There’s a new trend in the marketing world. Experiential marketing, or engagement marketing, is a way of organically growing customer support and loyalty through direct engagement of consumers through fun and innovative means. There are so many benefits to using this method of promotion for your business and so it’s no wonder companies across the world are adopting the strategy for themselves.
What Is an Example of Experiential Marketing?
Engagement marketing has customers at its heart. By engaging with the general public, brands can form a strong bond with their customers, often far deeper than what would be expected from a standard advertising campaign. Potential customers aren’t just informed about the brand and its products, they’re invited to participate in the culture of the brand and take a stake in the business, helping them feel immersed in the company.
By using events and communications which offer something of interest to customers in the advertising process, this marketing strategy is a customer-centered form of marketing that is efficient in its use of resources to generate customers. But there’s only so much you can learn about this marketing strategy from learning about the theory. The best way to understand how engagement marketing works and all the ways it can benefit your business is to look at real-world examples.
Although this form of marketing is becoming ever more popular, it’s been around for a long time. In fact, even if you don’t realize it, you’ve more than likely come across plenty of these campaigns yourself over the years. One of the best-known examples is the Macy’s Day Parade. This marketing event has become something approaching a public holiday and generates enormous publicity and brand recognition, with kids begging their parents to take them to see the floats.
Everyone’s heard of the parade and it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, not to mention television and other media coverage. Attendees of the Macy’s Day Parade might not feel like they’re attending a marketing event. They’re just there to watch the floats go by and soak in the atmosphere. The fact is, they’re being drawn into a highly successful marketing campaign for both Macy’s itself as well as a bevy of other brands.
Although they share the same basic traits, modern engagement marketing campaigns have changed greatly from the well-known classic examples. The introduction of new communication technologies allows brands to make all new connections with their customer base and the public at large. As such, the events that normally form the basis of engagement marketing are enhanced by the digital world, using the internet and social media to create a buzz.
Many large media companies use events to grow buzz around their products. This essentially follows the philosophy big sports franchises and musicians use to create a loyal fanbase. The connection you might feel with the local baseball team or your favorite band is likely stronger than the connection you feel with a big clothes company. But both are money-making enterprises and both have the capacity to draw support in the same way if given the chance.
Advantages Over Traditional Marketing
Engagement marketing has been described as a system that allows customers to be the driving force in the interaction between themselves and the business. If you think back to interactions you’ve had with salespeople, you’ll probably remember feeling more favorably about salespeople who sat back and let you make your own decisions, helping you when called upon, rather than badgering you and pushing for the hard sell on products you aren’t necessarily interested in.
These kinds of marketing campaigns don’t just get the name of your business out there and bring in new customers and added revenue. They can inspire greater levels of customer loyalty than other marketing campaigns, helping with customer retention, and encouraging recommendations among friends and family.
A Modern Campaign
Let’s say a new restaurant in New York City wants to create buzz around its location, its products, and its branding. Located in an extremely competitive market, the restaurant’s marketing team would need to think outside the box to get the word out about their business. When there are so many other dining options nearby, simply handing out leaflets and hoping to be the best isn’t going to cut it.
The restaurant might arrange a special event to draw in potential diners. It could involve something unique and creative which showcases the restaurant’s strength, like a special food testing, party, or even a cookery class. Or else, online elements could be used, like holding an online poll to decide the menu or décor, giving customers a real stake in the restaurant and allowing them to feel connected to the brand.
Another advantage of engagement marketing is the sheer versatility which it offers customers. In essence, when it comes to engagement marketing, if you can think of it, it can be done. Campaigns can be run on as large or small a scale as you like, with everything from the smallest to the largest of businesses represented.
Alternative methods of engagement marketing include offering a unique set of branded collectibles, organizing flash mobs, secret events, concerts, and creating video series. The only limits are the bounds of you and your marketing team’s imaginations!
Engagement marketing isn’t just for big, multinational companies. It’s also an ideal strategy for smaller, locally-based enterprises. Even a small boutique store welcoming only a small number of customers per day could benefit from this kind of innovative marketing campaign. In fact, it can be particularly successful when targeted at small numbers of a specific community, rather than the general public as a whole.
A special event can show a niche community that your business understands how to cater to their specific needs. A catwalk event at the boutique might show the customers this business understands the intricacies of high fashion. Or a meet and greet with a famous model or designer can piggyback off the popularity of others, associating their popularity with your own business in the minds of consumers.
While lots of engagement marketing uses real-world premises to host events, like parties, meet and greets, showcases, and parades. But this is the modern world, so the online world should play a large part in advertising. Just because part of a campaign isn’t conducted in the flesh doesn’t mean it won’t have high levels of engagement. Popular social media platforms have millions of users, and many of these people form strong brand relationships through online interaction.
There are so many ways to engage a customer base online. Digital polls, videos, websites, and so much more can be used to create an engaging and memorable campaign. For example, one professional sports team ran public polls on which of their players they should offer new contracts to. This helped fans feel a sense of engagement with the team and its overarching brand, as well as gain press coverage from national and international outlets.
Customers have been shown to have higher levels of engagement and brand loyalty when they feel more engaged with the business. These campaigns grow organically, with social media, word of mouth, and media all contributing to the buzz, allowing the campaign to grow exponentially. When people on the street are talking about your company, it’s worth more than all the TV or radio airtime you could pay for.
Although engagement marketing is the perfect method of drawing in a modern, cosmopolitan crowd, it can be tweaked and tailored to your target audience, bringing in exactly the clientele you’re looking for.
Particularly innovative campaigns of this nature often benefit from an extra bonus in the form of press coverage. How often have you seen news reports on special events in your town which on further investigation turn out to be deliberately thought up by the business for exposure?
This is actually an excellent strategy, allowing you to multiply the positive impact of your campaign and gain you huge levels of publicity. And the best part is, an article about your company will be more effective than equivalent advertising could ever be. The public will naturally give more attention to a genuine news story on the TV or in print media than they would to a clearly marked advertisement. Plus, there’s always the possibility you’ll receive attention from multiple outlets!
Engagement Marketing for You
We can work with you to create a bespoke event that will work to your needs. While a conventional campaign of television, radio, or billboard advertisements will get you so far, engagement marketing campaigns are by far the best way to generate a loyal and organic customer base.
We can tailor your needs and resources to create the perfect engagement campaign. Even with limited resources or a challenging market, we can come up with something to set your business apart and give it a strong and unique bond with customers.
King Sixteen understands how to structure innovative and effective marketing campaigns. We’ve worked with some of the world’s biggest brands and have the experience and ingenuity to make any campaign a success. Contact King Sixteen today for your own quality marketing campaign.