Experiential marketing supports the growing brand-level requirement to engage with consumers through experiences that create an emotional attachment to a brands product/service. Often, Experiential Marketing tactics focus on creating a real-life, hands-on experience for their target prospects or customers.
At first blush, Experiential Marketing may feel an awful lot like event marketing. This is no surprise, as the tactics and campaigns are often event-centric. However, events that leverage an experiential marketing strategy are usually stand alone, and not part of something bigger (like a music festival). Plus, they tend to lean towards a more immersive experience.
There are tons of great examples across the web showcasing the creativity involved with this strategy. For this article, we’ll focus more on how Experiential Marketing Agencies can help you pull it off.
So, first let’s talk about event marketing agencies vs. experiential marketing agencies. The event marketers will be great at the logistics of an event. They’ll have people, a routine project plan and be able to pull off just about any major event you want. They’ve done it before, and they’ve done it a lot of times. The experiential marketing agency must have the event management skills & core competencies as well. However, they have to approach each event as if it’s their first. Why? Because often it is the first one (like yours) they’ve ever done – if they are doing it right.
The top experiential marketing agencies get that your program should be unique to your brand. It should not be the tried and true format. They understand that to achieve success, an experience should be engaging, compelling and able to touch the customer’s senses and capture his/her loyalty.
How can you tell the difference between the agency that specializes in experiential marketing and the ones that simply say they do?
- Their website should say the word Experiential all over it. Silly right? Not really. What you’ll find is that the agencies that really focus on this discipline are fairly specialized. It’s what they lead with on their homepage.
- They should have a highly creative example of the experiences they’ve created for other clients. There are enough agencies focused in this area now so that you don’t have to try to work with an agency that is just trying to step into this type of programming.
- They have true creative marketers on staff. The experiential agency may have more creatives than event logistics people. They may even subcontract the event logistics part. At the end of the day, their role is creating the experience. (although its great if you can find an agency that does both creative and logistics)
In the end, experiential marketing is a uniquely fast and effective way to build brand awareness through one-to-one connections with consumers. Plus – it’s a heck of a lot of fun for marketers!