Futuristic Ideas for Experiential Marketing
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Experiential marketing, also known as engagement marketing, is a strategy that’s growing in popularity among marketers.
The purpose is to not only sell goods or services, but to actually sell the experience of obtaining those goods and services. Formulating emotional connections between the customer and the brand creates a unique and memorable experience — an experience the customer wants to repeat and share.
Understand Market Distinctions
Goods, services, and experiences all have their own place in the market.
Goods are physical, tangible objects like groceries, apparel, shoes, and cars. You’re trading money in exchange for a physical (or digital) object that someone else manufactured or sourced.
Services are actions sold on-demand like dog walking, house cleaning, and landscaping. Here, you’re paying for someone else’s time, tools, and expertise to perform a certain action.
Experiences create memories that take place over a certain amount of time. For example, working out at a private gym, streaming movies on your favorite platform, or hosting your child’s birthday party at the roller rink, are all choices you made to have a certain quality experience.
You’ve given your time and money to these providers over their competitors because you value the experience. This is the foundation of experiential marketing.
Leverage The Power and Value of Experience
Experiences are personal by nature. Your experience on Netflix could be different than someone else’s due to different membership levels, internet connection, preferred genres, or content settings, but it’s still Netflix.
To create a valuable experience, you must dig deep into what sets your brand apart. What is your value proposition? Why will your target customers choose you over your competitors?
You don’t want them to just buy your product. You want them to buy into your brand, your mission, and your NEXT product. You want to create a memorable experience that gets them excited to share and return.
This concept is easily translated into trade shows and large-scale events where vendor booths turn out in massive numbers. Engage ALL the senses. How does your brand make people feel when they walk into your booth? How will you incorporate music? What colors do you use?
Create an immersive, personalized experience with your brand from the first time they may eye contact all the way through the selling process.
Create The Elements of An Effective Experience
Learning something new, being pleasantly occupied, getting away from it all, or enjoying the way something looks are all ways you would pay to spend your time. TIME is the currency.
When you understand this, you understand all the ways you can capture someone’s time. You must teach or show them something they didn’t already know, excite their mind with compelling visuals, or grant an escape from the hustle and bustle.
When you hire a service person to fix your car, to mow your lawn, you pay for their time. They provide you with a working vehicle and a manicured lawn. There’s nothing too experiential about that. But if you charged your neighbors to ride in your car or enjoy your lawn, to EXPERIENCE it, that is creating a currency out of their time.
When you watch a movie at home, you enjoy it. When you go to the IMAX 3D, surround sound theater to watch that same movie, you are immersed in it.
They are both experiences, but which is more memorable? Which is more desirable to repeat?
Calculate The Value of An Experience
How do you know the experience you created was enough? An upsurge in sales, increased memorability, or some behavioral change that constitutes success?
The value of an experience can be easily calculated. It’s roughly $15 for a movie ticket and movies these days are approximately two hours long. That works out to be 0.12 cents per person, by the minute.
In the same way, your specialty coffee shop charges $5 to $6 a pop. How long does your custom luxury beverage last? Thirty minutes? An hour? That’s between nine and ten cents per minute, per drink.
Yes, you’re paying for the drink. But you like THAT drink from THAT shop because they provide a better experience. Perhaps it’s luxury seating, laptop plug-in workstations, peppy baristas, a fireplace, and quite possibly good coffee.
Separately, they are just features, things they have. If they just go around saying they have the best coffee and wall plugs, so do a dozen other places just down the street.
It is all their features together that offer consumers a benefit: their experience. The savvy coffee shops create a desirable environment to improve the drinking experience.
Design Your Experience
Once you calculate the monetary value of the time your customers spend on your experience, you’ll see the value of replicating it in every aspect of your business and for every new customer.