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What Is Experiential Marketing? Examples & Things to Know

The customer experience is one of the most important parts of marketing. Creating and orchestrating a memorable experience for consumers is the thing that will make a product succeed. Successful product creation and marketing is so much more than just creating a high quality product; it means making something that will give the customer a beneficial, exciting, and positive experience. The experience is one of the most underrated, yet most beneficial parts of creating quality products. A good product experience is what will often separate great brands and products from ones that get drowned out by the rest of the market. 

So how does a company create an experience that will cause customers to keep coming back to a brand for their products and services? The answer is through the use of experiences as tools to market to customers. Instead of just making a product that is fresh and interesting, a company needs to show consumers that the experience as a whole is just as incredible as the product. This can often mean putting a lot of effort into the small things surrounding a product, and getting the products and services into the hands of the customer. That can be expensive and labor intensive, but it will almost certainly be worth the effort. 

One of the things that many customers are missing out on in the modern age of internet marketing is the experience. There are many substitutes for the experience on the internet in the form of reviews, influencer, and ratings, but nothing will substitute for the actual meaning that an experience has to a customer. To fully capitalize on the way that products can affect customers, companies need to think intentionally and innovatively about how they market their products. This is what experiential marketing is all about, and how it can shape businesses and companies, even in the modern world. 

What is Experiential Marketing?

Fundamentally, experiential marketing is about creating an experience. The essence of experience is creating a situation where a person is able to fully feel the event, through the use of as many of their senses as possible. It forms an emotional and mental attachment to what they are experiencing, and helps them to remember it more. Movie theaters tend to have much more of an impact than watching a movie on a laptop, or why concerts are often more appealing than listening to music on a phone. These live and interactive experiences leave a bigger impact on people’s senses, and are almost always more exciting and invigorating. 

Experiential marketing capitalizes on the concept of the “experience.” An experience is a visceral and personal way that a person interacts with and begins to understand a product, which is massively important for showing people what a product or service really is. Often, there are many ways that companies try to substitute experiences through the use of videos, marketing, and other forms of online communication. But fundamentally, nothing can really make up for the impact that a product can have on a customer when it’s actually inside of their hands. 

Almost three quarters of customers say that experiencing a product or brand in a real and intimate way will make them more likely to buy that product, or purchase from that company. This is due to the fact that the experience is massively important to the customer. A highly curated and developed experience will allow the customer to know what the purpose of the product is to them, and how that fits into their own world and concept of the product. Experiences help customers to build real relationships with brands, which is the foundation of almost all sales and customer interactions that take place. 

How Does a Company Create Good Experiential Marketing?

Creating experiences that leave a positive impression on the customer is incredibly important to cultivating a good experience. The best way to do this is by catering to the different senses of the customer, in relation to the product itself. People remember things by the way that they appear to them in the sensory experience, and these experiences will influence the way that the consumer perceives the product or service.

It is highly important to make sure that all of these senses are catered too; the more these senses are pleased, the more that the experience as a whole will lead the consumer to perceive a high quality and professional product. Here are ways that the sensory experience of customers can be appealed to when creating a positive experience. 

Sight

Make the product or experience look professional, as well as the place in which it is being experienced. If it is in a professional setting, make it look high quality and appealing to a wide variety of aesthetics, while still maintaining the brand identity of the company. Make all the products look intentionally designed; aesthetically pleasing and beautiful products are very important, and can help to sell products at a much better rate. When a consumer experiences pleasure just based on the sight of a product, they will be much more likely to associate it with high quality. 

Touch

Make the product or service feel good. If it’s a physical product that is being sold, make sure that the build quality is solid, and it feels nice in the hand. Create products that simply just feel good. If it’s a service or a location at which products are sold, make it comfortable. Keep the temperature at a good level, and make sure that there isn’t anything that’s uncomfortable about the place. This will help customers to experience the place in a positive way, and attach comfort to the experience in their minds. 

Sound

Often, when creating a video, low quality audio will make a piece of media look unprofessional long before low quality video will. To put it more simply, a person’s ears will often be offended before their eyes are. Therefore, it is incredibly important to make sure that an experience sounds good. If it is a physical location, ensure that there aren’t any offensive noises happening, and all music leads to a better experience. Or even, if the experience calls for it, make use of silence. 

Smell

Typically, there are fewer experiences that require a good smell experience to ensure a high quality experience. But it should be known that a bad smell experience is almost sure to ruin an experience. So whether it’s a product or a service, ensure that it smells good, or at least doesn’t smell bad. Bad smell in almost any sense is something that will almost certainly ruin an experience for a consumer, despite just being one thing. 

Taste

Again, taste is often not a common thing that most companies outside of the restaurant industry need to worry about. But for physical experiences, it can be very beneficial to appeal to people’s tastes, using things like complimentary coffee, snacks, and other appealing taste experiences. This will help people to feel more at home with a company, and more likely to emotionally attach it with good things. Experiences that involve tastes that are actually memorable and good despite them not necessarily being a strict need for them are much more likely to stick out to consumers. It’s the extra mile that shows customers that they really matter to a company. 

How to Use Experiential Marketing Online

Due to the nature of the internet, it is very difficult to create a full experience for a customer. Almost all experiential marketing online is done through the use of sight and sound, so make sure that the marketing of the company capitalizes on those two senses. Make sure that all graphics and companies are beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. Create a visual identity for the brand that is memorable and sends messages to the customer about what they should do. Cultivate virtual experiences through reviews, social media, and influencer marketing. 

Whenever possible, try to get products in the hands of customers. This can be done through in-store demos, examples, and samples. Companies should do everything they can to prove the quality of their products to consumers at every chance they get. It may be expensive and effort intensive, but it will almost always be worth it in the long run. 

How Harper+Scott Can Help

For years, Harper+Scott has been making a massive difference in the marketing aspects of dozens and dozens of high level companies through the use of high-quality product design, media creation, and professional consultation. Harper+Scott has created experiences that make a difference to customers. Find out how we can help expand your marketing efforts

Sources

What Is Experiential Marketing? | SingleGrain.com

What is Experience Marketing? | DigitalMarketer.com

Bad audio can ruin a good video | Mastcom.com