Engaging Consumers: The Vitals of Experiential Marketing
Your brand has a lot to offer. But how do you break through the noise of countless competitors to establish your unique identity? The answer: Start engaging consumers. Experiential marketing is about creating a positive disruption in order to build a real connection. It’s about gaining consumer attention in an off-beat, non-traditional way. But most of all, it’s about engagement.
The Breakdown: How to Engage During Experiential Marketing Events
Experiential marketing is about authentically engaging with your audience. Harnessing the power of experiential marketing through genuine brand to consumer relationships provides long term customer satisfaction and retention. But, who can you trust to shout your brand’s message from the mountaintops (or from the giant megaphone at your event site)?
Three Key Information Channel Roles in Experiential Marketing
Brand Ambassadors: Brand ambassadors are the face and voice of the brand. They are hired to greet consumers, speak about key messaging, and build relationships with their audiences.
Emcee: This is a dynamic role which allows your message to be heard by a large audience. An emcee uses a microphone in order to easily generate excitement and draw a crowd over to your event site with just a few sentences. A good emcee is relatable and confident on the microphone. Many times the emcee will create contests or games to involve the consumers in the event.
Spokesperson: This person is a well-trained individual who is able to clearly and accurately represent the brand. Many times a spokesperson is the key contact for fielding questions from the media during specified appearances. This person can be a trained employee or even a celebrity endorser. If your experiential event has generated some buzz with the help of a PR team, then it is imperative to have a spokesperson on site.
Once you have chosen your key players to deliver the message to engage the target audience, you must train them to reinforce the marketing purpose.
Be Clear With Your Message
To quote the great Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year old, you don’t know it yourself.” The person who is delivering the target message, whether that is a brand ambassador, spokesperson or emcee, must be knowledgeable about the brand. They must not only know the information, but also be able to articulate the information concisely and intelligently to consumers.
Energize the Crowd
Give the consumers something to talk about when they leave your event. Whether the “wow factor” is in the taste of the product, the visual stimulation of the event site, or the presence of your staff, the consumer should walk away excited about the experience they just had with your brand.
People want to feel like a brand understands them. As the voice and real life representation of the brand, the brand ambassador, spokesperson or emcee has to establish a connection. They must not only talk to the consumer, but also listen. A relationship is about trust and open communication. Your staff should make the consumer feel that they are engaging in a strong relationship, regardless of whether they already know and love the brand or are just being introduced to it for the first time.
Integrate Technology to Generate Content for Your Brand
A major goal in experiential marketing is to keep conversation going around your brand – a goal achieved through the creation of content. One way to enhance your brand’s message is by integrating technological interaction into the activation. After the initial engagement with your consumer, unique social media tools and innovative technology encourages the customer to spread your brand’s message far and wide across their personal social channels, which in turn introduces your brand to yet another audience. Utilize new technology to invigorate your brand and watch the likes, re-tweets, and new followers roll in.
At the heart of every brand should be a desire to meet consumers’ wants and needs. Getting to know your audience face-to-face through direct engagement will benefit not only consumer perception of your brand, but also enhance your understanding of your audience. It’s a mutually beneficial strategy. So go on, start engaging.
Natalee May has been a traveling experiential Tour Manager for seven years.
When not working, she pretends that she is in the circus by taking aerial silks classes at studios around the country.
She is passionate about meeting new people and exploring new places. Follow her @NataleeMayo.