Myth-busting your marketing mix
Generating reach and engagement for your brand will leave your company or product in rude health, but creating an extraordinary experience, event or live stunt will increase key metrics around sentiment (positive), recall, affinity and advocacy exponentially. This is where experiential marketing trumps broadcast; when it comes to consumer behaviour, it’s impossible to beat seeing, feeling and doing it for yourself.
Under the broad marketing strokes and buzzwords regarding ‘boomers’, ‘millenials’ and Gen XYZ each medium takes a new and “evolving” approach with a myriad of platforms and tools to measure success. There are constant streams of articles noting what you should and shouldn’t be doing to target your audience, but it’s hard to differentiate the good and bad.
We’re bombarded with facts and figures about shifts in advertising/marketing from broadcast to social and digital; “TV is dead”, “Streaming killed the radio star”, “Newspapers are pointless”, “Influencers have turned marketing on its head” – all wildly misleading and one would suggest by nature of the click-bait headlines, self-serving their author’s or agency’s bottom line.
Like any healthy vocation; diversity, growth and evolution of processes should be welcomed – don’t be stuck in the past, but don’t be blinded by the bright lights of tech and innovation either. Your accountancy firm might not need a 360 VR walk-through of the office. That new frozen veg range might not need an Augmented Reality chef to jump out and tell you how to throw it in a pot or oven. Your new fragrance probably doesn’t need a dedicated podcast series. What they do need are events, hands-on, taste-tests and experiences to show you what they’re all about.
Used intelligently, tech can be integrated into your campaign story with credibility and further enhance the brand experience without breaking the bank, but using it because you’ve been told it’s the new sliced-pan can be detrimental also.
In the smartphone dominated world we live in today marketing currency is dominated by three things – attention, time and money - how we acquire each is a mixed bag of show and tell, letting the consumer see and hear about your product or service is what dominates screens, papers and magazines. However, experiential marketing allows you go a couple of steps further, activating your other senses of taste, smell and touch. Stimulating multiple senses is central to emotional connection, a key driver in consumer behaviour.
When you want to sell a car, showing someone an amazing picture and list of features holds little weight against a sit in and test-drive. Launching a new drink? The words “tropical dream surprise” and a pretty picture offer very little in comparison to a single sip. Music concerts never generate the same sentiment through video or pictures as actually being there in person (provided your experience is good). Sponsoring your favourite team looks good on paper but being at the game is infinitely more powerful.
Consumer attitude to marketing has evolved – Yes we want to see and hear about your product but we’re a greedy bunch, we want more. We want experiences over things. Without making us really feel, you’re in danger of becoming part of the white noise of our already cluttered media landscape.
What we’re searching for is credibility and trust – you can tell us all day how great your five-star influencer-led festival in the Bahamas is going to be, but until we’re standing in front of our beach villa complete a fridge full of chilled Evian, looking at the stage lights, don’t expect us to repeatedly shout from the rooftops about how “fire” your brand is!
Broadcast certainly has its place in the marketing mix, but for brands that want to deliver immersive, engaged, genuine and authentic connections with their audience, experiential can’t be beat.