Savvy leaders know that if they genuinely connect their brand to their audience, they win.
They understand the way they personalise their brand and brand messaging can make or break their strategy – whether they have their staff to motivate, a new product or service to launch, or a market announcement to make.
Brand investments that engage people in genuine, people-centred, and visceral ways have been proven time and again to achieve sustainable business results, improve long-term loyalty and promote stronger relationships.
And it doesn’t need to be rocket science. At a basic, simple human level, it all comes down to experience. Real, personal, powerful experience.
The term experiential marketing describes the engagement of people with a brand by immersing them in memorable live experiences. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, your organisation is probably incorporating experiential elements into your existing communications, stakeholder relations or marketing plans already.
But that may not be enough.
By building a strategic, considered and well-planned nexus between brand investment and human connection can further build brand health, brand strength, and brand equity. It’s also important to take a macro view and interrogate how the experiential campaign compliments, amplifies and strengthens the broader marketing strategy. An experiential strategy that supports your existing efforts could be game-changing.
At Aesthetic, we create and deliver experiential strategies to increase the impact of campaigns, programs, and events that are specifically designed to contribute to longer-term operational success.
In our experience, the most effective experiential strategies always involve these six elements:
1. They clearly define their goals
As with any other successful marketing strategy, the first requirement is a set of clearly defined goals and a strong understanding of what you’re attempting to achieve.
Before engaging in any experiential marketing strategy, you have to be able to answer the questions: Why are we doing this? Are we looking to increase brand exposure or awareness? Do we want people to do something differently? Are we aiming to simply increase sales? Are we outlining a new process or change to staff?
2. They actively celebrate participation and engagement
It makes sense. Immersive, live, and memorable experiential campaigns can help you capture your audience’s attention, make a very personal connection and deliver your messages in powerful, meaningful and motivational ways.
Experiential marketing is designed to have your audience actively engage with a brand’s identity and its core values.
3. They explore the brand’s message and values in creative, people-centred ways
People are more brand wary than ever. They are bombarded with irrelevant information, are skeptical of spin, and don’t appreciate a generic communication. What they crave are brands that show appreciation for their individuality by tailoring their experience to meet specific preferences and needs.
Use data to understand the tastes, habits, and preferences of your target audience members. Make simple but significant gestures to show that you ‘get’ them.
4. They tell a story
Weave your brand values into a simple, compelling story and then, invite people to be part of it.
Have a beginning, middle, and end. Acknowledge their challenges, tell them how you’ll support them on the journey and make their part clear.
5. They gather useful information
No matter what tactic you’re using, experiential marketing is an ideal place to gather important feedback and insights. Ask, or encourage people for feedback at key touchpoints.
Create a process to carefully monitor internal and external feedback channels, like surveys, websites and social media, and ensure you’re equipped to capture anecdotal comments to see what people are saying.
6. They build long-lasting value
Even if your event goes well, it’s just a moment in time.
Communicate before, during, and after an event or program via your internal channels, owned and earned media. The impact of your efforts will be diminished if you don’t have a plan in place for keeping your audience engaged. Have a system and team to continually make the most of the experience and reinforce your key messages.
Smart leaders understand the power of genuinely harnessing and then amplifying the power of experience.
In an age where the majority of people are deluged by generic corporate jargon but seek personalised experiences and meaningful interactions, experiential marketing is more essential to any modern marketing strategy than ever.
This can seem overwhelming. At Aesthetic, we’ve won awards for creating clever, memorable brand experiences. Our approach to experiential strategy is simple: we carefully plan then create delightfully unexpected personal experiences that connect brands with their audiences in compelling, human-centred and meaningful ways.
If you’d like to chat about how a fresh, insightful approach to experiential strategy can help you and your brand, just give us a call on 03 9044 4300.
– Gillian Laging,
Brand & Marketing Manager, Aesthetic