These days, marketers have many different ways of reaching customers. Traditional methods like magazine ads and television commercials still abound, but thanks to the internet, consumers are now bombarded with ads constantly.
That means it’s harder to impress them. Some brands have solved this problem by integrating experiential marketing tactics into their campaigns. These brand experiences trigger emotional reactions in customers that allow businesses to cultivate relationships, boost loyalty, and stand out among the competition.
Technology has enhanced these campaigns by giving participants the kinds of dynamic experiences other forms of advertising don’t offer. Here are a few ways in which brands have leveraged technology to produce brand experiences that engage and energize consumers.
The Nature of Experiential Marketing: Case Studies
Google Combined a Brand Experience With a Product Endorsement
Experiential marketing typically involves some form of user participation. That’s why it helps to leverage technology. In some cases, the technology being leveraged may be the same product being marketed.
That was the case when Google sought to promote its new photo app. The tech giant generated interest in the app by heading to Austin, TX with a cupcake truck. Instead of charging money, Google asked customers to take photos with the new product. The photos served as a type of currency that could be exchanged for cupcakes.
By integrating the product promotion with an experiential marketing strategy that used a universally-loved item (cupcakes), Google succeeded at deepening loyalty and connection to their brand. Additionally, the brand experience provided consumers with a moment they could look back on fondly, and directly associate with Google.
Verizon’s Experiential Strategy Led Users Through A Snapchat Scavenger Hunt
Verizon is another major company that used an app to boost the strength of its experiential marketing campaigns. Partnering with Snapchat, Verizon gave customers the opportunity to participate in an augmented reality scavenger hunt.
Participants with Snapchat accounts in various cities across the United States downloaded a scavenger hunt app that offered clues leading them to secret locations. Verizon was giving away 256 iPhone 8S to the winners. Because the clues were solely virtual in nature (thanks to augmented reality tech), only those who had downloaded the app could play.
This type of approach to experiential marketing is smart for the technology it employed to widen the reach and accessibility of the campaign. Although some effective brand experiences require customers to gather in one place (like Bud Light’s House of Whatever event), mobile apps – especially those that leverage AR – can allow customers to participate no matter where they happen to be.
Nike Developed an App to Improve the Experience – Not Define It
Technology doesn’t always need to be the focus of experiential marketing. Sometimes it can simply make a brand experience more enjoyable.
For example, Nike hosted a ping pong tournament to coincide with the start of the US Open. Developers created a custom mobile app for the event to help players keep score. The app may not have been the basis for the event, but it did simplify a key aspect of it.
Customers Want Brand Experiences
The fact that consumers prefer experiential marketing isn’t mere speculation. According to surveys, 93% of consumers report that brand experiences have much more of an influence on them than simple TV ads. On top of that, 72% of consumers claim they develop a more positive attitude towards a company if it offers quality content and experiences.
That said, the brand experience shouldn’t be random or arbitrary. Instead, it should correspond to the company’s actual identity. When marketing your product, take the time to consider what types of experiences your ideal customer would want to have.
For example, if you’re marketing a photography app, perhaps you could host an exhibit in which you display pictures that users have taken with your app. If you’re marketing an apparel brand, host a fashion show.
Finally, try to determine how you can use tech products to optimize your campaign. Incorporating an app into an experiential marketing event allows brands to maintain customer interest after the event is over. The event may not last forever, but the related app may stay on a customer’s device, allowing an experience to fit in with an overall marketing campaign.