A guide to get you moving in the right direction
EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING TECHNOLOGY CHECKLIST
A Guide to Get You Moving in the Right Direction
On October 14th, 2012, Austrian-based Red Bull managed to pull off the biggest experiential marketing stunt on record, Red Bull Stratos. The energy drink company sent daredevil skydiver, Felix Baumgartner, into the edge of space to freefall from a small capsule tethered to a helium balloon 24 miles above the earth. This incredible stunt took years to plan but drew in an impressive audience of eight million viewers on YouTube.
Red Bull is notorious for sponsoring extreme sporting events, but the Stratos catapulted the brand to soaring heights. And through this extraordinary World Record event, they managed to tick every experiential marketing principle off the list. What makes this groundbreaking freefall attempt even more incredible is that the entire experience was delivered digitally, leaving the viewer not only in awe of Felix’s near-space encounter but also emotionally engaged to the brand.
Today’s remotely dispersed population is starving for personalized attention. People want to be engaged and need to feel connected to a brand before becoming a loyal customer.
This white paper will offer a new perspective on how to not only create experiential marketing campaigns but also how to make them personalized interactions.
THE EMERGENCE OF EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING
The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair drew 27 million attendees from over 46 countries. During the event, some of the world’s renowned brands began experimenting with unconventional means of marketing. Creativity was at its finest and participating companies needed to think outside the box to draw attention to their booth in a sea of competitors.
Many new (and future-iconic) products were first introduced to the public in Chicago, including Cracker Jacks, Cream of Wheat and Pabst Blue Ribbon. For context, the Wrigley company had been launched just two years prior to the 1893 fair.
After having modest success with his baking soda and soap products, William Wrigley Jr. began including gum with his products. During the World’s Fair, Wrigley introduced Juicy Fruit by handing out sticks of gum to passersby, and soon after, customers were more interested in his chewing gum than using his soap. This trend grew into what is commonly known today as experiential marketing.
Experiential marketing is a practice that connects a customer with a business to participate in a meaningful engagement.
Engagements range from live demonstrations to inspiring events, helping brands to create immersive and personal experiences rooted in the heart of their company. They often leave participants inspired to make a purchase, share the experience, or even photograph and promote it within their own network. This is where experiential marketing becomes an essential component of any integrated marketing campaign.
In today’s connected society, companies must reimagine the experiential marketing approach, even more so since the constraints of the global pandemic have become the new normal. Public demonstrations and interactions have become restrictive in so many ways, which means that most marketing departments are left scrambling to find new ways to recreate an immersive and personalized experience.
As you can seem from the Integrated Marketing Mix wheel below, the different channels and customer touchpoints have become both varied and critical to how a company engages with its target audience. And while not every channel will deliver the same results, the success of these marketing optimization strategies is predicated on only what works but also when it is introduced.
Unlike their predecessors of the last 100 years or so, today’s marketing gurus have a significant advantage – the ability to effectively measure how their campaign efforts grew the company’s business.
With that in mind, let’s explore the variety of ways marketing teams can recreate that personalized experience in a digital environment along with the benefits gained as a result.
“68% of marketing leaders claim their company is increasingly competing on the basis of customer experience” Salesforce
Reimagining the Experiential Experience in a Digital Environment
From big box brands to small local establishments, experiential marketing is continually evolving and growing through the power of technology.
Walmart is using shopper data to promote its new Walmart+ membership through popular social channels. By leveraging high-profile media partners like HGTV, The Food Network and Sunday Night Football, Walmart attracts consumers through unique, personalized experiences.
In 2020, for example, a family in Seattle was rewarded with the opportunity to attend a home Seahawks game – this fitted in with the narrative of getting back to normal after the pandemic forced the cancelation of in-person events.
Rather than focusing on an entire audience, Walmart managed to capture a unique moment for an individual family that was broadcasted out to millions of viewers across its network through media partners and influencers. By concentrating on the experience, the company is able to thoughtfully enhance the process of tailored digital ads and personalized messages to gain the results expected from a live experiential marketing event.
Personalizing the Digital Experience
Personalizing the experience can be tricky without the appropriate tools to make the vision a reality. A poorly executed campaign could do your company more harm than good.
While there are many tools out there that have the flexibility and scale required to personalize and deliver this type of campaign, it’s more important to consider the following factors to ensure your platform is delivering an outstanding and personalized experience for your customers.
Regardless of the entry point for a consumer to interact with your brand, ensure the experience is consistent and cohesive from marketing to sales, to customer service. Every business unit should be aligned and equipped with the most pertinent information to entice the consumer.
Personas and profiles should be made an integral part of any delivered marketing experience. They represent what matters most to an individual. A marketing message that resonates with one may not with another, so it’s important to adopt a tool that allows for segmentation and personalization on a grandeur scale.
Depending on the size and scale of your campaign efforts, being able to effectively measure and improve upon them is critical. Simplified dashboards, charts, and other predictive analytics is a crucial functionality to consider when implementing any type of marketing automation platform.
Social Media can be used to engage with a broad audience and can be actively measured with the right tool to provide your company with sentiments from active and passive audiences. Social listening – the process of understanding the online conversation about a company or brand – is the modern way of staying informed about what your customers are saying and, importantly, what your competitors are doing.
Data streams are plentiful when running integrated marketing campaigns. The challenge is capturing all the data into one system that is measurable and actionable. Remember to ensure that your platform is flexible and scalable so it can handle the volume of data your company produces.
A Customer Relationship Management system is the foundation for any marketing automation solution. It houses customer data and history, buying decisions and trends, and is an eye into what’s working for your company and what’s not.
Integrating your CRM with your marketing automation tool is vital to gain a 360-degree view of your customers and to understand how to increase your top of the funnel leads.
Marketers must find the right balance of communication and understand the optimal channels to use in order to garner the attention of a prospect or customer. With numerous channels to choose from, it’s important to have a system that can automate communications in a variety of ways, like email, SMS texting, social media, and even through landline.
Sending a single email through a mass email tool is no longer acceptable. Consumers are flooded with brands fighting to capture their attention, so marketing organizations must run integrated and consistent campaigns to generate awareness that leads to customer conversion.
Tools that automate workflows, function intelligently, and know how to respond to a prospect’s level of engagement are paramount in the quest to deliver a timely, personalized experience.
Technology solutions for non-digital natives often become a roadblock to performance. If a solution is too complex for the average user to navigate, it will not deliver the expected results your company is expecting from the tool. Ensure the tool is flexible enough to customize and simplified enough to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.
Scalability is key and must be considered to support your company’s growth trajectory. Cloud based solutions provide your team with the accessibility to connect from any place at any time. These types of solutions allow for a seamless and reliable experience to be delivered to your customers.
It is now up to your creative marketing team to reimagine the engagement experience, even more so now that the remote marketplace is firmly part of your customer’s lives. The good news is that with the appropriate scalable and effective tools in place, you will empower your business to survive and thrive for decades to come.