Sixty-five percent of brands that use this one marketing tactic have said that it directly correlates with sales increases, according to data reported by HubSpot, from The Event Marketing Institute. So, what is it? It’s called experiential marketing. If you haven’t heard of this concept, don’t be surprised. A lot of professionals haven’t.
Experiential marketing is best explained as the act of creating branded face-to-face experiences. Today experiential marketing is paying off in big ways. Here are three success stories from companies who have tested out experiential marketing.
Cabela’s Store Opening
When opening up its second store location in Virginia, the outdoor retailer Cabela’s looked to The Hodges Partnership, a strategic communications firm, for help. Hodges was no stranger to facilitating consumer and media facing events which made the partnership a good fit for the outdoor gear brand. Hodges looked at event timing and planned to “make it fun” by providing interactive experiences for visitors which included trying on camo, archery opportunities, fly fishing experiences or getting cozy in expedition tents inside of the store. The firm garnered local publicity and news coverage for both its media preview and grand opening event where news stations were on site with a brand spokesperson. A good spokesperson is key, cites Hodges, as people want to hear personal stories. Visitors were able to experience the Cabela’s brand in a tangible, offline manner, which makes it a success story.
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Google Play Music Block
Google Play set out to engage an audience at the 2016 Panorama Music Festival. It was here where Google Play erected a visually-striking LED multimedia block. The “Music Block” featured changing music videos, a rotation of animated designs and other performances solely based on the New York festival’s sets and fan interaction. The “Music Block” married digital and offline experiences all while keeping consumers and festival-goers connected to the Google Play brand through social media, as the brand’s social tags and handles were visible throughout the festival experience. Not only did the towering “Music Block” made for a background worthy of the ‘gram, the interactive exhibit assisted Google Play in spreading brand awareness in an organic, real-life way without being too pushy. This isn’t Google’s first attempt at experiential marketing. The search engine giant awarded 5.5 million to Bay Area non-profits through their “Building a Better Bay Area” effort, which engaged the public, allowing users to indirectly learn about Google and its community outreach.
Lean Cuisine #WeighThis
Unlike tried-and-true event marketing, experiential marketing is different. Instead of providing samples and asking potential customers to “try out” new products, Lean Cuisine took a new, fresh approach with their #WeighThis campaign. The interactive experience based on consumers own accomplishments features a gallery of weight scales hung up in New York City’s Grand Central Station. Upon a closer inspection, passersby would notice that the hanging scales were actually boards where women could jot down how they wanted to be “weighed.” Lean Cuisine operates in an industry where women are always being told to lose weight. Rather than focusing on body image or weight, Lean Cuisine empowered consumers through their campaign. While there were no samples or Lean Cuisine products at the train station the brand strategically placed its Twitter handle predominantly on the display. With over 204 million impressions, the #WeighThis experiential marketing effort is considered a big win for the Lean Cuisine brand.
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