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Consumers have become unpredictable over time. And one of the tools that has helped advertising professionals to improve their actions has been, without a doubt, experiential marketing ; a type of personalized marketing that awakens emotions and motivates the consumer to take action in the purchase process.
Experiential marketing has been the winning horse in brand sales strategies in recent years, especially for a segment of the population: millennials and Generation Z. And it is these same people who today, despite the crisis we are experiencing, continue to want brands to create experiences in order to connect with them. Well, they consider that experience is a key factor that pushes them to make purchasing decisions.
But it is true that the reality is very different from what we imagined and the times we live in are difficult. If before we could apply experiential marketing in an event, now we have to awaken emotions and create sensory experiences through a virtual environment. Then, how do we do it?
Forms of communication in which experiential marketing is supported
Experiential marketing (or experience marketing) has the purpose of connecting with the target audience through an experience of the senses, creating a positive experience for users. Its essence? Create livable and memorable experiences.
Many brands are aware that this type of emotional marketing is the trigger for users to convert and end up being loyal followers of their brand.
Also, in recent years, experiential marketing has relied on new forms of communication such as these to obtain good results:
- Event marketing
- Flash mobs
- Marketing in shopping centers
- Pop-up stores
All these are open models of innovation that allow us to generate experiences, where the scope will depend on the involvement of the client. Obviously, the Coronavirus is going to mean a before and after in the changes in user habits and therefore in the way of understanding experiential marketing.
Now brands will not be able to organize a flash mob or create an event (in that case, the capacity will be limited). And therefore they will have to find new ways to penetrate consumers through experiences.
Forecasts and trends about experiential marketing
Pop up store in Japan / Image: Depositphotos.com
Things are not going to be the same again. But what is sure not going to disappear is experience marketing because for millennials, experience is still key in the purchase process.
This means that it will be necessary to innovate in new forms and formats to create experiences. Along these lines, the use of more hybrid formats is foreseen: online meetings and actions in streaming or live. With all this, the user will not be able to live the experience directly, but it will be possible to create an illusion to live it.
On the other hand, many marketers are already testing new tools, seeing technology as a benefit to support them when creating experiences. So you are betting on more personalized and direct actions, thanks to technology.
Without going any further, Zoom is a tool that brands use, at the service of consumers, which is revolutionizing the way of communication with the customer. This is just one example, but there are many apps and online tools with which you can create immersive experiences.
Create an engaged community
The community generated around the Harley Davison brand is known worldwide / Image: Depositphotos.com
Finally, mention the idea of brand communities and shared experiences. If you manage to create a committed community, faithful to your brand, that defends it tooth and nail, you will be able to motivate your fans to share experiences on their social networks.
And how to create true fans of your brand? First we must audit what is said about our brand, who says it and where. Then find a common passion with your clients and try to focus the conversation on that passion that you share.
The next step will be to offer something unique and exclusive to your clients, clearly defining the benefits they will enjoy. And now comes the most important thing: keeping your fans engaged through a good experience. Here are some ideas to get it:
- Create polls or games
- Publicly show appreciation from your fans
- Encourage and share the content that fans generate about your brand
Indeed, it will not be an easy challenge for brands. What before could be done in an open space with thousands of people, today is translated into smaller and more personalized actions. However, it is not impossible, you just have to create a strong community around your brand and adapt your experiential marketing strategy to the new changes in consumer habits, relying on technology, innovation and creativity.