Experiential marketing is a growing trend which involves marketing a product or a service through custom memorable experiences that engage the customers and create emotional attachment to the product/service.
Physical and interactive experiences are used to reinforce the offer of a product and make customers feel as if they are part of them. Experiences are positively related to customer's attitudes, mood and behaviours.
They also represent a means through which a company can gain competitive advantage by differentiating itself from competitors. To achieve success, an experience should be engaging, compelling and able to touch the customer's senses and capture his/her loyalty.
There are many aspects which differentiate traditional marketing from the experiential one. First, experiential marketing focuses on providing sensory, emotional, cognitive and rational values to the consumers. Second, experiential marketing aims to create synergies between meaning, perception, consumption and brand loyalty. Furthermore,experiential marketing requires a more diverse range of research methods in order to understand consumers.
Marketers has developed a six-step process to develop an effective experiential branding strategy. The first step includes carrying out a customer experience audit in order to analyse the current experience of the brand. The second step is to create a brand platform and develop a touch point with customers. The following step includes designing the brand experience; coordinating the brand's people, products and processes against the brand proposition. The next steps involve
communicating the brand proposition internally and externally. The last step consists of monitoring performance in order to ensure that the brand is meeting its objectives.
Nowadays, experiential marketing is getting more technologically advanced and personalised.
The wide spread of the Internet and the increasing competition among online retailers has led to the rise of virtual experiential marketing (VEM).
VEM uses the Internet and its various channels to create an enriched and engaging experience by using visual and audio tools. VEM relies on an electronic environment that engages customers and arouses their emotional responses to create an unparalleled experience and
consequently capture their loyalty.
The elements which characterize virtual experiential marketing are: sense, interaction, pleasure, flow and community relationship.
Furthermore, affective involvement has been identified as a key factor which affects online purchase intention. Thus, the online experience must emphasize an emotional appeal to the consumer in order to build purchase intention
A model to create high impact virtual customer experience has been developed by the management consultancy, A.T. Kearney. The four basic steps are:
Develop a compelling customer value proposition. In developing this, it is important to understand how an online experience can satisfy
customer needs.Create the digital customer experience framework to address all areas ofinteraction between customers and the business.Use proven tools, the "7Cs", to support the framework.
connectivity and convenience.
Integrate the online and offline customer experience. In fact, companies can enhance the virtual customer experience through consistent links with the offline world.
Internet type marketing in this field.
For engagement marketing purposes, companies can share content on their own blogs and participate as a commenter or content provider on relevant external blogs. Hosting a campaign that gives prizes to the readers of external blogs for their participation in some kind of
contest is an example of an engagement marketing campaign aimed at external blogs
.Social networking sites:
Social networking sites (such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) are ideal for engagement marketing because they provide a way for people to interact with brands and create a two-way dialogue between customers and companies. Most companies maintain a presence on several of these sites. Some of these platforms have also created specific types
of online presences for companies. For example, Facebook introduced Fan pages in 2007.
Engagement outcomes such as sharing behaviours include motivations such as enjoyment, self-efficacy, learning, personal gain, altruism, empathy, social engagement, community interest, reciprocity, and reputation[ as well as social response to fan page cues such as social interactive
value, visual appearance and identity attractiveness of the branded object Ideally, activations such as photo booths tied the event experience back to the user's social channels.
Differing from internal webcast meetings with a small, specific invitation list, engagement marketing online events are aimed at a much larger and public audience. They are typically available live or on-demand, which allows viewers to view content on their own schedule.
Similar to conferences, audience members can ask the speakers questions and participate in polls during live webcasts.
One of the earliest online engagement marketing tools, email marketing requires target audiences to opt-in to directly receive a marketer's emails. Companies can also encourage individuals to share their messages virally, via the forwarding of emails to colleagues, friends and
Crowdsourcing: Crowdsourcing sites offer engagement marketing opportunities through their open media contests.
sites like these generate brand ambassadors as an organic byproduct of the crowdsourcing process itself by encouraging users to share their submissions on various social networking sites. By first engaging fans and consumers in the act of shaping the brand identity itself, there is
increased brand awareness and development of brand relationships well before launching any official media campaign.