Do you know the average woman will kiss 15 people before finding the right one? A Psychology Today article tells us, “There is trust involved in kiss, and a curiosity… It is an emotional act that has meaning; it represents an emotional bond… You are journeying somewhere together, connecting.”
Satisfying curiosity, building trust and creating emotion that, when combined, can result in a connection? Interestingly, it is these same concepts that lead to success in experiential marketing.
You may not have considered it, but kissing and experiential marketing share an end goal. It doesn’t matter if you’re an individual pursuing a love interest or a marketer seeking to connect with a consumer base. Your intention is to create a positive emotional experience. You want to build a relationship. Understanding this intimate link helps us realize the importance of avoiding experiential marketing mistakes.
Getting Closer with Consumers through Experiential Marketing
Adobe’s CMO.com says you’re not conducting experiential marketing unless you have these three things:
- An understanding of your customer;
- An understanding of your brand; and
- A mutually beneficial touch point. This is “often solidified through establishing an emotional connection.”
Global technology leader, Samsung, recognizes how significant it is to create an emotional connection at the touch point. And it’s placing its bets on experiential marketing to achieve it. CMO Marc Mathieu notes their shift from “telling” the brand’s story to today’s strategy of “finding a truth and sharing it.” The company wants to be intimate with consumers. And they’re seeing results within their NYC “technology playground,” various mall locations and beyond.
Forrester research supports this approach. “Smart CMOs realize that brand, marketing, and the customer experience must align.” The big question now becomes ‘how can I ensure consumers won’t deem our brand a frog and move on to “kiss” the next?’
Four Experiential Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Many factors contribute to the success of your experiential marketing campaign. Put your company on track to solidify new or existing relationships by never making these experiential marketing mistakes.
No strategy for continued engagement.
Brand loyalty is quickly becoming a coveted concept of the past. In fact, 90 of the top 100 CPG brands saw declines in 2015 shares. These decades-long household names are losing business due to consumers’ “changed philosophy of buying,” as well as their inabilities to seem new and exciting. Fortunately, experiential marketing offers a high-impact opportunity to create or change consumer perceptions. But, for it to be effective, brands must stay fresh in consumers’ minds long after the event has concluded.
As a result, brands must take immediate advantage of the information collected at the event. Send follow-up emails or make phone calls if your event involved lead generation. Your messages should reinforce those shared at your event and provide additional incentives towards attaining your goal. Consider a long-term social media strategy to keep consumers talking about and sharing your message with their networks.
Just as important, don’t wait to finalize your continued engagement strategy until after your event. Planning what happens next is a vital component of every complete experiential marketing campaign.
Ineffective spend of campaign budget.
You created a cool t-shirt to give away as part of your experiential marketing event. Yet, the goal of your campaign is to sell x number of new products. Does giving your attendees those t-shirts contribute to your goal? In most cases, the answer is no. And this is a common issue among companies engaging in experiential marketing. It’s also a waste of valuable budget dollars.
CMO.com says this type of touch point is “one-way” and results in “very little to no stickiness, relevance, or value to the relationship.” Instead, you should spend money to support your campaign in a way that’s mutually beneficial. Consumers should get value, and you should move closer to meeting your objective.
If you want to increase brand awareness, a free t-shirt is a great idea, but only in exchange for an action that supports your goal. For example, attendees must share a selfie with your signage via social media and use a specific hashtag to claim their shirts. If your goal is to sell product, a coupon or “free with purchase” offer may be more advantageous. The takeaway is to make sure you’re spending your money where it supports your purpose.[Tweet “No experiential marketing campaign is complete without a strategy for continued engagement.”]
Failure to take advantage of a ‘captive audience.’
Getting attendees to your experiential marketing event is the hard part, but don’t be satisfied just because they’re in the door. With your goal front and center, messages should be tailored to express key points and capitalize on your time with consumers. Samsung recognizes this, and Mathieu notes the goal of their messages is to be “authentic.” Additionally, the message must be “interesting enough” for people to not only “pick it up but also share it.” This is a smart way to build return on engagement (ROE); a way to measure long-term results and know the true success of your campaign.
At the same time, recognize that your messages will only be as transparent and powerful as the people relaying them. This is why organizations are increasingly looking to an event staffing company to supply talent for their experiential marketing campaign. In doing so, they ease their burden of finding the right individuals to engage attendees and share their intended messages, while boosting the odds of meeting their goals.
Consumers outsmart experiential marketing staff.
The Internet has enhanced companies’ abilities to interact with consumers. Yet, with online reviews, forums and social media sharing, it has also empowered consumers. Not only do they have access to an incredible amount of information in an instant, they also have the largest communication platform in history. They are sharing personal experiences and opinions instantly with the click of a button.
Consider Generation Z, reported to have an eight-second attention span and do “pre-purchase research more than any other generation.” They will account for 40% of all consumers by year 2020. During a marketing event, brand ambassadors must proficient in addressing the consumers’ questions in order to win their business.
If your consumers are more educated on your product than your event staff is, your event will likely not succeed. Effective training of your event marketing team is of utmost importance. Proof of retention should also be required to ensure brand ambassadors are prepared and can be the valuable asset that you need.
By steering clear of these experiential marketing mistakes, your company will is better equipped to ensure that your experiential marketing investment is a worthwhile one.
Since 1999, EventPro Strategies has worked with top brands and agencies to provide the best experiential marketing staff in the country. We also provide customized staff training that ensures our event staff can go head-to-head intellectually with your consumers. Contact EPS for a free, 30-minute event staffing assessment so we can promote your success and help you avoid these and other experiential marketing mistakes.