How to Wed Experiential Marketing and Lead Generation

Blend Experiential Marketing and a Lead Generation Strategy

Going on a first date these days is less of an art and more of an item on a checklist. People choose potential suitors by simply “swiping” left or right on their Tinder app. So, it should come as no surprise that topics previously off-limits are actually on the checklist, too. From politics to religion, no discussion is off the dinner table (or bar top). In fact, a Match.com survey reveals “talking politics on a first date actually increases your chances of getting a second date by 91%.” Similarly, if you can’t have transparent conversations with potential customers, how can you continue a relationship?

You need information, whether that’s getting an individual’s contact details or asking for the sale. It is these “uncomfortable situations” that can make lead generation daunting. This is especially true when face to face. But, the good news is, for brands and companies, getting to the next step doesn’t have to be hard. Marketers can ease into the next phase of the consumer relationship without awkward first-date moments.

Setting the Stage for Your Lead Generation Strategy

The rise of digital marketing has created several new avenues to get leads. Yet, the saturation of video ads and email campaigns have rendered many efforts relatively fruitless. In fact, 65% of people will immediately “skip” online video ads, and the majority of us do so out of habit. So, breaking through the clutter to reach potential consumers becomes the challenge. Experiential marketing is an effective solution to stand out and generate leads.

When most people engage in experiential marketing, many times it’s out of genuine interest for the products or services. Brands have something they want, whether it’s a sample, a discount, or more information. It is this initial positive interaction that forms the foundation of the consumer relationship. And, in these cases, it would be a mistake to not incorporate a lead generation strategy and capitalize on the event positive experience. Speaking with skilled event staff can also aid in lead generation efforts, as they create a comfortable setting for guests. Good staff break down communication barriers and lay the groundwork for non-invasive ways to gather much-needed guest information.

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5 Easy Ways to Generate Leads in Experiential Marketing

Many marketers have yet to incorporate a lead generation strategy into their experiential marketing activations. Others find that current processes don’t get the desired number or quality of leads. Whatever the issue, companies and brands can find easy, seamless solutions in the following ideas.

1. Lure them with a prize giveaway.

Hosting a prize giveaway is one of the easiest ways to capture attendee contact information. Marketers only need to ask consumers to provide the data they want for entry to win. But, the prize should be relevant to the product or service, if not the actual product or service, to get qualified leads. For example, a home monitoring service should give away free installation of an alarm service, versus a Yeti cooler. This will ensure entrants are truly interested in the product or service that you are offering.

2. Offer experiential events within your experiential event.

Any initiative that adds value to attendee participation will work in your favor. For example, food manufacturers may launch a new product by handing out samples. But, when they also offer an additional experiential activity, such as a food demonstration, they have an opportunity to collect consumer information as part of registration. With a little creativity, this idea can work to the benefit of any industry (e.g., car manufacturers may offer virtual test drives).

3. Trade incentives for consumer information.

When consumers are asked to hand over their personal details, they’ll expect something in return. In situations where marketers give samples or swag without capturing the info, there’s opportunity. For example, a coupon or other digital download can entice consumers to participate, and providing your an email address for delivery will make sense to them. For best results, event staff should complete the lead generation form with guests to ensure follow through.

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4. Get playful in how you capture the data.

Capturing contact information doesn’t seem so obvious when it’s playful and fun. One lead generation strategy is to set up a photo booth, and then allow attendees to download their images with a personalized code and email address. Or, you can collect data through a fun quiz that produces a result related to the product. For example, alcohol brands can offer a digital quiz to capture individual preferences and deliver a cocktail recipe that fits their personality. Then the bartender can mix it up, providing a customized and fun experience from start to finish.

5. Engage them in activities.

Getting caught up in a fun activity is a great way to encourage sharing of information. Guessing games are one easy means for entering event attendees into a contest and acquiring contact details. Another fun idea is a scavenger hunt that requires them to visit a landing page and enter their email address to get the last clue. The bottom line is, the more engaged consumers are, the less likely they’ll notice the intent. 

Simplifying The Art of Multitasking in Experiential Marketing

It’s easy to see that wedding a lead generation strategy to experiential marketing requires a certain degree of multitasking. Yet, there are two things you’ll need to streamline the process and make it seem natural to attendees.

The first and most important asset for getting quality leads will be your event staff. These individuals will engage consumers in conversation and make them comfortable. And, they’ll do this while implementing your company’s plans for obtaining data. This makes choosing the right event staff of critical importance. Seasoned event professionals will have used various methods to get leads, which will provide them with the experience needed to get the job done right.

The second necessity will be to assist event staff in collecting the lead information. Mobile technology can support any of the lead generation initiatives mentioned above, and more. Considering the heavy reliance on technology in everyday life, attendees will be comfortable with its use. And, it becomes an effective means for storing the data for easy transfer into your CRM or other database. It is then that companies can begin to court consumers and work towards a long, mutually beneficial relationship.

Since 1999, EPS has helped countless brands marry experiential marketing and lead generation. Contact us to learn how we can help you get better leads and build more relationships.
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About Jessica Catignani

Jessica Catignani is a Nashville area-based writer with over a decade of experience penning content and copy for dozens of businesses, as well as for national publications. Her previous professional work also includes marketing, event planning and retail management. All of this combined gives her a solid foundation for research and reporting on what matters most to the clients of EventPro Strategies (EPS).

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