The retail landscape is continuously changing, and today’s consumers don’t just want to buy things. They want to create memories. A nationwide research conducted by Harris Group at the ages 18-34 shows that this demographic not only values experiences, but they are spending increasing amounts of time and money on them. For those retailers that sell products, this news may be unsettling. But product-focused retailers just need to shift their way of thinking and use experiential marketing to give their customers the life memories they desire.

What is Experiential Marketing?

As the name suggests, experiential marketing is a campaign that directly engages customers, inviting them to experience your brand live and in person. Instead of traditional marketing, experiential marketing uses hands-on activities to create personal interactions. More and more brands are incorporating offline events into their marketing strategy, inviting consumers to come and try them out. A study from Freeman Research shows that consumer audiences seek more personalized interactions with brands.

9 out of 10 marketing professionals agree that brand experiences deliver stronger face-to-face interactions and more compelling brand engagements.

experential marketing event

Why should I use Experiential Marketing?

It seems complicated and frankly a lot of work to begin with but when done right, experiential marketing can be powerful. There’s a reason why companies are putting money into this form of marketing. Recent studies show that,

72% of consumers view positively brands that provide quality event opportunities and experiences.

Experiential marketing also drives word of mouth. Consumers talk about their experiences with friends and more importantly, they post on social media. Nearly all consumers capture some type of content when they participate in a branded event or experience and 100% of them share that content. This is very important because content shares via social media significantly amplify the reach of events and experiences by reaching an increased multiple of the on-site participants.

Ways to move forward.

No matter what type of business you own, you can likely create a campaign to connect and engage with consumers. The key to success is to create an event that inspires positive feedback. Create an interesting and enjoyable experience that will stick with the participant and ultimately bring his business to you later.  Here are five of the most common experiential marketing campaigns retailers practice.

  • Classes

Host an event teaching customers how to use your products or a lifestyle-focused workshop on a skill relevant to your approach.

  • Pop- Up Shops

If you are selling primarily online, consider hosting a pop-up shop when the consumers can interact with your product.

  • Community events

Link your product to an event. Become a sponsor, host a booth or offer samples of your products or services.

  • Guerrilla marketing campaigns

Present your product in an over-the-top way to grab attention, therefore, creating a buzz around your brand. The sillier or more outrageous the idea, the better.

  • Tours

Take your business on the road. Organize a tour that stops in a variety of locations related to your product or services or even become the destination of one.

Finally, whatever experiential marketing campaign you choose, don’t forget that it’s not enough to just entertain consumers. Present your products in a way that will motivate them to make a purchase. Experiential campaigns are a continuously growing marketing method but are also a great way to interact face to face with your customers get their feedback and create lasting relationships beyond the purchasing journey. The time and effort you put into your experience will be worth it.

Until next time