Experiential marketing is not new. People had heard about event marketing even fifteen years ago, but back then, it only included the renowned consumer goods companies. The integration of several aspects of land-based promotions, digital marketing, and online marketing was unprecedented back in the day. Most companies believed experiential marketing and customer interactions to be synonymous with free products and promotional samples at mall kiosks.
Right now, no one will consider these stunts as wholesome experiential marketing campaigns. Today, it consists of guerrilla marketing, special trade events, brand activation campaigns, and dedicated consumer engagement models. An experiential marketing agency does a lot more than provide a space for events. They take charge of the resources, they do the market research, and they also assume the responsibility of monitoring the customer responses in real-time. Engagement marketing has come a long way from freebies. It involves the merging of digital platforms, brick-and-mortar promotions, customer interactions, social media platforms, and real promotions.
It can be a bit too daunting for those trying to launch a new brand holding the hands of experiential marketing. It is especially confusing for those familiar with the concepts of traditional marketing only. So, here is a list of dos and don’ts you will need while taking baby steps on the event marketing domain –
Don’t expend your budget on branded marketing assets
Do not spend tons of money on existing branded marketing assets that do not hold a promise of high return from your customers. Instead, you should try to focus on creating marketing assets like QR codes, and memorabilia that will elicit positive reactions from your customers. During this step, you will need the help of your marketing agency. Find out all you can about their previous clients and existing ones. Ask them about their expertise in creating market assets. Since the necessities of each company vary significantly, it makes little sense to spend all the marketing money on standardized marketing assets that other brands have leveraged.
Don’t overdo your marketing events
Do not plan a hundred events for the same audience at the same location. The essence of experiential marketing allows the brand to approach different audiences in different markets. That calls for the geographic segregation of the markets. You need to distribute your budget and resources according to the demands of the different audiences in the various locations. These locations can be adjacent school grounds or individual cities. The premise will depend upon the distribution of your consumers and their availability. You can devise a successful plan with thorough planning. In all likelihood, you will require multiple brand ambassadors with numerous activations.
Do give time to the agency to know your brand
It is erroneous to assume that an agency can learn all about a company from one excel sheet and a presentation. They might be experts, but your brand has taken months, if not years to develop. The agency needs time and effort to understand your work culture, your brand’s priorities and your relationship with the market. Your marketing team needs extensive training, and you can only achieve that by giving enough time to the experiential marketing agency. Share your passion, research and observation about your target consumer. Help the agency to comprehend your market presence. That is the only way to foster a long-term relationship that is rewarding for the audience, your brand, and the experiential marketing team.
Do give enough time for the activations to kick in
Due to its commanding presence and out-of-the-box ideas, people assume that experiential marketing is quick. In reality, it takes time like any other form of marketing. Brand activations can take a couple of weeks, or a month to show positive results. Without proper monitoring tools in place that can show you the responses on social media, it can be especially challenging to track the progress. Different companies have different goals that include increasing website traffic, improving in-store traffic, strengthening customer relations and increasing customer retention. However, each goal requires the accurate collection of data and the close monitoring of the responses. Collecting, organizing and analyzing the data need technology, skill and time. Experiential marketing might be effective, but it does not have the power to overhaul a brand’s presence overnight.
Don’t choose your marketing partner based on price
Choosing your experiential marketing agency based solely on price is the biggest mistake you can ever make. Some of the best agencies have lucrative offers that bring their prices down below the market rate, and some of the newest agencies have high service rates that make them unapproachable. You can never tell the quality of the service from the costs alone. Apart from the retainer or fee, you will need to pay for event organization, product design, staff training and myriads of other things during the process. Choose an agency that has a record of delivering its promises.
The do’s and don’ts of experiential marketing are infinite. These four are the fundamental guidelines of event-based marketing that any company should follow. Always check the history of an agency and their list of clients before including them in your team.