The marketing world is changing. Enter the new world of experiential marketing, an industry that’s influenced by technology and interactive experiences. While digitally driven campaigns may be the trend, they are still driven by time-worn traditions that made traditional print, television, and radio advertisements so successful in the first place.
Brands must still reach their audiences in creative ways. And companies must be able to implement and execute campaigns in order to be successful.
Experiential marketing creates an opportunity to directly interact with your brand through the art of creating unique, face-to-face experiences with customers. But these marketing campaigns still require a creative concept.
Need some fresh experiential marketing ideas for your next campaign?
To be the best, sometimes you must learn from the best. To help gain some inspiration, consider some of our favorite interactive campaigns.
Fully Integrated Omnichannel Experiences
The primary purpose of an experiential marketing campaign is to inspire an offline, tangible connection with your customers. But it’s still important to follow up with online dialogue. Not only can omnichannel experiences further increase brand loyalty, but they can pay off in the long run. Consider the fact that 49 percent of people create mobile video at brand events and 39 percent share these videos on Twitter.
Branding your campaigns with a specific hashtag can get people talking about—and sharing—your campaign. For example, the Lean Cuisine #WeighThis social media campaign leveraged hashtags to successfully engage with Lean Cuisine’s audience. The frozen-meal brand’s campaign weighed women on a scale, but instead of calculating weight, the women “weighed” their personal accomplishments. The feel-good, fully integrated strategy paid off: The video had 6.5 million views in the first week, and the campaign generated a 428 percent increase in social mentions and a 33 percent increase in positive brand perception.
Perhaps you remember the phenomenon that was Pokémon Go. Perhaps you (or your kids) even played it. Regardless, the 2016 trend was proof that gamification—the concept of leveraging gaming techniques to encourage certain types of behavior—works. The game attracted an astronomical number of players, peaking at 28.5 million daily unique U.S. users on July 13, 2016.
Often centered on health, education, human resources, and advertising, brands can use gamification to encourage direct interaction.
While Pokémon Go is not linked directly to a specific interactive marketing campaign, according to the Pokémon Go Association (yes, that’s a real thing), “Pokéstops” began surfacing across the world in October 2016. In hopes of attracting customers, businesses can now pay for in-game advertisements and sponsored content. In the U.S., Starbucks and Sprint have been the leading brands, but there have been different worldwide sponsors, which has resulted in some 500 million “visits” to sponsored stops, according to Niantic, the game’s software developer.
While this figure may be misleading, this omnichannel experience undoubtedly has the potential to draw in consumers for specific promotions. It’s important to note that Millennials have grown up with gamification. And as the Millennial population is now collectively expected to spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017, it’s important to leverage techniques such as gamification to foster brand loyalty.
In order to get the most bang for your campaign buck, it’s important to utilize the latest technology, virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree video. Thanks to the availability of big data and other technology, it’s easier—and more affordable—than ever for companies to leverage technology to engage with their customers.
One of our favorite VR campaigns comes courtesy of the outdoor retailer Merrell. To promote its new hiking boot at the Sundance Film Festival, the company created a VR experience called Trailscape. By combining VR hardware with motion-capture technology, the experience enabled users to go on a virtual hike in Italy. Participants walked along a set that was equipped with elements such as simulated wind and a shaking ground and physical features such as bridges, ropes, and rocks.
The 2015 campaign was the first commercial use of “walk-around” VR. While the campaign boasted a global reach of 500,000 users, it also showed the sheer possibilities of technology. As VR and immersive video are becoming increasingly commonplace, it’s exciting to see what the future holds. As Merrell illustrated, brands that blend reality and digital provide unique opportunities to promote products. What’s more, exciting new campaigns from Disney and Star Wars show the true possibilities of interactive, augmented reality.
Integrating the best hardware with the right software not only creates memorable, customizable experiences, but it ensures you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
Experiential marketing empowers agencies with tools that go far beyond simple billboards or TV commercials. These campaigns allow consumers to physically interact with brands and enable companies to collect robust data on the interactions. When combined with tools like touchscreens, software can capture robust data about customer interactions so that campaigns can cater to specific audiences.