Consumers are changing the way in which they listen, research, talk and buy products due to marketing overload, an explosion of product choices and a lack of trust. This change gives marketers a golden opportunity to offer them something that resonates with this new consumer mindset.
Brands need to work harder than ever to provide the right information and product experiences to enhance the buying decision. They also need to work out how to deliver this content in an original and compelling way.
Given the increased fragmentation of customer segments and declining effectiveness of traditional media, alternative communication vehicles such as 'experiential' are becoming more important. It is about two-way communication between brand and consumer.
The days of brands being in 100% control of their messaging are over. It's now down to brands to strike up a dialogue with consumers in as many ways as possible.
Experiential marketing's influence is greatest when consumers are able to touch, feel, smell and experience products for the first time, or when acting as a sensory reminder to reinvigorate brand and product use.
Aside from monetary benefits, consumers perceive brand value from the perspective of 'an experience', 'entertainment' or offering 'something for free'. This is perceived as an investment in 'me' (the consumer) and is an enabler for consumers to move from awareness of product to consideration of purchase.
Experiential marketing has long been seen by many as a 'tactical' add-on to campaigns executed by a wide range of agencies. This is changing, however, as many leading marketers are seeing the value of experiential and its impact on the various consideration cycles within the sales funnel.
Experiential marketing works if you understand the consumer-decision journey, consumer behavioural insights and the fast-moving trends associated with passive and active interaction.
It works if you have the correct models and processes in place to measure the impact of a campaign beyond footfall or cost per sample.
Even if an experiential campaign is deemed a success, brands must work out how successful, in what way it has been a success, and how this can improve their overall marketing strategy.
With a history of and commitment to building brands and launching products, Hotcow's goal is to reach consumers at the moments that most influence consumer decisions along the consumer-decision journey.
Using bespoke planning modelling and processes, we are able to reach consumers at key moments when they are most open to influence, and trigger the impulse to purchase or create brand consideration.
Too many agencies are claiming to do experiential without having the necessary depth and rigour of planning, behavioural understanding and measurement tools and criteria. This has had an impact on the perception of experiential marketing as a strategic channel. Experiential marketing, as a channel, works; it is the other elements within the planning and execution phase that need reviewing.
Experiential is an investment. It can have short-term tactical gains, but its real successes come from frequently touching and communicating with audiences at different times during the consumer-decision journey.
Rather than being tagged on to an above-the-line campaign, experiential works best when used throughout the customer journey.
A well-planned, well-executed experiential strategy can deliver huge dividends, compared with one-off events. Thankfully, brands are waking up to this new reality, and case studies of innovative, strategic experiential marketing abound.
If you are looking for proven experience and real results for your brand, speak to Hotcow.