The times are changing swiftly and the attention span of consumers is reducing slowly and steadily with each passing day. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that today’s consumers are spoilt for choice. And, amidst shiny products coupled with a fast reducing consumer attention span, it gets really difficult for a brand to ensure that its product remains relevant. This is where experiential marketing comes into the picture. Experiential marketing is a futuristic concept that is entirely focused on curating amazing experiences for consumers. It is all about speaking to consumers in their language, both literally and figuratively. It gives a new meaning to the phrase - Consumer is king.
What is experiential marketing?
Experiential marketing is a millennial concept. It involves brands engaging directly with their consumers to grab their attention. According to Campaign, the 2017 Freeman Global Brand Experience Study found that more than one in three CMOs expects to set aside 21 to 50 percent of their budgets for brand experiences, including events, trade shows, sponsorships, exhibits, permanent installations, virtual or augmented reality experiences and/or pop-ups. EventTech 2017 witnessed leading marketing specialists making grand plans to change the way the world views their products in 2018 with the help of experiential marketing. At the same event, it was observed that companies are spending more than 11% of their budget on experiential marketing.
Is it the next generation of marketing?
One unique thing about experiential marketing is that it does not follow the usual ‘one campaign fits all’ strategy. In order to generate sales, and to make your voice heard in the market, you need to be highly creative. As experiential marketing is all about directly engaging with your customers, your idea can make or break your brand. Off late, we have seen quite a few companies gone crazy with their experiential marketing ideas. One of the campaigns that come to our mind is the OnePlus campaign launched in India, which was experiential to the core. The brand carried out a number of engaging exercises like popups, photo walks, fan meets to grab eyeballs and make OnePlus a popular name. Another creative campaign that was highly personal and hugely successful was the Ikea sleepover campaign. Now many of Ikea’s fans have nurtured a desire to have a sleepover in Ikea. Ikea selected 100 lucky people to have a sleepover there. They provided them with sleeping masks, hot cocoa, movies, massage, and other cool goodies. Needless to say, the campaign earned Ikea a lot of brownie points. Homeshop 18, in order to attract its customers, has installed India’s first virtual, mobile-aided shopping experience at Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi. Users here can check out cool products and shop them immediately by scanning their QR codes on their cellphones.
At Dineout, we also experimented with experiential marketing. We organized an annual event in February 2017 in 8 major Indian cities - Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. The Great Indian Restaurant Festival, allowed people to avail a flat 50% discount on menu prices at more than 2000 premier restaurants in these cities. In 2018, owing to the amazing response this festival received in Year 1, we decided to run #GIRF2018 for the entire month of February, so from 1st February to 28th February, the food lovers in the cities mentioned above had a gala time sampling cuisines at half the price.
Similarly, for Gourmet Passport, our exclusive subscription program which offers 1+1 on Buffets, Main Course and Drinks at the best restaurants across the country, we have taken the concept of experiential dining to a whole new level. We regularly host “Dine with Rocky” events for our members which are curated by Rocky Mohan, founder of Gourmet Passport, cookbooks author and the man behind the legendary Old Monk Rum . Designed to give the food connoisseurs experiences that turn into unforgettable memories, these events are hosted at uber premium restaurants where each guest is personally hosted by Rocky Mohan himself. Dine With Rocky events presents an opportunity to the restaurants to showcase their culinary excellence and also provide hospitality that they are known for. It is a platform for like-minded people to interact and share their common passion for food and love for finer things in life.
Experiential marketing aims at creating short but meaningful activities for people, thereby creating a bigger and long-lasting impact on their minds. Needless to say, a lot of work and resources go into the planning and production of an experiential event. In the end, it just boils down to what sells and what appeals to the consumers the most.