“I’m shocked that another part of the marketing industry has evolved because of 2020,” said no one ever. It was a year where “unprecedented” became a groan-worthy word and getting ready in the morning excluded the bottom half of your face, but it was also a year that changed marketing as a whole for the foreseeable future. Maybe you read the title of this blog and thought, “well, yeah, I experience marketing every day, but so what?” While you’re absolutely correct, experience marketing in itself is a multifaceted and highly effective channel of marketing that every business can take advantage of - even amidst an ongoing pandemic.
“Experience marketing” or “experiential marketing” refers to methods of face-to-face marketing involving some sort of live or interactive event, creating an environment to effectively foster personal, loyal, and long-lasting customer relationships. Typically, it would more exclusively refer to events that take place offline; however, thanks to 2020, the definition has broadened to include live-streamed events such as webinars, Zoom events, and more.
From a broader standpoint, the definition of experiential marketing can be expanded to include anything you do to create a memorable experience for your customers when they work with you. For example, online events have quickly become the new norm in a lot of industries, including service and e-commerce.
Because online events and this new type of experiential marketing are so new in the grand scheme of things, there’s a learning curve to be expected. There’s no need to be intimidated by the prospect of stepping up your experience marketing game! Here are three of our best tips for creating a memorable experience for your customers - and carrying that over into a long-lasting business relationship.
Yes, branding is about much more than just your logo! Why does your business exist? What makes you who you are? Most importantly, why should people care? At its core, your brand should establish trust and security between yourself and your audience. Although this may look different from business to business, the highest priority should be making that connection with your customer to encourage brand loyalty.
Social media has quickly become a necessity for every business, whether your profiles exist already or not. Thoughtful, strategic content will boost organic growth and drive valuable, converting traffic to your website. If you haven’t already invested time into crafting a social media strategy and setting goals for your platform growth, give us a call - it’s time to get the ball rolling!
Typically, for commerce-related businesses, experience marketing extends into the visual merchandising of your storefront, if you have one. While that’s not a luxury everyone has access to at the time, there are plenty of ways to still hold events with your customers thanks to the power of social media. You could live stream a product giveaway, host a Zoom book club, put together a game on your website for customers to win a coupon...the possibilities are limitless!
Should you choose to hold an online event, it’s okay to be totally transparent and recognize that, just like your customers, you’re having to log on to yet another freakin’ Zoom meeting…we’re all a little tired of it, but there are ways to keep online events engaging for your audience! Platforms like Zoom or Facebook and Instagram Live have chat features where the audience can interact in real time with your business or other audience members. This is a great way to keep your audience engaged; not only will they get to make connections with you and amongst themselves, but that will also allow you to start building a tighter-knit community around your business.
Customer feedback is one of the most important resources any business owner has access to. After all, it’s an opportunity for your customers to tell you exactly what they want to see from you - that way, you can guarantee their satisfaction! By finding out more about how the customer feels about the experience you’ve already provided, you can use their feedback to improve the overall operation.
Additionally, it’s equally important to ensure that it is easy for your customers to provide you with feedback. Send a survey out to your email list, implement a form onto your website, and above all, make sure it’s easy to find! People no longer trust businesses with sub-par websites - that’s just the way the cookie has crumbled. To maximize their ease, make sure your customers have a place on each of your platforms to provide feedback that takes minimum effort. Keep it simple for ‘em!
There are three cardinal considerations to keep in mind when you’re analyzing whether or not your efforts to improve your experience marketing is having an effect on your online success:
Establishing effective KPIs is integral to understanding whether or not what you’re doing is truly benefitting your business. Analytics are extremely important - numbers don’t lie. Make sure you are tracking the success of your website and updating accordingly!
When your customers enjoy the experience they have with your business, it keeps them coming back. That contributes to a little thing called brand equity that can literally make or break your business…but we’ll talk more about that in our next blog. 😉
We’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg in this blog - don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re ready to learn more about how your business can benefit from experiential marketing. Sisu Group is a creative branding agency that creates meaningful consumer experiences through authentic storytelling. Through our creative and branding services we help socially conscious businesses build a brand that will move the world forward. Ready to get to it? Drop us a line!