With so many marketing avenues available today, it’s essential for companies to plan strategically and invest wisely. The pressure to be economical with marketing is especially high for smaller businesses and start-ups, which can’t afford the missteps of a large, proven brand. Fortunately—for companies big and small, brands new and old—event marketing offers some cost-effective ways to get a message across and generate positive vibes among consumers.
Experiential marketing (also known as event marketing) is a relatively new form of marketing that has the potential to deliver major impact for less investment than you might think. In many cases that impact happens on the local level, but tie-ins with digital or social media marketing can amplify the effect of the campaign to get every ounce of value out of the marketing budget. Strategic use of technology in event marketing campaigns is a proven method of keeping costs down, and enables measurement with analytics programs to gather valuable insight about performance and reach.
For example, it’s not uncommon for events to have their own hashtag or other social media tie-ins. Another benefit here is that happy consumers will be more likely to spread the word among their followers, which costs nothing to the brand, and brings added authenticity because it’s coming from an objective, unbiased source rather than the brand itself.
Thinking of trying experiential marketing for your brand? Consider these tips:
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HARNESS THE POWER OF FREE
It’s not easy to entice consumers to buy your product when you’ve got lots of competitors offering something similar. Even though you may believe in your product and see the advantage, that might not be apparent to the average consumer. You can make things easier for them by lowering the level of commitment required from the consumer.
This involves handing out samples and free trials, running contests and offering exclusive pricing, among other tactics. A prominent method of directed promotion is to use non-promotional techniques to impart your message; the key here is subtlety, as opposed to a more overt or aggressive technique, which can quickly turn consumers off. A well-designed retail display or interactive exhibit can take your marketing efforts to the next level, even letting consumers try your product on the spot.
THINK INSTANT MARKETING
As mentioned earlier, social media is a powerful, instant and cost-effective way of getting your marketing message across. But too many brands make the mistake of thinking that any old campaign will do. A campaign without impact is one that won’t be remembered. Incorporating an element of experiential marketing is a great way to integrate your marketing efforts across multiple channels and platforms, but it also opens a world of possibilities for creating memorable campaigns. Consider that consumers are more likely to remember an emotion than a fact.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO TAKE BOLD FIRST STEPS
For a business that’s new to the market, the lack of brand recognition can be both intimidating and liberating. Since consumers have no concept of the brand, there’s a blank slate to work with. What better way to get on their radar than with a bold experiential marketing campaign?
As with any form of marketing, a new company often has to carve a niche for itself and justify its existence in the marketplace. In other words, it’s got to convince consumers that it solves a problem the competition doesn’t.
The scalability of event marketing means that even smaller companies can pull it off successfully (with the right help, of course). And while the campaign of a young business might lack the reach of an enterprise, it can still reach the right audience without breaking the bank.
At its core, experiential marketing is all about generating positive emotions (delight, humour, excitement, etc.) and tying those emotions to the brand. Traditional marketing methods still have their place in today’s landscape, but if you’re looking for a more cost-effective way to build a positive buzz, consider putting the power of experiential marketing to work for your brand.