The practise of marketing is in a constant state of evolution. Promotion alone is no longer enough to spark a sale, the modern consumer is savvy, with a wealth of information at their fingertips. Brands must now endeavour to demonstrate how they provide value for their customers.
Experiential marketing is the perfect vehicle for this, however, simply taking the product to the consumer won’t inspire the ROI required to consider a campaign successful. Instead, brands have to create an interactive experience into which consumers can immerse themselves. This creates the deep emotional bond required to reap an efficient return.
A Unique Opportunity
We’re going to take a look at 10 interactivity opportunities, focussing on how they can be incorporated into your campaigns. By the end of this article you will have a deeper understanding of how to provide value to consumers at your events through interactivity, in order to extract value later.
Social media competitions are a perfect way to get event attendees interacting with your brand. “Like and Share/RT” competitions are easy to run, simple for consumers to engage with, and incentivise people to follow your social channels, allowing for further promotion and value extraction at a later date.
Displaying social posts relevant to the event, tweet walls are a visual acknowledgement of your consumers’ input. This is an incentive for them to post about the event on their personal social channels, which increases the campaign reach, brand exposure and the overall potential value extraction. (This medium is not limited to twitter and can be used with any social platform with the right software)
Encouraging users to post about your event increases its overall reach. Additionally, any posts via a consumer’s social channels come with an implicit endorsement of the product or brand. Creating brand evangelists who will vocalise their support on social media is a source of valuable “earned” promotion. Expand the campaigns reach further by getting your branded hashtag trending.
Co-creation of content is another way of generating that elusive “earned” promotion. Make use of attendees location services through branded snapchat geofilters and social check-ins. According to Jeff Bullas, Facebook engagement rate on photos is 37% higher than text-only posts. Put this to use, incentivise consumers to snap away with a competition, an on-site photo booth or just an aesthetically pleasing installation. Also, bear in mind that shoppers who view video are almost twice as likely to purchase than those who don’t according to Adobe.
We have previously spoken, at length, on gamification and how it can be incorporated into an experiential marketing campaign. Gamification is the perfect tool for inspiring interactivity, it allows a brand to push its messages to consumers under a different guise. This “smokescreen” creates the illusion that users aren’t being marketed to, making them the perfect targets for marketing! Incorporate games into your campaign to give consumers a fun, simple, rewarding reason to interact.
People enjoy speaking to another person face-to-face, particularly those of the pre-millenial generations who didn’t grow up with the internet and who, more often than not, make up the majority of foot traffic in areas like shopping malls and town centres.
Whether it’s a conference, tradeshow or experiential installation, Q&A sessions give event attendees a chance to control the content, and therefore the value, they receive from your event. Having a team member on site with legitimate expertise in their field is a big draw for events, particularly in B2B. Q&As help brands answer their audience’s pain points, as well as discovering new ones. A topical example of this in action is Gary Vaynerchuk, owner of VaynerMedia, who keeps keynote speeches to a minimum in favour of lengthy Q&A sessions.
7.Transfer Of Knowledge:
The chance to learn from an experience is an increasingly popular method of consumer interaction. Don’t get confused, scheduling your event like a school timetable will only please a tiny niche of the potential market. Bite sized pieces of information, which consumers can take home and apply in their day-to-day life, are attributed with significant value in an era where time is a scarcity.
Collecting feedback at events is not only a smart way to show your consumers that you care about their opinion, it is a necessity for generating valuable data. A short 5-10 question survey is enough to gain valuable insight on the BAM (brand affinity measure) score of your brand and therefore insight on where you can improve. Staff can use consumers’ dead time (waiting for friends, family, restaurant bookings, cinema times etc.) to poll them, the key is finding the RIGHT time to approach them.
Similar to a transfer of knowledge, but specific to your brand, it’s downright arrogant to assume consumers understand the intricacies of your product. In fact, experiential marketing events provide the perfect opportunity to reduce discrepancies in your consumers’ product knowledge. Teaching them how to improve their experience of your product through tips and tricks will improve their opinion of the brand as a whole. Being seen as a helpful brand is paramount in the modern, consumer experience focussed, marketplace.
10. AR, VR & Interactive Fixtures:
Whilst obviously separate entities with individual uses, we’ve grouped these elements together as they fulfil a similar purpose in terms of interactivity and drawing in consumers.
AR and VR have become buzzwords in 2016, with the massive advances and wide commercial availability of the technology, the public is becoming increasingly aware of the potential of AR and VR. This is great for experiential marketers as it allows us to increase the attractiveness of our installations simply by having this tech present.
Interactive fixtures fulfill a similar role. People are naturally curious, always keen to try new technologies they haven’t seen in the flesh before. By adding advanced technologies, which surprisingly don’t carry a hefty price-tag, you create a chance for your consumers to experience something completely new and fully interactive, a chance which many will not pass up on.