brands won’t know what works. So finding the right experience may take trial and error and a little out-of-the-box thinking.
Make a list of possibilities and then test them out with a few people to see if they have fun. Watch their reactions during the test. Does the activity grab their attention and hold it? Did they walk away talking about it?
When you find something that works, come up with ways to do it on a bigger scale and then build on the idea with a full-blown marketing campaign.
Think of experience marketing as something you do for others and benefits your brand. It is a sure way to make fans. Let the creative minds at Vinci Marketing help. Request a consultation with us today to talk about your next event.