By DAVID SABA
Experiential marketing is a marketing strategy that directly interacts with consumers and encourages them to participate in the evolution of a brand.
In simple terms, experiential marketing is all about creating a memorable brand experience that engages people in fun, new ways.
When executed well, experiential marketing provides consumers with a meaningful experience that forms an emotional connection to your brand. Experiential marketing can introduce your organization to new audiences and turn existing customers into loyal brand ambassadors.
The best experiential marketing campaigns are designed around creating an authentic and special experience for the customer.
Authenticity is what made Lehigh Valley SoccerFest such a big success when ArtsQuest in Bethlehem launched the event in 2014 to celebrate the World Cup in soccer. (Full disclosure: My agency was part of the team that helped implement and execute this event.)
SoccerFest was developed as a cultural experience that would re-create the excitement and festivities generated in Europe and South America for the World Cup. It attracted more than 50,000 people to the SteelStacks campus in Bethlehem and created a buzz in the media, including national media.
Lehigh Valley SoccerFest also was a blast for those at the event, which televised some of the World Cup matches. They were draped in American flags, rooting for their country and team. And electricity and euphoria were in the air when the U.S. scored a goal.
That experience greatly affected how the thousands who attended view ArtsQuest going forward.
Creating a successful experiential marketing campaign is like solving a problem with a specific set of variables in the equation.
¦ With whom am I trying to interact?
¦ How can I create a memorable experience for that audience that is true to my brand?
After the options are fleshed out and that one big idea is selected, the hard work begins.
Planning and executing an entertaining experience for your customers while staying within budget is not easy.
Partnering with other organizations can make all the difference. Stick with what you know and bring in experts for the rest.
Above all, remember that experiential marketing is about giving your customers a special experience that they will not soon forget.
The payoff for a well-executed experiential marketing campaign is worth the hard work and monetary investment.
In general, industries are becoming increasingly competitive and crowded.
If your experiential marketing campaign can establish an emotional connection with audiences and turn customers into loyal brand ambassadors – well, it’s hard to put a price on that, isn’t it?
David Saba is the director of public relations at Lehigh Mining & Navigation, a national award-winning advertising agency in Bethlehem. Saba has more than 14 years of public relations experience with a variety of clients across many industries and sectors. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.