Experiences Over Everything: Why Experiential Marketing Beats Traditional Marketing Every Time
The old marketing trends of simply buying a billboard, radio or TV spot, or magazine advertisement are dying. Why? Because neither of these mediums can talk back. Traditional marketing presents what it has to say, and you can either “take it or leave it.”
The good news is that successful modern marketing has shifted away from this attitude and toward something more conversational and creative as a result. Marketing today is a two-way conversation between brands and consumers. Consumers can use their voice to rate their experiences on social media platforms publicly and leave reviews on sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, and Amazon,
Even if you are not engaging in that conversation as a brand, your brand’s community likely is. This is why it’s so important to engage in a direct dialogue with your followers to make sure they feel seen and heard.
Based on our years of extensive research – and our brand mentorship work – the best way to do that is through events that put your brand directly in front of the consumer: a talent showcase for health and wellness practitioners, mini consultations to share your value, gift bag product placements for local events. These genuine experiences that bring people together are a commodity – and it’s time to position your brand as the perfect partner to deliver.
What is Experiential Marketing?
Before we dive into why experiential marketing beats traditional marketing, we must start by discussing exactly what “experiential marketing” means.
Experiential marketing is a valuable strategy that uses live experiences to forge authentic bonds between your brand and your ideal audience. It’s all about creating powerful, unique, and unforgettable moments that capture attention, inspire brand loyalty, build trust and ultimately drive sales.
With experiential marketing, instead of telling them about your brand, you’re asking them to be a part of it. These days, people don’t want to just purchase a product or a brand – they want to experience a lifestyle. Creating that ideal lifestyle around the product or service you offer is the best way to engage the people who will truly love what you do and how you do it.
Experiential Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
When your ideal audience genuinely enjoys the experience they’re having alongside your service or product, they want to share it with their friends, family, coworkers, and just about everyone they know. That emotional moment serves as a “trigger” or a “hook” that inspires the action you want them to eventually take — which is often, making a purchase. Basically, in experiential marketing terms, we want your customer to associate your product, brand, or service with a positive or nostalgic emotional memory.
For example, let’s say that you’re attending a health and wellness event centered around discovering new fitness modalities (like Muy House’s day of fresh air and fitness!). While you’re present, you interact with a local practitioner who owns and operates a wellness spa, and the 15-minute massage she offers as part of the event makes you feel more renewed and refreshed than you’ve ever felt. No matter what else happens at that event, you’re incredibly likely to remember that feeling of relief – and want to revisit that practitioner and her business as a result.
In other words, experiential marketing is a unique approach that creates a local community of people who will support your brand and who will market your product through word of mouth to anyone who will listen!
Here are a few more ways experiential marketing may be your new go-to strategy:
|Core Question||Traditional Marketing||Experiential Marketing|
|Who’s the star of the show?||The product or service||The customer’s experience|
|How do we assume our customers make decisions?||Rationally and analytically when they have the proper amount of information||Emotionally and reciprocally when they feel understood and appreciated|
|What’s the #1 goal of our marketing?||Generate a ton of new leads and filter them through a funnel where 3 percent of them convert||Foster a sense of belonging that leads to repeat purchases and brand customers for life|
|What do we assume our customer wants?||Magic bullet solutions and quick fixes for their problems||Involvement, emotional attachment with your brand or services, to be part of a larger community or lifestyle|
|What’s the outcome?||Standard feedback and reviews, 1-3% conversion rates, few repeat customers, higher chance of refunds due to buyer’s remorse||Genuine brand loyalty, trust, and attachment, smaller pool at the top of the funnel but higher conversion rates overall and more repeat customers|
The Currency of the Future
It’s time to be creative when connecting with your ideal audience by transitioning and adapting experiential marketing into your business plan.
And in case you’re wondering, this marketing tactic isn’t limited to live events only. You can effectively integrate this powerful marketing method via online platforms and channels like email, social media, virtual meetings, webinar presentations, etc.
According to an article in the Romanian Economic Journal, there are five essential elements you need in order to use the science of experiential marketing to your advantage:
- Senses: Sight, sound, scent, taste, and touch are all vital elements of engaging people and ensuring they remember your brand – so highlight as many as possible! (Obviously, you’re limited to sight and sound online, but, hey, so are movies, and they do a great job of drawing us in)
- Emotions: Make sure the experience your brand offers elicits positive feelings that are in line with the brand (i.e., Yeti evokes feelings of excitement and adventure; Philosophy brings to mind feelings of health and connection).
- Thought-provoking conversations: Foster meaningful conversations about your product/service OR that of the competition (i.e., “Wait…Why have I been using the same face wash for 15 years?”)
- Actions: Reward any action taken by the consumer that’s a step toward your campaign goals. Whether signing up for your newsletter or purchasing a big-ticket item, make taking action both incredibly easy and heavily rewarded.
- Relatability: Above all else, your product or service needs to show that you relate to your audience as the nuanced human beings they are. This ties “the individual self to the broader social and cultural context reflected in a brand” and can be a powerful tool for fulfilling our most profound needs of meaning and belonging (Grundey, 2008).
At their core, people want to connect and engage with others, and they want to feel as though their experiences matter. Prioritizing experiences over advertisements is an excellent way to build that connection and engagement by selling something that’s more important than a brand: a new lifestyle.
We invite you to join our robust community of entrepreneurs, brands, venues, and practitioners and experience firsthand the life-changing difference Muy House makes. To hear about our different membership options – both brand and social – click here.