At the crossroads of integrated marketing and personalized tactics is experiential marketing; the efforts of connecting a consumer to a brand by allowing them to participate in an actual experience. At the core of experiential marketing is an effort to engage the consumer with an extended personal interaction with the brand through relevancy. This experience driven tactic is far more effective in influencing customer affinity and loyalty and when executed properly can result in substantial ROI/ROO (return on investment/objectives).
The goal of an experiential marketing campaign is to incorporate all appropriate marketing tactics from traditional to mobile and social to being event driven in order to deliver a truly integrated experiential campaign that has significant impact on the consumer senses, lifestyles and thought processes.
One great example of experiential marketing was the “Ride & Drive” program that the Chrysler Group launched in order to recast the traditional test drive experience. With an overarching goal of taking the test-drive “out of the showroom” and placing it into a less stressful situation, Chrysler went forward with bringing its cars and experience to everyday places like shopping malls, schools, concerts, etc. The live experience was funneled into existing social media channels to harness and foster the digital conversation. Driving its relevancy even further, Chrysler matched its line of cars to the events/areas it chose to participate in. For example, pick-up trucks were sent to country music events and minivans/SUVs were positioned at shopping malls and family fun venues. With digital conversation and recommendation being a cornerstone of integrated marketing tactics, the inclusion of social media created an even more significant word of mouth spread across channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
As the success of non-luxury “Ride & Drives” proliferated, some manufacturers created even more robust and tailored experiences like Chrysler’s Camp Jeep program. Pairing the program with a special edition model (Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty) and prime events like video game conventions, took the campaign to another level.
Another example of a spectacular experiential marketing campaign is T-Mobile’s Real Life Angry Birds. Catapulting off of the popular app, T-Mobile, created a real life Angry Birds board and allowed people to launch 40 pound Angry Birds 100 feet through the air by using one of their smart phones. The campaign caught the eyes of bystanders everywhere with its sound effects and live explosions. The experience was then leveraged into a video compilation and distributed through social media, digital media coverage and hundreds of blogs. The YouTube video compilation alone was viewed 16 million times. All in all, the stunning success paired the consumer with a new product and a familiar game to create a phenomenal connection with the experience.
As our lives continue to evolve, marketers are always looking at innovative ways to remain relevant and engage potential consumers. And, in the right hands, Experiential Marketing delivers on all of these points and more.
Alan Brown is a principal at kabookaboo, a Coral Gables-based integrated marketing agency that combines creative talent, strategic insight and online development with social media expertise.