More marketers today are recognizing the power of experiential marketing. This makes it even more difficult to differentiate your efforts to engage with customers in a face-to-face fashion. Still, there are certain corners you don’t want to cut in budgeting for your next marketing experience.
Budget allocations for brand experiences are on the rise, according to the 2017 Freeman Global Brand Experience Study. One in three of the surveyed CMOs expected to set aside 21 to 50 percent of their budgets for experience marketing.
Meanwhile, the Event Marketing Institute, predicted an 11 percent increase in spending on experiential marketing in its 2017 research.
No matter how much budget your business has for experiential marketing efforts, there are some campaign areas on which you can’t cut corners. Here are five critical areas that will help your return on investment.
- Hiring the right people. The people representing your business at a trade show, in a pop-up store, or even handing out samples on the street are the face of your brand. Don’t scrimp in this area. You want to spend the necessary resources to recruit the right individuals who will fit your company culture and will bring a positive attitude to provide your audience with a memorable, lasting experience.
- Training the right hires. Making a great impression on your audience doesn’t stop with hiring. Train these individuals in your product or solution offering, its benefits, how it addresses different customer pain points, and what differentiates you from the competition. Consult with the many different departments in your business to learn more about what customers want, questions they ask, what challenges they face, and what obstacles they might encounter. Then, address these considerations head-on with a proactive training module.
- Invest in quality. Unless “cheap” or “ratchet” somehow suits the product or service you’re trying to sell, you want to make sure you invest in offering a high-quality experience. If a build is too expensive to realize the way you initially intend, then cut down on the footprint, rather than the quality of your presentation or display. Investing in quality at the outset, too, can offer longevity if the pop-up or display is going to travel from one event to next.
- Data. In our data-driven environment, don’t be stingy when it comes to investing in elements of the experience that can be measured. Having determined in advance the KPIs for the experiential marketing campaign, consider what technology or other tools are available to help you track and measure your success against the pre-set benchmarks. This is not only an investment in understanding the ROI of your initiative, but is also spending on building even more successful experiences in the future.
- Surprise! The element of surprise is always memorable. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to have a celebrity jump out of a cake or give everyone a new car. Even a small-scale surprise can delight your audience. This in turn is likely to net you more social shares, greater brand awareness, and possibly more sales.
But wait, there’s more. You might also consider investing in:
- A novel venue that will take someone’s breath away
- Technology that gives individuals a multi-sensory experience
- Technology that provides a more personalized experience
Ultimately, put your dollars behind the elements of the experiential marketing campaign that will create excitement, generate buzz, and truly individualize the participant’s experience. Once that’s done, don’t forget to follow up after the event, keeping the good feelings going and helping your customers and prospects to relive the great experience you offered in the first place.
I’m a color commentator trapped in the body of a marketing strategist. So, while the marketing guy consults; the color commentator writes these articles. You can connect with me on Linkedin.