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January 31, 2024

What is Experiential Marketing?

An experiential marketing pop-up designed by The Concierge Club at the Eaton Centre in Toronto

Experiential marketing (XM) aims to create memorable and immersive brand experiences that go beyond traditional advertising methods. It often involves live events, interactive campaigns, and direct engagement with the target audience. The goal is to build a stronger emotional connection between the brand and the consumer.

It's not just about showing them what you offer, but letting them get a taste of it for themselves.  

But what is experiential marketing? How is it implemented, and, more importantly, how does your brand stand to benefit from it? 

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about experience marketing, its benefits, and key strategies to keep in mind when creating these types of campaigns.

Experiential Marketing Explained

What is experiential marketing? Can it help promote your brand and increase conversion? Is it more effective in reaching your market and engaging them than traditional marketing?

While traditional marketing sees consumers as rational and their buying decisions a result of purely logical steps, experiential marketing sees them as both rational and emotional

This type of marketing acknowledges that a buyer doesn’t just use reason to purchase a product or service. Rather, there are a lot of other factors at play that affect consumer behaviour like imagination, spontaneity, fantasies, and deep feelings. 

As such, experience marketing uses all five senses to make consumers truly understand a product or service and differentiate it from the competition. It uses unique and creative settings to help consumers experience your brand in ways that leave a lasting impact.

Experiential Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

A billboard that promotes a product or service is fine, but it’s just seen by consumers. 

Experiential marketing in the real world goes beyond this by creating unique environments that stimulate the senses to draw consumers closer to you to create a positive, lasting impression. Here are some examples: 

Experiential Marketing Examples Traditional Marketing Examples
  • Television Commercials
  • Print Ads (Newspapers, Magazines)
  • Radio Advertising
  • Direct Mail Campaigns
  • Billboard and Out of Home Advertising
  • Telemarketing
  • Brochures and Flyers

Positive and unique experiences that engage the consumers’ senses like those in the left column not only reinforce the relationship between your brand and existing customers but also curate the kind of experiences needed to attract new ones, too!

The Benefits of Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing brings businesses a multitude of benefits. We’ve laid out some of the reasons why it’s worth investing in.

A consumer taking a picture at an experiential marketing event hosted by The Concierge Club

It Generates Leads and Increases Sales

According to statistics, 65% of companies experience a growth in sales as a result of experiential marketing events. This is supported by the data that says 91% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service after attending a brand event. Furthermore, 70% of people who engage in experience marketing initiatives become repeat customers.

It Attracts Media Attention

A unique and engaging experiential marketing event will successfully attract influencers and media outlets. If your marketing efforts are noticed, these people can help you reach more people! 

It’s Highly Shareable

An experiential marketing event that’s compelling—and therefore, worth sharing—will capture the interest of a lot of people, who in turn will take pictures and videos, and then share them on social media. This exposure will help raise brand awareness and is a prime example of how technology boosts the success of XM events.

Examples of Successful Experiential Marketing Campaigns

So, what does experiential marketing look like when it works? Here are three examples of campaigns we believe hit it out of the park. 

Participants taking pictures at the Benefit Cosmetics’ mascara launch in 2021

  1. Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Cosmetics, a popular California-based cosmetic manufacturer executed an innovative campaign in 2021 using experiential marketing technology to launch their new mascara.

They did this through the use of “VR rooms” where guests could attend meet and greets, engage with each other through an interactive chat functionality, and even see a live music performance. The virtual event was hosted on a microsite that drew in 77,000 visitors from over 160 countries!

  1. Seiko x Novak Djokovic

In 2019, the popular watch brand Seiko built a virtual tennis court where people could get a chance to return-serve the VR avatar of Novak Djokovic in anticipation of the Australian Open. If successful, they would go home with a $1,000 cash prize and a limited edition Seiko watch.

This XM campaign was a huge success because it gave people a chance to have fun using experiential marketing technology. The result? There were an estimated 400 more participants at the event, it got major media coverage, as well as heightened event and brand awareness!

  1. Polar Winter Festival

Polar Winter Festival was Canada’s first multi-level holiday drive-through experience. Situated in a six-storey parking lot, The Concierge Club transformed this commonplace venue into a magical winter wonderland.

Each level had its own theme designed to infuse some sense of normalcy and a whole lot of holiday cheer into an otherwise dreary 2020. Visitors to the event were transported through a crystal cave, an LED light tunnel, a visit with Santa, and a whole lot more. 

The best part about the event was that you could immerse yourself in the experience in person while still staying safe and cozy because you didn’t have to leave your car!  

A tunnel of lights at Polar Winter Festival

5 Key Points in Creating Effective Experiential Campaigns

Want to create a winning experiential marketing strategy? Take note of these five key considerations when creating your next experience marketing campaign. 

  1. Find Your Customer Touchpoints

Check offline and online media touchpoints where your customers are most likely to engage. Reach out to a new, broader audience in a distinctive format. At times, the more unique the setting is, the higher the engagement.

  1. Create an Engaging Ad

What is experiential marketing if not unique? Craft an ad that is distinct from your competitors and will attract potential customers to want to experience your product themselves.

  1. Deliver a Personalized Experience for Your Product

Create memorable experiences that evoke and engage all the senses of your consumers. This way, an emotional connection is created. Not only will it leave a lasting impression, but it will also create a bond with them.  

  1. Track Your Campaign Response

Monitor your conversions from each campaign. You can effectively see which unique experience has positive reinforcement to your brand using tracking tools. You can also leverage how consumers responded to your product to develop your campaign into a better version down the line.

  1. Remind People to Share the Experience

During a campaign, encourage customers to share their unique experiences with your product or service. Remember—your customers are also influencers within their network of friends and family.

An easy way to do this is by creating Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. This way, the experience speaks for itself! 

Your Brand’s Experiential Marketing Campaign Starts Here

So, what is experiential marketing? It’s an approach that goes beyond standard event marketing to build connections and earn brand loyalty, exciting your target audiences with immersive experiences—it’s also what we do best at The Concierge Club

Our team of experiential marketers has over 10 years of experience curating, executing, and quantifying premium experiential marketing campaigns for some of North America’s most notable brands, including Sephora, Dynamite, GUCCI, Yves Saint Laurent, and more.

We can’t wait to show you the power of experience marketing. Reach out to our team to find out how we can bring your vision to life in the form of a jaw-dropping experiential campaign.