For anyone reading this who isn’t quite sure what experiential marketing is, it its most basic form, it is a type of marketing that puts the product you are trying to sell, literally in the hands of the person you are trying to sell to.
It is no secret that the power of touch is crucial when it comes to securing a sale. By allowing customers to hold and feel a product, brands are creating a feeling of ownership. It’s why phone shops have displays that allow you to touch the devices, and why toy shops make it easy for little hands to grab things off the shelves. The minute you hold something in your hands – your brain receptors kick in giving you a feeling of ownership. Experiential marketing is the exact same, just usually on a bigger and more immersive scale.
So, in a world still getting to grips with Covid, and with samples removed from concession counters, and our ability to ‘touch’ taken away, what will become of experiential marketing? How will brands find their way into our hands, and how will consumers interact with them?
This is something we were asked recently, and after a good debate at co&co HQ – these are our (actually very positive) predictions for experiential marketing…
If there is one thing everyone has missed in general throughout the pandemic, it is experiences. All anyone wants to do is do things. Literally anything. Magazine ads, pictures on insta, video – just isn’t going to satisfy the consumer in the way it did before. What better way to get a product in front of someone than to give them something to do? A reason to put on actual clothes, A reason to leave the house! After being in some form of lockdown for over a year, we think more brands are going to look for ways to put their products in the hands of the people they want to sell too and invite them out to try before they buy.
As well as becoming more popular, we also predict that experiential marketing will become more personalised. A lot of luxury brands have pretty much already nailed this, customers of luxury cars for example are given cars to test before making a purchase, but we think it will become more common to have brand experiences shaped to individuals rather than the masses. Before the cynics out there start beating their ‘marketing gimmick’ drum, the reason we think experiential marketing will become more personalised is actually more to do with ensuring hygiene and limiting cross contamination. By making experiences more personalised, you are limiting the number of people interacting at any one time – and actually, we are alright with that.
Some of the best experiential brand experiences are already digital. It is amazing what can be done now using VR and Augmented Reality. As this technology becomes more advance, the hardware becomes less bulky, the cost becomes more affordable and the capabilities of the technology are expanded, brands are going to start lapping up VR and AR like never before. Not only are virtual brand experiences more hygienic – a big tick in the post Covid world box, but they are also way more sustainable. Huge luxury clothing brands are already testing out digital clothes and even VR models to help tackle the environmental crisis that is ‘fast fashion’, so it isn’t too big of a stretch to see how it could be incorporated into the marketing of everyday items as well.
Like it or not, the biggest winners when it comes to more immersive experiential marketing, will always be the brands themselves. And why not? That is what marketing is about – selling stuff. If that shocks you then we don’t know what to tell you…
Going back to the point we made at the very start, the more opportunities you have to put your product in the hands of the person you want to buy them – the higher the chance you have of selling to that person. If a brand does more immersive, experiential, ‘try me out’ marketing – then logic says they will sell more.
We think experiential marketing has a big role to play in the post covid marketing world – if you have a project you need help with or would like to talk about how experiential marketing could work for your brand, then get in touch, let’s have a chat.